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These wonderful Detective Stories by Allan Pinierton 

are having an unprecedented success. Their sale 

fast approaching one hundred thousand copies. 

"The interest which the reader feels from 

the outset is intense and resistless ; he 

is swept along by the narrative, held 

by it whether he will or no." 

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G. W. CARLETON & CO., Publishers, 
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Grand Chief Engineer, .Brotlierhood of Locomotive Engineers. 













NEW VP-- 79 

G. W. Carlefc^^ V ni. 

LONDO> Engineers 95 




Grand Chief Engineer, Brotn 




Strikers and Striking. . . ^ . . . . 13 

Tramping and Tramps 25 

Tramps of the Olden Time 32 


Mendicant Tramps Instances where Prominent Persons have be- 
come Confirmed Tramps 42 

Tramp-printers and Tramp Encampments 52 

The Parisian Commune 67 

Work of the Internationale 79 

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers 95 




Brotherhood History continued Disastrous Defeats 103 


Complete Expose of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, with 
some Account of the Grand International Union of Locomotive 
Firemen and the Notorious Trainmen's Union 117 

The start at Martinsburg, West Virginia 134 

First Gun of the Commune 147 

The Rising in Baltimore 161 

Memorable March of the Sixth Regiment 172 

Camden Depot Besieged 186 

Firing all along the Line 197 

Causes Leading to the Troubles at Pittsburg 213 

Inauguration of the Strike at Pittsburg 219 

Riot Terrors at Pittsburg 228 




Memorable Siege of the Round-house at Pittsburg 239 

Retreat, Defeat, and Slaughter 251 

Riot and Pillage at Pittsburg 260 

Scenes and Incidents 271 

The End at Pittsburg 278 


The Strike at Allegheny City Some Account of the Redoubtable 

" Boss " Aminon 286 


Incidents at Johnstown, Altoona, and Harrisburg 299 

The Reading Riot 313 

Further Troubles in the Coal Regions 326 


The Strike at Philadelphia, New York, and upon the Erie Railroad . 340 


The Strikes at Buffalo, and at Points along the Lake Shore and 

Michigan Southern Railroad 358 




Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad Troubles, and the 

"Big Scare" at Louisville 374 

Communism and Riot at Chicago 387 

The End... . 399 


I AM impelled to give this book to the public for what I 
consider two very good reasons. 

The first is, because the history of the Great Strikes of 
'77 has not previously been produced with either truthful- 
ness or vividness. 

The second and more important reason, in my estimation, 
is that their cause, progress, and final demise should be "so 
effectually grouped and so truthfully painted that their 
memory, thus freshened and revived, shall ever stand as a 
warning and preventive of their recurrence. 

My aim has been to present merely the truth, so that the 
public might not only be able to preserve the interesting 
and exciting pictures and incidents of those terrible days, 
but also thoroughly understand the peculiar causes respon- 
sible for these outbreaks, and look squarely under the mask 
and in upon the inner workings of the most important of 
those labor organizations which invariably result in disaster 
to their members and ruin to themselves. 

My extensive and perfected detective system has made 
this work easy for me, where it would hardly have been poa- 


sible to other writers; for, ever since the great strikes of 
'77, my agencies have been busily employed by great 
railway, manufacturing and other corporations, for the 
purpose of bringing the leaders and instigators of the dark 
deeds of those days to the punishment they so richly de- 
serve. Hundreds have been punished. Hundreds mure 
will be punished. 

My first purpose was to present the history of the great 
strikes in such a way that the effective work since done by 
scores of my men could be seen. But I have found this 
impossible, as many of the operations, begun during the 
very in tensest excitement of the strikes, are not yet, noi 
will they for some time be, finished ; so that it will be 
readily seen that their recital would prove injurious to 
many interests ; and I have therefore been obliged to 
content myself with what I believe will be considered a 
truthful history of those troubled times, as well as of the 
causes creating them. Thus, while the work may lack the 
colloquial interest of my preceding volumes, most of the 
facts contained have been secured from the very same 
source, and have permitted the compilation of a work 
which may be relied upon. 

In reciting these facts and considering their lesson, I 
believe that I of all others have earned the right to say 
plain things to the countless toilers who were engaged in 
these strikes. I say I have earned this right. I have been 
all my lifetime a working man. I know what it is to strive 
and grope along, with paltry remuneration and no encour- 
agement save that of the hope and ambition implanted in 


every human heart. I have been a poor lad in Scotland, 
buffeted and badgered by boorish masters. I have worked 
weary years through the " 'prentice " period, until, by the 
hardest application, I conquered a trade. When this much 
was done, I plodded along under unfeeling bosses at this 
trade, both through Great Britain and in the United States 
and Canadas. I know what it is, from personal experience, 
to be the tramp journeyman ; to carry the stick and bundle ; 
to seek work and not get it ; and to get it, and receive but 
a pittance for it, or suddenly lose it altogether and be com- 
pelled to resume the weary search. 

In fact, I know every bitter experience that the most 
laborious of laboring men have been or ever will be re- 
quired to undergo, not forgetting frequent participation in 
"the strike;" and from it all there has come a conviction, 
as certain as life itself, that the workingman is never the 
gainer but always the loser, by resort to the reckless 
intimidation and brute force which never fail to result 
from the secret organization of the trades-union to force 
capital to compensate labor to a point where the use of 
that capital becomes unprofitable and disastrous. 

These trades-unions of eve.y name and nature are but a 
relic of the old despotic days. The necessities for their 
creation, if they ever existed, have passed away. In Amer- 
ican citizenship there exists all the essentials to make suc- 
cess in the life of every man not only possible, but probable. 
Every trades-union has for its vital principle, whatever is 
professed, the concentration of brute force to gain certain 
ends. Then the deadly spirit of Communism steals in and 

xii PEEP ACE. 

further embitters the workingman against that from which 
his very livelihood is secured, and gradually makes him an 
enemy to all law, order, and good society ; whereas, were 
he free from these demoralizing surroundings, his whole aim 
would be to improve himself by every means in his power, 
until he became a better workman, a more faithful em- 
ployee, and a more loyal and high-minded citizen. And it 
will be found true, the world over, that in just the propor- 
tion that all classes of workingmen refuse to be coerced 
and embittered by these pernicious societies, in just that 
proportion do they rise above their previous conditions, and 
reach a nobler and happier condition of life. 

CHICAGO, 1878. 




FROM this date, for one to look back upon the great 
strikes of '77, their causes and effects, it is possible for a 
calmer and more candid judgment to prevail. While they 
continued, the public mind was in a condition of unrest, 
excitement, and alarm. The spectacle of so vast a country 
as ours being even for a short time palsied, its local author- 
ities paralyzed, its State govern nib. 1 ts powerless, and its 
general government almost defied, was so sudden, so uni- 
versal, and so appalling, that the best judgment of our best 
minds were found unequal to cope with so startling and 
extreme an emergency. 

Never before in the history of our country had there 
come such a swift and far-reaching peril ; nor had we 
record of any other government being obliged to thus sud- 
denly confront so overwhelming a danger. There was 
something tangible about our great Rebellion. Public 
expectation was to a certain degree prepared for it. For 


years the opposing agencies had been adjusting themselves 
more and more decidedly. Men at the South had become 
suspicious of men at the North ; Northern men became 
antagonized in feeling and interests to Southern men. For 
some time previous to the beginning of hostilities the two 
sections had become more distinct and separate, in all that 
constitutes mutual respect and consideration, than two con- 
tiguous unfriendly nations. All that was needed to com- 
plete the isolation of each was the border forts and the 
border patrol. The public mind of each section had been 
to a great degree made ready for actual hostilities. They 
were predetermined facts. When they came, their con- 
sequences followed naturally and in consistent order; and 
though neither section was wholly prepared for the rapid 
culmination of the numberless startling and dramatic 
events which crowded into the four years of civil conflict, 
both were enabled, through this previous certainty of some 
sort of peril, to cope with the same with an increasing wis- 
dom and judgment. 

But how different were we situated when this last great 
terror came upon us, and how unusual and startling were 
its phases and conditions ! 

It was everywhere ; it was nowhere. A condition of 
sedition which can be located, fixed, or given boundaries, 
may, by any ordinary community or government, be sub- 
dued. This uprising, in its far-reaching extent, was so 
alarmingly sudden that it seemed like the hideous growth 
of a night. It was as if the surrounding seas had swept in 
upon the land from every quarter, or some sudden central 
volcano had upraised its hideous head and belched forth 
burning rivers that coursed out upon the country in every 
direction. No general action for safety could be taken. 
Look where we might, some fresh danger was presented. 
No one had prophesied it; no one could prevent it; no 


one was found brave enough or wise enough to stop its pes- 
tilential spread. Its birth was spontaneous ; its progress 
like a hurricane ; its demise a complete farce. 

But, looking over the destruction wrought, the consider- 
ation of the now clearly-established fact, that our country 
has arrived at such an age and condition that it contains 
the dormant elements which require only a certain measure 
of turbulent handling to at any moment again bring to the 
surface even a stronger and more concentrated power of 
violence and outlawry, becomes not only a most wise policy, 
but an urgent necessity. 

I must confess to a close sympathy with workingmen of 
all classes. For quite a portion of my life I have been a 
laborer, while all my life I have been a workingman. I 
believe I can truly appreciate the struggles and trials of 
the intelligent laborer, and well understand the rigorous 
barriers that often hem him in. I also believe it cruelly 
unjust for any body of men, or portion of society, to hold 
him and his little world of labor and sacrifice and few 
pleasures so thoroughly at arm's length, as though it were 
an unclean thing to touch or to consider. To this miserable 
and too frequent custom it is most certain that^ we are in- 
debted for a measure of the turbulent viciousnes's of what 
are termed the laboring classes. 

But, on the other hand, I would as rigorously hold the 
workingman to his duty. With the numberless opportuni- 
ties for the bettering of one's condition, which, in these 
times, every country, and particularly this country, affords, 
there is no excuse for other than a straightforward, honest, 
and honorable course on the part of any man, capitalist or 
laborer. No man who is^ able to labor at all, is unable, by 
persistent honesty and persistent frugality, to, in time, secure 
a fair competence and a fair measure of life's amenities and 
pleasures. When, then, the best experience of the years 


has demonstrated that capital is a necessity to labor, and all 
the capital of all the Rothschilds is as valueless to its posses- 
sors as so much sand when labor is not at hand to give it 
circulation and use, the laboring man not only does a crim- 
inal act to society, but a grievous wrong to himself and 
those dependent upon him, whenever he allows himself to be 
led into any association or combination having for its Teal 
animus whatever its assumed objects may be the enforce- 
ment of certain conditions and restrictions upon the use of 
such capital as may be employed in the extension or use of 
the labor upon which he may be engaged. 

It is a well-known axiom that everything eventually finds 
its proper level. It is certainly as true that both capital 
and labor, in the aggregate, receive their true rewards. In 
exceptional cases both capital and labor are overpaid ; in 
certain other instances they are both underpaid. But these 
are only exceptions ; and no combination of capital on the 
one side, or combination of labor on the other side, to force 
unjust extortion from the one or the other, can ever be 
maintained, and is always doomed to a termination so disas- 
trous that the eventual loss has far exceeded the immediate 

The mystery of all these labor troubles is that the labor- 
ing 'men who permit themselves to become members of 
trades unions do not see the danger with which they sur- 
round themselves when they assist in forming associations 
for compelling from their employers what their employers 
cannot afford to yield. The}' have then assumed a position 
of open antagonism to the existence of the very interests 
upon which they are utterly dependent for their own suste- 
nance. They immediately close avenues for their own 
assistance, restrict the operation of those commercial forces 
whose untrammeled and unrestricted working are abso- 
lutely essential to the existence of all safely-conducted busi- 


ness and trade, and, instead of deriving any benefit from 
their warfare upon their employers, are invariably obliged 
to sustain great losses and withstand severe pri vation, while 
plunging other classes of workingmen into want and pen- 
ury ; for it is an invariable law, that when one great busi- 
ness interest is assailed by the labor it employs, capital 
quickly feels the approach of danger and swiftly retreats 
into mysterious hiding-places, leaving other business inter- 
ests unable to sustain themselves. Thus thousands of other 
laborers are grievously wronged through the criminally 
unjust action of a comparatively small body of men, whose 
rights are in no way superior to those who have been thus 

It is a well-established fact that the business failures 
throughout the United States were more numerous for a 
stated period subsequent to the great July strikes of '77 
than for any other like period during the four years of un- 
precedented business depression which preceded that time. 
No one will deny that they were the direct result of the 
strikes. Hundreds of firms, unable to withstand the addi- 
tional complications which the disaster imposed, were 
ruined, and thousands of workmen were thrown o-.t of 
employment. The strikers got nothing but idleness a^J its 
vicious results. But, even had they been benefited by a 
forced increase of wages, who is to compensate those thou- 
sands of workingmen that were deprived of their means of 
gaining a livelihood for themselves and families through 
the suicidal acts of those who insolently deranged the entire 
business of a great country 2 

The motto of many of these turbulent associations is 
"Liberty, Fraternity, Equality." What is that kind of 
" liberty " which is the result of a rule of force upon one 
class of people and interests by any other class or inter- 


What manner of a " fraternity " is that where one body 
of workingmen combine to bring about a condition of tur- 
bulence which banishes from all classes of citizens every 
sentiment of fraternity and humanity in a common greed, 
a common suspicion, and a common desperation for self- 
preservation ? 

And what should be said of an " equality " the effect of 
which has invariably been ruin and dismay to employers 
and workingmen, when one body of workingmen appeal to 
the brute force and terrorism of the long strike to compel 
their own selfish demands ? 

Whatever temporary gain may be secured, the history of 
all strikes is one of disaster to those who participate in 
them. They ever have resulted, they ever will result, in 
not only injury to the striker, but injury to the employer, 
which, in time, is certain to react upon the employee ; and 
it may be laid down as a fixed principle that no strike can 
ever permanently succeed. There can be no reasonable 
success of a riotous strike in any civilized country. 

For this reason the strike of '77 was a complete failure. 
Although in many instances riotous excesses were not com- 
mitted, the attempt of which they were all guilty to pre- 
vent the movement of trains made their strike as truly a 
riotous proceeding as the pillage, arson, and murder of 
Pittsburg could have made it. By this act the strikers 
placed themselves in an attitude of defiance to all law and 
to society, and as surely arrayed law, order, and society 
against them. Had they won, it would have been a triumph 
of anarchy ; and anarchy is a something impossible to exist. 
No community can exist save under law and order ; and no 
riotous strike is possible of success short of revolution ; 
while revolution itself is a failure, unless it brings to a peo- 
ple a still purer law and a more secure order. If working- 
men who become rioters through these strikes would bear 


in mind that a complete success for them in these lawless 
ventures necessitated an utter overthrow of the government 
to which they owe allegiance, it is due to their intelligence 
to say that they would forever abandon that mode of re- 
dressing real or assumed grievances. 

The strike of '77 failed as a strike, as thousands of 
others have failed as strikes. When it became a general 
riot, its failure was doubly assured. When it took on that 
feature, eveiy employer, every workingman, and every law- 
abiding citizen, whether employer or laborer, was com- 
pelled, from the simple law of self-preservation, to raise 
his hands against it. It has never yet occurred that the 
mutinous elements of a country were more powerful than 
the law-abiding elements. Even wild beasts show a certain 
regard for brute regulation and authority, and instances are 
given by naturalists where apparent sedition and turbulence 
on the part of unmanageable members of these brute 
families have met with complete extermination as punish- 

The great strike has left everybody poorer. Who has been 
bettered ? who can point to a single instance where a body 
of world ngmen has been benefited by their participation ? 

Who shall pay for the enforced idleness of millions ; the 
ruin to vast business interests ; the misery brought upon 
innocent working men and women ; and for the hundreds of 
lives sacrificed upon this altar of human ignorance, blind- 
ness, and frenzy ? 

Looking at the matter from any point of consideration, 
no good thing can be seen in it, unless it may be judged a 
good thing to know that we have among us a pernicious 
communistic spirit which is demoralizing workingmen, con- 
tinually creating a deeper and more intense antagonism be- 
tween labor and capital, and so embittering naturally rest- 
less elements against the better elements of society, that it 


must be crushed out completely, or we shall be compelled 
to submit to greater excesses and more overwhelming disas- 
ters in the near future. 

The " strike " is essentially an institution of continental 
Europe, and, like all other good and bad emanations from 
that part of the world, gradually but surely found its way 
into England, Scotland, and Ireland, and from thence was 
transplanted to this country. Riot, which has always ex- 
isted, has become the constant companion of the strike 
everywhere. Through my Scotch and English experiences 
I have become well acquainted with the characteristics, of 
strikes in those countries. One marked difference in them 
there is in the fact that women, in almost every instance 
after the strike is inaugurated, seem the most savage in 
preventing the breaking of the strike by the employment of 
" nobs," as the " scabs " are called there, and in both incit- 
ing and participating in riots. 

Resort to strikes was first had in England and Scotland 
among the cotton-spinners and the " tenters." The latter 
are the operatives in cotton-mills who attend to the proper 
stretching of the webs and have a general supervision of a 
certain number of looms. The necessity for their constant 
service to their employers made their unions and strikes 
peculiarly disastrous to the cotton-spinning and cotton- 
weaving interests. From this class, unions and their conse- 
quent strikes rapidly spread among all classes of working- 
men and artisans. Carpenters, coopers, and cabinet-makers ; 
moulders, puddlers, boiler-makers, engine-builders, and black- 
smiths; shipwrights, and the numberless classes which sub- 
sist upon the shipping interests ; butchers, bakers, and con- 
fectioners in fact, every known trade or class of labor soon 
had its union or guild ; and as a natural result, must sooner 
or later have a strike. Nothing, however, of so vast propor- 
tions as our great strike of ? 77 came out of this union fever 


for each organization, as a rule, attended to its own troubles, 
and at that time communism had not gained its deadly 

The tactics of the strikers, in conjunction with this dis- 
position of women to create disorder and encourage the men 
in holding out, before referred to, are worthy of mention. 
At the mill, factory, or yards where the strike might be in 
progress, the strikers and their wives would congregate in 
large force, morning, noon, and night. As a rule they 
would never collect in great numbers at any one point, for 
this would not be permitted by the authorities ; but, with 
great caution and very remarkable generalship, they would 
divide into numberless small squads, which would be sta- 
tioned at different points of approach to the workshop. 
These small squads would invariably be supported by nearly 
an equal number of women armed and equipped for the 
fray many of them carrying babes in their arms. When 
the " nobs " would arrive at the workshop in the morning, 
when they would leave for and return from luncheon, or 
when they departed for their homes for the night, they 
would first be set npon by the strikers and badly handled. 
Then, if the strikers happened to be getting the worst of it, 
or if the " bobbies " (the police) bore down upon them 
heavily, at a given signal up came heavy reinforcements in 
the shape of these women who had been waiting out of 
sight, and who, with clubs, stones, bits of iron and other 
hastily improvised weapons, would pounce upon the " bob- 
bies " and the " nobs " with such fury that they were quite 
often temporarily driven from the field in confusion and 
disgrace. On these occasions of victory the poor " nobs " 
get terribly treated, for the women seemed by far the more 
merciless. If the police were victorious, as was of course 
the rule, still another reserve force would be signaled for, 
and with loud lamentations, thrilling yells and wailings, 


there would rush forth from mysterious hiding-places scores 
of women with habes in their arms, who, with provoking 
persistency, pushed in among the police, dealing out sly 
blows to the " nobs " and shrewdly hindering the operations 
of the officers, who could not club women under these cir- 
cumstances, until most of the strikers had escaped. These 
were the ordinary tactics observed in all portions of Eng- 
land and Scotland. 

Although the English authorities have invariablv treated 

O O v 

riotous strikers with great severity, some instances of Scot- 
tish justice, which many years ago came under my personal 
notice, would indicate that in that country these matters are 
still more rigidly treated. 

In 1840, what was then known as the Airdrie and Glas- 
gow Railroad (now called the Edinburgh and Glasgow Rail- 
road, as the line was long since continued from Airdrie to 
Edinburgh) was in process of construction between Glasgow 
and Airdrie. The construction hands, which were princi- 
pally Irish, struck in a body for higher wages, and publicly 
swore that they would take the life of any "nob" who 
should attempt to take their places. Other men were sup- 
plied, and as the strikers had well-h'lled the section with 
their friends and sympathizers, many savage encounters 
took place. Finally a u nob "was waylaid and most bru- 
tally murdered by two strikers named Doolan and Redden. 
These men were immediately arrested, tried, convicted, 
and executed. Nor was it an ordinary execution. It was 
ordered to take place as near as possible upon the very spot 
where the murder was committed, and the condemned men 
were compelled to sit upon their own coffins while being 
driven to the place, which was a wide meadow. Thousands 
of people witnessed the execution of the criminals, which 
had the good effect of putting a quietus upon the striking 
fever in that section for a loiiir time. 

II f 


Previous to this, in 1837, the cotton-spinners of Glasgow 
and vicinity struck, and by their incendiary and turbulent 
acts created a wonderful excitement throughout Scotland 
and England. At last the authorities took the matter in 
hand, and large numbers of those who had participated in 
the outrages were obliged to escape to America and other 
countries, in order to avoid arrest and punishment. Deter- 
mined, however, to take severe measures in the matter, the 
government ordered the arrest and indictment of the 
" Secret Select Committee," consisting of Thomas Hunter, 
Peter Hackett, "Richard McNeill, James Gibb, and William 
McLean. They were accordingly apprehended and in- 
dicted for a " conspiracy to intimidate, assault, and murder 
non-unionists and their masters or managers," a.nd removed 
to Edinburgh for trial. From the vast sums of money 
expended both by the government and the union leagues 
of Scotland, the eminent counsel engaged on either side, 
and the intense interest awakened, this was probably the 
most remarkable criminal trial on record in Edinburgh, if 
not in all Scotland. The extreme sentence on conviction 
in this case was : " Seven years' transportation beyond the 
seas ! " 

A good deal has been written and said regarding the 
causes of our great strike of '77. To my mind they seem 
clear and distinct. For years, and without any particular 
attention on the part of the press or the public, animated 
by the vicious dictation of the International Society, all 
manner of labor unions and leagues have been forming. 
No manufacturing town, nor any city, has escaped this 
baleful influence. Though many of these organizations 
have professed opposition to communistic principles, their 
pernicious influence has unconsciously become powerful 
among them. Other organizations hare openly avowed 
them. They have become an element in politics. The 


intelligent workingmen, not being altogether ready for the 
acceptance of these extreme doctrines, have given them no 
political support, and their violent propagators have been 
obliged to fall back upon agitation of subjects which would 
antagonize labor and capital. For years we have been 
recovering from the extravagances of the war period. 
Labor has gradually, but surely, been becoming cheaper, 
and its demand less. Workingmen have not economized 
in 'the proportion that economy became necessary. Want 
and penury followed. Workingmen consequently have 
become discontented and embittered. They have been 
taught steadily, as their needs increased, that they were 
being enslaved and robbed, and that all that was neces- 
sary for bettering their condition was a general uprising 
against capital. So that when, under the leadership of 
designing men, that great class of railroad employees than 
whom no body of workingmen in America were ever better 
compensated began their strike, nearly every other class 
caught the infection, and by these dangerous communistic 
leaders were made to believe that the proper time for action 
had come. I have therefore given considerable space in 
the following pages to an account of those classes and or- 
ganizations most extensively represented in the great strike 
of '77, before proceeding with a detailed account of the 
history of the strike itself. 




IN that brightest of all American sketch-books, John 
Burroughs' " Winter Sunshine," the opening paragraph of 
the sketch entitled " Exhilarations of the Road " is as fol- 
lows : 

" Occasionally, on the sidewalk, amid the dapper, swiftly-moving, high- 
heeled boots and gaiters, I catch a glimpse of the naked human foot. 
Nimbly it scuffs along, the toes spread, the sides flatten, the heel pro- 
trudes ; it grasps the curbing, or bends to the form of the uneven sur- 
faces a thing sensuous and alive, that seems to take cognizance of 
what it touches or passes. How primitive and uncivil it looks in such 
company a real barbarian in the parlor. We are so unused to the 
human anatomy, to simple, unadorned nature, that it looks a little repul- 
sive ; but it is beautiful for all that. Though it be a black foot and an 
unwashed foot, it shall be exalted. It is a thing of life amid leather, a 
free spirit amid cramped, a wild bird amid caged, an athlete amid com- 
sumptives. It is the symbol of my order the Order of " Walkers." 

To my mind there is something of this inexpressible ex- 
hilaration which Mr. Burroughs hints at, in any form of an 
out door tramping from point to point, whether one is 
utterly objectless, or whether he may have something to 
gain from his journey. One may ride in a carriage, or be 
conveyed to his place of destination by rail, but either mode 
is at best one which has no other recommendation than 
speed. In your carriage you get stupid and fall asleep 
from your drowsiness, and in the railway-coach you are 
cramped and crowded, compelled to concede to others' 
whims, are a victim to every degree of heat or cold, are 


obliged to breathe foul air or mortally offend the occupant 
of a neighboring seat, and are generally badgered and 
bothered. I never knew but one man who insisted that lie 
" loved railroad riding." That man was a very intelligent 
conductor on the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago rail- 
way, who told me quite recently, during a conversation on 
his train concerning sports and recreations, that he would 
" rather take a ride on a railway train for forty miles, than 
participate in any other pleasure or amusement of which he 
knew." But this is a rarely exceptional case, while the 
abominations of the overcrowded street-car are too well 
known to be recapitulated. 

No person can ever get a taste of the genuine pleasure of 
the road and not feel in some reckless way, but yet certainly 
feel, that he would like to become some sort of a tramp. 
He might rebel against any kind of a compromise with his 
own manhood that would make him a tramp in the offen- 
sive sense in which the word is employed; he may be very 
certain in his own mind that no condition of necessity and 
no combination of circumstances could ever bring him to a 
point where he would sleep in a hay-rick, rob a hen-roost, 
or bully contributions from country-side folk ; but there 
would, and there does still come an irrepressible impulse to 
go a-tramping. 

This physical and mental elevation of spirit which comes 
to the walker is something that belongs solely to ourselves. 
It cannot be explained more than any other joy ; it cannot 
be transmitted like any other pleasure. One must do the 
work himself. He must strike out on his own account. It 
s his own muscles that are to be strengthened, his own blood 
that must be thrilled, his own lungs that must be expanded 
and invigorated, and his own mind and spirits which will 
feel the flush and friction from drinking in the glories of 
contact with the thrilling out-door world. 


Did it ever occur to the scholar, or average reader of the 
best literature, how much is due to what has been treasured 
up from these trampings of men who have, alone and un- 
known, but possessed of this liberty-seeking, country-loving 
spirit, turned tramp and thus got very close to nature and 
her secrets? Think it over, and then exalt the inquisitive, 
vagabond tramp through all ages and in all countries. 

Aside from this feature of the question, look at those na- 
tions whose people are walkers, and see the strength, stabil- 
ity and sturdiness of them. Take Scotland, England, and 
some of the countries of continental Europe for example. 
"Walking is universal. The man who cannot walk twenty 
miles without being " blowed " is looked upon with scorn, 
while the average woman there thinks nothing of a walk 
of a half-score miles. She will walk to church and back 
three times of a Sunday (and the church in those countries 
is always built in some little nook from one to three miles 
from any collection of houses), and then be as fresh as a 
daisy. What American woman could keep her company ? 
But look at the result. The English or Scotch woman at 
forty is as blooming and healthy as a lass of sixteen. The 
American woman at forty, as a rule, looks like a mummy, 
and is as fretful as a sickly baby. These women have used 
their feet and legs ; they have strengthened their frames, 
aided and built up every tissue of their bodies, made them- 
selves capable of bearing healthy children, and kept within 
them the equable temper and bright, cheery ways that have 
made them physically and mentally the equals of their hus- 
bands, and their homes have always been places of kindly 
greeting and welcome. 

In every instance where walking, or tramping, in its best 
sense, has become a favorite custom among a people, that 
people has been benefited in numberless ways. This may 
not seem to touch the subject-matter of " Tramping and 


Tramps ; " but I have referred to this branch of the question, 
not only with a view of awakening an interest in it, but to 
show that it really has held, and still holds, a very close re- 
lation to the tramp problem. This sure, but unexplainable 
pleasure in tramping has in many notable instances manu- 
factured genuine tramps. 

If yotr walk, what a new world has opened ! Whether in 
the city or in the country, life is seen from new windows. 
In the city, what human studies you can find everywhere. 
All that genius has inspired and accomplished you may 
overlook and contemplate. The fine friction from contact 
with the thousands you meet upon the streets stirs your 
blood and raises your spirits. What loiterings at shop- 
windows, and what a studjdng of all that wealth has piled 
up within them. What glimpses of every-day life at back- 
doors, through basement windows, over area railings, and 
up quiet courts. How you find opportunities to study the 
rich, sympathize with the poor, notice the insolent, admire 
the polite, despise the Shylocks, and revere the tender and 
charitable. How, in thus wandering about, you become ac- 
quainted with localities, get interested in little out-of-the- 
way places, and how you begin to feel a sort of ownership 
m what other people would not give a moment's thought ; 
and how, best of all, you come to have a wider, better view 
of life and the living of it, and a more tender, manful and 
considerate view of your race and kind. 

But if to the better class of tramps the city is full of 
what others never heed or see, how much more of bright- 
ness and exhilaration there is to the walker who has learned 
the pleasure of a genuine country tramp across a state, for 
instance. To this kind of a tramp what a perfect panora 
ma of beauty is opened. What miles of smooth road, or 
crisp, half-trod grass-paths, are covered. What dallyings by 
moss-grown bridges where the sunlit waters ripple along 


with soft murmurs below. What meetings there are with 
sturdy old farmers on hay-racks, in ramshackle buggies, on 
horseback, or afoot. What passages there are with vocifer- 
ous, though utterly harmless dogs. What loiterings at tum- 
ble-down bars where the music of the sickles come floating 
up from the fields. What drinking of deep, pure draughts 
from sparkling springs and from old moss-covered buckets 
that rumble and clatter as they rise towards the creaking 
windlass. What sly flirtations with blooming country 
lasses, arguments with cautious housewives, explanations to 
vigilant constables, and chattings with Rip Van Winkles at 
roadside inns. What quaint villages are reached, groaning 
ferries are crossed, and what changing pictures of pretty 
farm-houses, waving fields, cattle-covered meadows, and 
wooded hills. What sunrises ; what sunsets ; what splendid 
skies; what storms; and then, what rare sunshine again. 
What glimpses of rivers threading their winding ways like 
gleams of silver; what views of mountain, gorge, and glen; 
and what a grand uplifting of the whole nature from con- 
tact with everything that is interesting in nature. 

Is it strange, then, that the walker, under certain condi- 
tions, merges into the tramp ? or that after he has become a 
genuine tramp this fascination of the life on the road should 
confirm him in his love of utter freedom from all care or 
restraint? Who shall wonder that he begins to prefer his 
own company to that of his fellows, when he has found so 
bright an out-door life, where he may have everything his 
own way, except possibly the changing of the seasons from 
four to one, which would be of uninterrupted summer and 
sunshine ? 

This, however, must be considered as only a picture of 
the ideal tramp. From this happy-go-lucky fellow you 
will occasionally get a scientist, a naturalist, or a true liter- 
ary genius. But you oftener get a vagabond. Shiftless- 


ness, discontent, restlessness, all creep in and take posses- 
sion of him. Like the genuine Gripsy, on the instant that 
the frost leaves the ground and the first arbutus-blossom 
nods from the side of the hedge, he escapes whatever win- 
ter quarters he may have possessed, and with staff, parcel, 
and perhaps a dog, sets forth in quest of adventure. 

It is easy to see how such a person shortly becomes a 
vagabond. From this stage it is but a step to a bullying 
mendicant ; and from that condition to one of becoming a 
criminal in a small way is all easy and natural. Many men 
who have become interested in this mode of passing from 
one point to another on foot, get so accustomed to and 
delighted with the practice, that the familiarity with people 
and things thus acquired, demonstrates to them the ease 
with which one may subsist while tramping ; and whenever 
any business adversity overtakes them, they naturally turn 
to the road and discover in its pleasures, its freedom from 
care of any grave character, and the utter absence of 
responsibility, that they have found an easy solution to all 
their difficulties. Confirmed tramping is the usual result. 

Still, I am certain that in all tramps there must be thia 
underlying principle of genuine love for the out-door world, 
whether it be natural or acquired. There must be some 
other motive than a mere instinct to provide against hun r 
ger, although the motive may be very dim and indistinct in 
the tramp's own mind. To one who is forced to walk 
twenty miles a day oftener than a less number, there cannot 
but be some impulse considerably higher, or at least differ- 
ent, from that of filling one's belly during the day and sleep- 
ing in a hay-rick or a hedge at night. 

I once met in Mississippi one of this careless, happy- 
hearted order. He was old, grizzly, bronzed, weather-beaten, 
but cheery and happy as a lad of twelve just out of school 
for a lark, and with his ragged clothing, worn stick and 


neatly-made but dirty bundle, seemed to feel richer and 
more satisfied than some men worth their millions. 

I asked him if he really liked this sort of wandering. 

" Like it ? " he replied, in amazement. " I couldn't live 
no other way ! " 

" But what good is it to you ? " I insisted. 

"Why, I ain't rich, and can't see the world any other 

" How can seeing the world be of any benefit to you if 
you tramp it this way all your days?" I inquired. 

This seemed rather of a puzzler to the old fellow ; but, 
after a moment's hesitation, he brightened up, and an- 
swered : 

" Why, I don't know that, exactly ; but I do know that 
in twenty years' trampin' I've got more here (tapping his 
frowzy head with his stick) than a dozen of yer big city 
men, and it would be more worth, too, if I could use it I " 

It seems to me that in this answer lies a good deal of the 
kernel of the matter. 

Here was a mind that could not be chained down to one 
kind of plodding. Its possessor wanted to see the world, 
and had not the means to gratify that desire as others 
usually do. At his old age there was so much yet to be 
seen, and so very, very many miles yet to be done, that 
there was no hope that he would ever be anything else than 
what he was. 

I do not agree with Professor Wayland and others as to 
the universal villainy and ferocity of the tramp, though I 
have no measures to advocate, nor hardly any suggestions 
to make. Although tramping from place to place was 
necessary a century ago immeasurably greater than now, 
the " tramp," as an institution to attract public notice, and 
possibly need public legislation, is comparatively new. 
We shall have to get better acquainted with him, when we 


will know how to treat him, and perhaps, if necessary, 
manage him. From personal observation, which I think 
in these matters is a safer guide than general assertion, I 
am well assured that among this army of tramps there is a 
large number of persons of fine mind and attainments. 
This will be treated of more fully in a succeeding chapter. 
I mention it in this connection to impress a preceding state- 
ment that the tramp often began with the best of impulse 
and sentiment. He may end with none but a vagabond's 
impulse and no sentiment at all. But, as a class, I feel 
that they have been somewhat misunderstood and always 
scorned and vilified. 

While wishing it thoroughly known that I deplore and 
condemn the vicious features of the fraternity, I am quite 
as willing to have it known that I have a kind word to say 
for thousands of them who have become homeless wretches 
and wandering outcasts. 



LIKE the Gipsies who, however, have the standing that 

distinct race may give the tramp, if he be an intelligent 

person, will tell you that there is abundant precedent for 

his wandering habits and lazy mode of gaining a livelihood, 

"which, at best, is a poor one. 

I have heard them quote from the best literature, and 
especially from the Bible, making out, I must say, a very 
good case for themselves, and certainly one, although highly 
colored, which deserves consideration. Through this fact 


I have been led to give the subject considerable thought 
and some study, and I cannot but protest against this savage 
outcry that is raised through the press against the tramp. 

The Bible is full of illustrious instances of tramping, on 
both a large and small scale. 

Abram was commanded to go out from his father's house 
and his kindred, to a land which should be shown him, and 
at the age of seventy-five years took his wife and brother's 
son, Lot, and set forth on a regular tramp from Haran. He 
took his " substance" with him, of course, just as the tramp 
does, and wandered around the country in quite the same 

I say it with no levity or sense of irreverence, but Jesus 
Christ was himself a tramp. He was certainly one in the 
estimation of the Jews. His father was a tramp carpenter. 
But he was more utterly a tramp than them all. No other 
ancient or modern tramp could compare with him in desti- 
tution or homelessness. " A certain scribe came and said 
unto him, Master. I will follow thee whithersoever tliou 
goest. His reply was, " The foxes have holes, and the birds 
of the air have nests ; but the Son of man hath not where 
to lay his head." 

Further than this, he was very concise and distinct in his 
direction to his disciples. He insisted that they must pro- 
vide neither gold, silver, nor brass for their purses. They 
were not allowed to have scrip for their journeys. They 
must not have two coats. They could not wear shoes, nor 
could they use staves. 

If here was not a collection of genuine tramps, though 
their work was to be of a peculiar nature, it cannot be 
found in history. 

At the beginning of the fifteenth century, when the Gip- 
sies first made their appearance in Europe, their wandering 
and seemingly happy mode of life induced many of the 


romantic to copy their manners and become themselves 
wanderers or tramps. They could not become Gipsies, bnt 
they could do like them ; and suddenly the highways and 
hamlets were filled with them. 

Even long before this, between the twelfth and four- 
teenth centuries, the Minnesingers were as well known and 
recognized as the church or the king. From town to town, 
from castle to castle, they strolled, singing their songs, and, 
like our modern tramps, taking their chances for securing 
their meals, clothing, and beds. 

It was not uncommon in those days for many of the 
nobility to turn Gypsy, Minnesinger, or tramp. Some 
slight in love, some fear from intrigue, some secret state 
purpose, some genuine desire to study character, or some 
natural liking for a roving life where the severities and 
conventionalities of the court might be flung aside for a 
period of absolute freedom, has often turned men and 
women out of the castle upon the road, and made them for 
a time, if not permanently, members of these bands of stroll- 
ing vagrants. When the purpose was served, they reap- 
peared ; but many instances are recorded where the va- 
grant habits were so strongly fixed upon them that they 
clung to their grotesque companions of the highways and 

The antiquity of tramps and tramping cannot be ques- 
tioned ; nor should it be forgotten that, aside from the 
necessities which have given them a certain degree of 
respectability in the eyes of all considerate people, we 
owe to the varied circumstances which have made countless 
persons strollers, or tramps, and then to the strolling and 
tramping themselves, much more than is generally con 

It should be remembered that many of our greatest men 
have either at some time been unqualified tramps, or have 


done considerable of what might be called real vagabond 

Sir William Herschel, born in 1738, was educated as a 
band musician, but turned tramp in 1767, and for a period 
of years pushed his way alone, penniless and friendless 
over every highway and through every city and village in 
England and Scotland. Had he remained in the Hanover 
Foot-Guards, what a loss would astronomical science have 
sustained ! 

John Bunyan, author of "Pilgrim's Progress," whose 
genius and piety stood out so brightly during the last half 
of the seventeenth century, and of whom the celebrated 
John Owen said to Charles II. : " I would really part with 
all my learning, could I but preach like the Gypsy tinker ! " 
was for years nothing more or less than a tramp tinker. 
He was a Gypsy by birth, or at least was of Gypsy stock, and, 
like all those people, was deft at handiwork. His trade 
was that of a brazier, or worker in brass, and like other 
tramps of that order, he wandered from hamlet to hamlet, 
wearing ragged clothing, carrying a hairy wallet upon his 
shoulder, working where he could, and tramping when he 
could not get it, sleeping at cheap inns when he could 
afford it, but taking to the hedge, like a duck to water, 
when that was impossible. Many religious bodies that 
admire and revere Bunyan's genius and memory most, affect 
to ignore this part of his history, but in my mind it should 
make them both stand out brighter and 'tenderer. The 
very experience he got as a genuine " pilgrim " and tramp, 
this getting very close to the commonest and littlest things 
of life as a wanderer and among wanderers, wonderfully 
assisted in making him what he was. 

Who has read the almost pathetic story of how Oliver 
Goldsmith talked with his winsome tongue, and played, 
with his travel-scarred old flute, his objectless, aimless way 


over Europe, and knows what strength and resource it all 
subsequently furnished him in his giving to the world some 
of the choicest gems of literature that cannot have sympa- 
thy or sentiment for the tramp ? 

Johnson was everything but an impecunious tramp ; Sir 
"Walter Scott loved nothing better than a tramp in its 
roughest and most vagabondish sense ; Franklin was a 
genuine tramp ; and who has not laughed and cried over 
the wondrous pictures of lowly life that have been left to 
the world for all time through the trampings which were 
done by Charles Dickens ? 

An entertaining book could be written comprising only 
incidents of where tramps have become great men, or great 
men have become tramps ; and if the reader will give the 
matter a moment's thought, this will not seem surprising. 
Men who have the advantage of wealth, of great learning, 
of position, and of friends, quite often are utterly wanting 
in self-reliance and experience. But, take a man who has 
had to use his wits to till his stomach, who has passed from 
one county or one country to another in that painfully slow 
way that the tramp is compelled to ^wlio has had to 
brighten and quicken every faculty in his efforts to evade 
police, to keep clothed, to make roadside friends, to get 
work for all tramps are not shiftless vagabonds and 
often to sustain life, and he has obtained a self-reliance, a 
wonderful knowledge of the world, and a rare observation 
of men and things that gives him a peculiar advantage 
whenever he is in a position to use it. 

It is a common saying that self-made men are the surest 
and most stable ; among this class there are countless per- 
sons who have been made all that they are or have been, by 
this peculiar educational process. 

Again, among what are called the higher classes, there 
have been numberless instances where men, and even 


women, have tired of their elegant surroundings, and with 
a desire to know the world as it is and see life from the 
under side, have suddenly broken away from their friends 
and for years led the life of the strolling tramp. Some- 
times the habit becomes too strong to be shaken off, but 
oftener these persons as suddenly return to their friends, 
and bring with them experience and observation which 
make them famous. 

I do not wish to be understood as encouraging tramping, 
nor the many evils which cannot but arise from the same, 
but to merely show that it has not been valueless to the 
world, and that consequently the outcasts and vagrants of 
this order, which we so commonly look upon with contempt 
mingled with a certain dread, are as a class entitled to 
more consideration than they receive. The matter has its 
pathetic side as well as its useful side and ruffianly side ; 
and to humanitarians and that large class of people who ape 
really ready to assist in bettering the condition of their fel- 
lows, if they can only be shown how and where to work, I 
can imagine nothing more pitiful being presented than the 
following scene that is reported as repeatedly occurring 
along the line of the Boston and Albany Railroad. 

It is night, and in a deep gorge near the railroad, where 
the trains are constantly passing and repassing, a collection 
of some twenty or thirty of these outcasts, who have been 
driven from a neighboring village, are gathered. At the 
bottom of the gorge, where a stream of water leaps down 
from the hills through the stone archway sustaining the 
tracks, are sleeping or dozing, about a lire which has been 
kindled for warmth and to cook what little the wanderers 
may have stolen or begged for their supper, a large number 
of the poor fellows, exhausted from their day's march ; for, 
like " Joe" in Dickens's " Bleak House," it is their destiny 
to be kept " moving on " and on. Tn different places are 


seen old and yonng men who have retired from the com- 
panionship of their fellows, to brood over their misfortunes, 
regret lost opportunities in the past, or possibly resolve 
upon better things for the future. Up above all these, on a 
little eminence among the trees and before another fire 
which has been kindled for their special benefit, is a group 
of four, with toes, knees and elbows out, who take their 
troubles more lightly, and who are passing the hours in an 
animated game of cards. 

They are all ragged, dirty, wretched. They are all out- 
casts, wanderers, vagabonds. They are all utterly homeless, 
and in the wide world have no spot that they may go to and 
claim an interest in, nor is there any hand to be raised, save 
against them. They are tramps, worthless tramps, things 
to be dreaded, shunned, driven and despised ; and yet, 
among the gathering I have just pictured, it was found by 
a curious official of the railroad named that there was not 
one who had not seen better days. In many instances the 
depths to which they had sunk had been the result of their 
own faults, which were frankly admitted ; in many other 
cases, misfortune, and not fault, was at the bottom of the 
degradation ; and I have no sympathy or respect for that 
large class of people who cannot realize the suffering which 
has brought thousands of men and women, for that matter 
to this pitiable condition. 

In European countries a certain class of tramping, for 
hundreds of years previous to the introduction of the rail- 
way system, was not only allowed, but was considered highly 
respectable among the laboring classes. After a mechanic 
of any sort had completed his term of apprenticeship, cus- 
tom made it imperative that he turn journeyman, which is 
only another word for tramp, and pass from one part of the 
country to another, and often into other countries, to im- 
prove and perfect his trade by coining in contact with other 


journeymen, observing how work was done in other shops, 
and generally bettering his skill and practice. This custom 
is still common in ont-of-the-way sections in Europe. 

I have heard old German, Swiss and French people relate 
many interesting incidents arising from these customs. 
The tramp tailor, the tramp cobbler, or the tramp tinker, 
were once, and are now in some localities, great institutions. 
Their annual or semi-annual visit to the little village, or the 
country-side collection of half a dozen peasants' houses, was 
an event exceeding in importance and interest all other 
occurrences of the year. They were the greatest gossipera 
alive. They were all characters. They were full of anec- 
dote and wit, or what passed among the peasantry for wit, 
and could tell a story, sing a song, whistle a melody, or 
drink till the last man fell under the table, as no others 
could do. Wandering from place to place, they had all the 
news, all the scandal, all the merry-making, at their tongue's 
end, and were quite as much in requisition for their good- 
fellowship and what they could communicate, as for what 
they could do with their needles, their awls and hammers, 
or their soldering-irons and grinder's-wheels. In fact, they 
were the newspapers of the day the wandering encyclo- 
pedias that were open to all their customers, which included 
nearly everybody on their circuits, and that brought a 
homely joy and pleasure, as well as a certain grade of 
labor, which could not be dispensed with under any circum- 

Nor were these all. The dressmaker, milliner, and even 
midwife, furnished the other half of the picture and made 
it complete. While these women were not exactly tramps, 
yet their services were rendered in precisely the same man- 
ner, by walking from village to village and house to house ; 
and their place of honor in public esteem was quite of the 
same character as the journeyman tramps just described, 


who were very often their boon companions, and occasion- 
ally their lovers or husbands. 

In my own time I have been brought in close contact 
with these journeymen tramps in England and Scotland, 
and from personal observation I am satisfied that no tramp 
of the present day is more of a foot-sore wanderer than 
some of them were at that time. Go to any part of Great 
Britain and you would find him plodding along the foot- 
paths, or upon the open highway, worn, dust-covered, some- 
times very ragged, but always with his kit of tools slung in 
a bag over his back, and supported by the ever-present staff ; 
while, if the roads were smooth or the weather not too se- 
vere, his hob-nailed shoes would also be slung upon his stick, 
to save them for a still more needy time. Entering the 
village, if a convenient brook could not be found, his first 
trip would be to the town-pump, or to the pump at some 
friendly though cheap and ancient inn, where his toilet 
would be made in the most approved order that combing 
his hair with his fingers and wiping his face with his elbows 
would permit. After this his feet would receive attention ; 
and then, after his inner man had been satisfied with a inug 
of beer and a slice of cheese and bread at a near tap-room, 
he would proceed to the different shops where his kind of 
labor might be in demand, where, if he got work, he would 
remain until it was exhausted, and then take up his staff and 
bundle for another tilt at fortune and another weary tramp 
until work was again secured. When I have known these 
men so well, and been so certain that they were doing the 
best in their power to get along in the world and rise above 
the poverty of their surroundings, their abuse by those whc 
know nothing whatsoever of suffering and privation brings 
a sense of resentment to my mind which I cannot but thus 
publicly express. 




THE tramp has always existed in some form or other, and 
he will continue on his wanderings until the end of time ; 
but there is no question that he has come into public notice, 
particularly in America, to a greater extent during the 
present decade than ever before. While he is commonly 
the outgrowth of conditions of society which will never 
materially vary, the severe and unprecedented hard times 
that have lately been experienced, and which still seem to 
girdle the entire globe, have manufactured tramps with an 
alarming rapidity. Where they previously existed as single 
wandering vagabonds, they now have increased until they 
travel in herds, and, through the dire necessity of their 
pitiable condition, justly create some anxiety and alarm. 

In the olden time, the tramp, or vagabond, was a fellow 
to be less feared than now, whether because he was less 
ferocious naturally, or because he was more of a mendicant 
than the highway pirate of the present time. 

It is stated that the period between 1500 and 1700 was 
the golden age of tramp mendicants. They were then clas- 
sified as Staublers, Losseners, Klenkers, and Dobissors. They 
were born and bred beggars, and with each generation be- 
came more and more expert in all the petty tricks of the men- 
dicant. They were not the devil-may-care fellows of more 
modern times, who often tramped for the mere love of the 
thing, and who, in many instances, had some object beyond 


mere tramping which was worthy, like a study of a people 
or a country by some happy-hearted literary Bohemian. 
They were the veriest beggars ever known, and were per- 
mitted to roam about through the good nature of the au- 
thorities and the sufferance of the people, who treated them 
with great kindness, as they always begged in the name of 
the saints and professed the greatest piety. In vulgar par- 
lance, in these days, that assumed merit in tramp-beggars 
would be regarded as extremely " thin." 

The Staublers were bread-gatherers, who wandered about 
in families, carrying huge sacks and bags. They ostensibly 
pleaded for bread, but wcnild, of course, take anything 
they could get, and many a dishonest picking was hid in 
the capacious pouches which they packed about. It is 
related that many of them amassed great wealth from the 
shrewd disposition made of the proceeds of this begging 
and pilfering. 

The Losseners made the pretense of being released 
prisoners who had served their country loyally, were cap- 
tured at the front in battle, and had suffered untold mis- 
eries for their country's sake. They had most thrilling 
tales to tell in exchange for alms. In all countries, and 
particularly during this period in continental Europe, the 
claims of the ex-soldier who has suffered cannot and could 
not pass unheeded. Even with our nearness to the sacrifices 
of a protracted war, the stories of battle, capture, escape, 
or terrible suffering, always interest the listener whether 
they be true or false, and seldom fail, if recited by a 
skilled beggar, to compel the desired response. As a rule, 
these Losseners had some scar to show, or relic of the 
battle, camp, or prison-cell to produce, which, with their 
marvelous flow of language, descriptive powers grown 
keen and graphic by constant use, and unequaled knowl- 
edge of the incidents of the wars they claimed to have 


participated in, completed an unanswerable argument for 

The Klenkers were cripples or pretended cripples, and, 
as is quite common in our day, were a class who made a 
stock in trade out of their infirmities. These persons were 
most shrewd and cunning in their devices. Being ready 
for an attack upon the charitable, they would range them- 
selves along the sides of church-door approaches, crowd in 
at fairs, and crawl in and about all public places, where 
they would exhibit these infirmities or " made-up " deform- 
ities. They were often found in the country and at little 
villages, and they would drag themselves about with such 
persistency, and often with such rapidity, that their shams 
would be discovered. 

The Dobissors were the rascally tramp-mendicants who 
begged for alms and they always wanted money to 
assist in the repair of some ruined chapel, extend the walla 
of some needy monastery, or build a new church. I wish 
to cast no reflection on the genuine solicitor of funds for 
this purpose, and on those marked charities of the Catholic 
and other churches ; but many of this class of tramp-beg- 
gars were the veriest knaves extant. Through religious 
superstition the people were bled unmercifully by these 
scoundrels, a majority of whom were not accredited at all, 
never saw the inside of a church, and had no wish to. 
They exhibited "sacred relics" which they manufactured 
or pilfered, and insisted on alms in the name of every saint 
in the calendar. ' 

All these classes of tramping mendicants were snch 
adepts in their particular lines that they scarcely ever failed 
to secure contributions ; and their success caused a rapid 
increase of vagabonds from among other classes, who saw 
how much easier it was to secure a livelihood in this manner 
than through honest labor, which caused them to readily 


fall into the same habits of wandering and trickery. So 
great an evil did this finally become, that the severest of 
laws were passed against them, as also the Gypsies who flour- 
ished in continental Europe during the same period, and 
they were eventually driven out, or at least into retirement. 
They then took up their tramp towards Great Britain, and 
both these vagabonds and the Gypsies arrived there about 
the same time. After a period of success in England and 
Scotland, in which their character was of course changed as 
the different character of the people and different customs 
of the country made it necessary, the severest laws were 
enacted for their regulation and extermination. 

It may be truly said that from the effects of this great 
body of vagabonds can be traced the origin of confirmed 
English and Scotch tramps. This class are quite distinct 
from the journeymen tramps before referred to ; but there 
is still a close relationship existing among all classes who 
make tramping a profession, whether they are, or have been 
from youth, accustomed to tramp for work, or whether from 
infancy they have been educated as mendicant tramps. 
The effect of tramping upon any person is to make him 
keenly alive to the fine generalship of living without work, 
and existing when work cannot be secured. He cannot but 
become a sort of guerilla on the outskirts of civilization. 

While all classes of tramps in Europe have always been 
considered harmless, though they have often become pests, 
there has been a good reason for the fact. The countries of 
Europe are more densely settled than ours. Government 
restrictions are greater, police surveillance is keener, the 
constabulary are more vigilant. The tramp there, who, from 
choice or necessity, has determined to become a criminal, 
knows that his risks are very dangerous. It is too little a 
distance between towns. He is too closely watched. The 
people have come to know him as a tramp by his habits and 


manners, and the first attempt to be anything worse than a 
tramp brings disaster. 

With us it is different. The conditions which have always 
existed in our country, and which still exist, have made it ira 
perative on the part of a large portion of our population tc 
tramp it. Men leaving Eastern cities for Western towns, de- 
siring to economize, have pushed their way along afoot, and 
after having been out a half-dozen days on their journey, 
could scarcely be distinguished from a genuine tramp; far- 
mers of wealth, with a view to changing their residence, have 
walked hundreds of miles to see the country and make per- 
sonal inquiries and investigations ; peddlers with packs, can- 
vassers for books, newspapers, periodicals, and insurance, 
often take it afoot through those sections of country not 
reached by rail ; and for a hundred other good reasons, a 
hundred other classes of men, and even women, have been, 
and still are, compelled to pass from one section of the coun- 
try to another, or between towns and villages ; and this nec- 
essarily rough out-door life often produces the tramp man- 
ners and appearance, so that it would be almost impossible 
to select the tramp from among those upon the road. 

This is all favorable to the tramp ; and with all these 
possibilities on his side, if he is evil-disposed and like the 
notorious tramp-desperado, Kande. he has every advantage. 

These conditions, which every observant person cannot 
but have noticed, have caused tramps to become more dar- 
ing than in European countries, and thus they have been 
led into excesses which have brought dishonor upon the 
entire fraternity, which, as a class, if not eminently respect- 
able, is, as a rule, good-natured and harmless. 

While it is undoubtedly true, as Elihu Burritt claims, 
that the " tramp nuisance," as the public have come to term 
it, is of no recent origin with us, and is a direct importation 
from Europe, I cannot agree with him when he states that 


our hard times have had no appreciable effect in increasing 
tramps ; for 1 am certain, from personal observation and 
inquiry, that they have had nearly all to do in causing the 
country to be so filled with tramps as it is at the present 
time. The brotherhood of the road in some form has 
always existed, and years ago had appeared in America. 
But the great mass of our people were ignorant of the 
tramp or the tramp's character. The hard times which we 
have experienced have been universal. They have not 
only so depressed our own industries that thousands of 
mechanics, clerks, and laboring men have been thrown out 
of employment here, but the same has been true of all 
European countries. America is the objective point for all 
classes who have been driven to the wall by poverty iu 
every other part of the world, and thousands upon thou- 
sands have come to us without means of subsistence and 
without any possibility of securing a livelihood. What 
other recourse have these people had save to turn tramp, 
and beg and pilfer to sustain life ? It is a pitiable condi- 
tion of things, but there is no doubt that the majority of 
those now upon the road are there from necessity, and not 
from choice. If thousands are here from abroad who have 
been compelled to turn tramp, how many of our own people 
have been forced into the same kind of life as the only way 
left to live outside of the poor-house ? 

Our late war created thousands of tramps. This fact 
seems to be generally overlooked. Hundreds upon hun- 
dreds became demoralized by the lazy habits of camp-life, 
and were suddenly turned loose upon society without any 
regular employment, or desire for any. After what money 
they had been paid when mustered out was expended, they 
begged and borrowed from, their friends until this source 
of supply was exhausted, when they became wandering 
vagabonds, with no better ideas of life than those created 


and fostered by army life, which were to play the social 
guerilla and forage wherever they could do so. 

The nucleus, of course, was formed by the professional 
tramps from Europe ; but, ever since the war, circumstances 
and conditions have been continually arising to transform 
respectable people into tramps. To bring this more forci- 
bly to the mind of the reader, I would suggest that this 
book be closed for a moment, and that the reader then tax 
his own recollection for instances where men or women 
within his acquaintance, at one time enjoying a good posi- 
tion or good social standing, have, by some fault of their 
own, perhaps, but still oftener through ill-fortune, been 
bereft of their means of support, and, as a consequent, 
their friends, and in due time became wanderers and 
vagrants of the road. They may have lingered in the city 
for a time, but by and by every old friend's face is averted, 
every acquaintance's back is turned, and with a bitter heart 
and a discouraging, hopeless prospect beyond, they plunge 
into the country because they are compelled to, and, in nine 
cases out of every ten, are from that moment tramps. I 
venture to say that nearly every one who will thus reflect 
upon the subject can recall several instances of this kind, 
and on further reflection it will be remembered that they 
have chiefly occurred since the war. 

It is also quite as true that the growth of tramps has 
been by no means confined to men and women of the 
working classes, although they have suffered greatest. I 
am personally cognizant of scores of cases where men oc- 
cupying the highest of positions have in some way fallen, 
and in time joined this brotherhood of strollers. A few of 
these are worthy to be noticed as illustrative of their par- 
allels in hundreds of other instances that have not falleD 
under my observation. 

One of these \vas of a gentleman who began life at the 


very bottom rounds of the ladder, and who, from a boy, 
struggled against all obstacles until he had attained a fine 
reputation as a railroad man of splendid ability and dis- 
cernment. Rising from one position of trust to another, 
he finally became the general manager of one of the most 
important railways leading to the West, and for years held 
this position, an acknowledged peer of our best railway 
managers. After a time he began indulging in too free a 
use of liquor, and, when it was seen that the habit was 
growing upon him, he was reduced to a position of less 
responsibility, but was still considered the most valuable 
man upon the road. This had the effect of causing him to 
drink harder, until he eventually became so confirmed in the 
habit that he was reduced to a position of still lower grade. 
This went on for some time longer, until finally the com- 
pany were obliged to dispense with his services altogether. 
That man to-day is a confirmed tramp. He is not merely 
a drunkard ; he is a wanderer over the face of the earth, 
and as brilliant as a professional tramp as he was able and 
talented as a railway manager. 

Another instance is of one of the most eminent criminal 
lawyers in the country. Possibly he was not known like 
O'Conor or Ingersoll, but he gave promise of as much acu- 
men as the former and as brilliant oratorical powers as the 
latter. He was of a fine family, and members of it are still 
noted as financiers and professional men. His own career in 
the practice of the law was one series of splendid successes. 
But, in spite of position, friends, prestige in fact, all that 
could make a man wish to live and triumph in his pro- 
fession he suddenly, and without apparent cause, broke 
a\vay from everything bright that surrounded him, and be- 
came one of the lowest vagrants on earth. There is no 
tramp experience which he has not compassed, no trickery 
or cunning of the vagabond order which he has not taken 


advantage of, and no vicissitudes of the outcast's life which 
he has not suffered. For years he lived a genuine tramp's 
life, and as he had been a talented lawyer, so he became a 
talented tramp. 

Still another instance is found in the case of a former 
business manager of a well-known Chicago daily newspaper, 
which is still in existence, though under another name. 
This man had as much ability, and, for that matter, as much 
influence, as the managers of ordinary metropolitan dailies. 
He was a person of good education, unexceptional connec- 
tions, fine culture, and had, like all men in snch positions, 
" hosts of friends." Some change in the proprietorship 
occurred which deprived him of his position. The next 
thing that was heard of him he was among that vast army 
of newspaper cormorants that was fastened upon the 
Northern Pacific Railroad just before its bankruptcy. 
Prom this his fortunes steadily waned, until in '74 he had 
exhausted the good nature of his friends, had completed 
that long series of brilliant expedients which come so han- 
dily to the newspaper Bohemian, and had turned tramp. 

The last time I saw him he was shuffling along a country 
road, almost shoeless, ragged, dirty, and forlorn, wrapping 
himself in his skinny arms as if to thus derive some additional 
warmth the picture of animated degradation, and yet with 
a trace of cheeriness and contentment about him, as though 
lie derived some sense of satisfaction from the reflection 
that he could get no lower. 

These, as I have said, are only hap-hazard instances 
among great numbers within my personal knowledge, 
where men of position, splendid mind and large influence, 
have, through numberless causes, turned vagabonds. Cler- 
gymen, physicians, scientists, literary men men in all 
grades of profession, art, or trade, have gone the same way. 
Some have turned tramp from the very fascination of vaga- 


bondism ; others, because they have been led into it uncon- 
sciously on their own part ; others have been forced into it 
from the bitterest necessity ; others, to escape some fancied 
humiliation ; and still others have taken up the cudgel and 
bundle to see the world and study the lower strata of hu- 
manity. Not all who become tramps remain so. Nor do 
all those tramps who rise above that mode of existence re- 
main in the higher walks of life. The element seems to 
dart back and forth through countries, communities, and 
society, like some swift shuttle, in and out, through and 
through. A man may be eminent to-day, and to-morrow a 
tramp. If you meet a tramp in a certain part of the coun- 
try, a month from that time it is possible that you may dis- 
cover him occupying some position of trust, surrounded by 
friends who look upon his vagaries of the tramp, order as 
mere oddities not at all to his discredit. 

I have found it to be a striking peculiarity among this 
strange class that a majority of their number, who have 
become confirmed in their vagabond habits, and who occa- 
sionally reappear for a short time within society, are men 
of extraordinarily fine minds. I mean by this, that they 
are persons of great natural gifts, close observers of people 
and things, keen to secure and retain valuable information, 
quick to discern motives for human action, splendid conver- 
sationalists, and, as a rule, also persons of superior educa- 
tion. It is something to be regretted that such capabilities 
could not be put to better use, but it is often a mark of 
talent to be useless, and these devil-may-care fellows derive 
a certain enjoyment from their very vagabondism. 

It is also a noteworthy fact that, while the great body of 
tramps always holds its own and never suffers diminution 
to any extent, that the members of the fraternity are nevei 
for any given period the same persons. They come and 
go, appear and disappear; but, once a tramp, they are 


always the tramp in feelings and sympathy. There is always 
this nucleus of a brotherhood, and, as it takes but little 
time to secure standing among them, your presence is ever 
welcomed and your absence never regretted ; for, should 
you desert your tramp-fellows, there is always an amateur 
ready to take your place, who will shortly become quite as 
proficient as yourself. 



WHILE there are numberless distinct classes of tramps in 
our country, all deserving of notice, I have not the space 
to treat of them separately ; and, before passing from the 
subject, will only briefly refer to one class which in my opin- 
ion stands pre-eminent as representative of tramps. These 
are the tramp-printers. Never was there another such a 
shrewd, good-natured, harmless, and yet reckless class of 
strollers on earth. It is also a fact with printers as a body 
of workmen, that there is scarcely a man among their tens 
of thousands that has not at some time " tramped it." In 
fact, a printer is ordinarily considered " no good " when he 
cannot definitely refer to this mark of graduation and pro- 
ficiency, and there is not a newspaper or job office in the 
world that has not its tramp- printer, and that does not count 
upon periodical visitations from that irrepressible individual. 
There have been bright exceptions where printers have se- 
cured a competency, as they are all able to, and social stand- 
ing, as any man can do ; but, as a rule, they are inclined to a 
frequent use of the "flowing bowl," almost invariably are 


.gamblers, or rather are a source of great profit to profession 
al gamblers, and are, one and all, from a subtle and unex- 
plainable spirit of adventure of which the craft seem pos- 
sessed, full of a chronic restlessness that permits of no 
stability or reliability. Watch any printing-office in Ameri- 
ca for a month. It may retain the same foreman for that 
length of time, but what a change has there been at the 
" cases " ! Every day or two a new face appears, and one 
that has become familiar disappears. They have gone to 
" carry the banner." * No one has ever seen this myste- 
rious emblem of the craft, but every printer has patriotically 
borne it with a heroism worthy of a better cause. 

Printers are not all tramps, but, as stated, there is scarcely 
a printer who has not at some time been upon the road. 
The fraternity are quite proud of their accomplishments in 
this direction. Half the chatting among the employees of 
an office is upon the adventures of certain of their number, 
or of some particularly chronic old walker who has made a 
national reputation for himself on account of some note- 
worthy achievement in the tramp line, or who has some in- 
teresting personal characteristics. There are often among 
these confirmed tramp-printers, men of most brilliant minds 
and winning manners ; but they long ago gave up the idea 
of it being necessary for them to labor, and they would 
scorn to do a square day's work at the " case ;" but they are 
always tolerated, for tramping is a recognized pleasure and 
necessity among printers. 

The course taken by the regular tramp when he " strikes 
a town," as it is called, is to immediately hunt up the 
printing-offices and he usually has learned how the land 
lays from some compatriot upon the road who has too 

* " Carrying the banner " is a slang phrase among printers, denoting 
that the ensign bearer is living without work, upon his wits, which are 
usually equal to every emergency. 


recently " worked " the same offices to return. Climbing 
to the aromatic quarters usually occupied as the composing- 
room, he sneaks about the door until he lias " piped off " 
the foreman, and has mentally taken his measure, when he 
boldly approaches that petty tyrant with some assurance 
and the question : 

" How's business, boss ? " 

The foreman may want a man, and may give the tramp 
work at once. As a rule, however, there is not ranch to be 
done, and the tramp has no deep desire for it, if there is. 
It is immediate financial aid that he wants ; and his whole 
talent is to be used with that end in view. He will prob- 
ably get a blnff reply from the foreman. 

" Well," says the tramp, " the office is good for a night, 
isn't it 3 " 

This means : "If I can't get work, I can get lodging and 
a little lift on the road, can't I? " and, after he has sacredly 
promised to " throw in " three or four " thousand " (distri- 
bute three or four thousand " ems" of type) in the morning, 
he considers himself quite at home. 

He will then immediately edge around among the boys 
and "nick the office." "Nicking" the office consists in 
begging among the printers for nickels, or any other loose 
change they may have to bestow ; and the tramp under 
these circumstances will not despise even coppers. He may 
not get a quarter all together. Often he gets several 
dollars. But the good fortune of getting anything always 
depends upon whether the foreman is good-natured or not. 
At night the strolling guest usually rests his classic form on 
the composing-room floor, sometimes upon the " irnposing- 
Btone," if it is large enough, for the rats cannot reach this 
safe elevation, oftener upon the " stock " the piles of print- 
ing-paper and, if the foreman is soft-hearted enough, the 
knight of the road may be favored with a luxurious couch 


upon the floor of the editor's sanctum, or, if he has a sofa, 
upon that convenient piece of f nrniture. 

He is always true to his word of the night previous, and 
in the morning fulfills his promise as to the distribution of 
type. Sometimes he gets steady work for a week or two ; 
but if he remained until he made five hundred dollars, he 
would invariably " carry the banner " out of town, having 
" played in " his money at the faro-bank, or lived a gay life, 
as printers know so well how to do ; and he takes up the old 
tramping perfectly satisfied with his record, and philosophi- 
cally looks ahead with the brightest of hope to future con- 

Upon the road again he is the genuine tramp, and that is 
all. He only differs from other classes of the same genus 
homo in greater versatility, and possibly readier wits. He 
never fails, however needy he may become, to keep posted 
on the current events of the day ; and therefore, when 
commingling with other tramps, holds something of the 
position of an oracle. The box-car, the hay-rick, the 
hedge, the arches of the road or railway bridge, the hen- 
roosts, are all familiar to him just as they are to all other 

Probably one of the greatest night rendezvous for tramp- 
printers in this country is at the Battery, in New York city } 
in the summer. These careless fellows will hang about the 
printing-offices, hide about for printers in luck to borrow a 
" half-case " (a half-dollar) from them, and sun themselves 
in City Hall Square upon the benches until night. Then 
the police will drive them out, and, in company with the 
" pan-jerkers" all that large class of loaf ere who subsist 
by rendering some slight service about restaurants they 
begin " moving on." By eight o'clock, down every approach 
to the lower part of the island, will be seen these squads of 
tramps straggling along to the Battery ; and by midnight 


hundreds will be asleep upon the benches, leaning against 
lamp-posts, stretched upon the ground, and even lying upon 
the wharf with their ragged legs hanging over. The police 
permit this, because they must go somewhere. There is 
nobody to be molested at the Battery at night. Nothing 
can be stolen, for there is nothing to steal. And so 
through the warm summer nights these outcasts have a 
place that is secure from intrusion, and remain in undis- 
turbed possession until daylight, when the awakening life 
of the great city is the signal for the police to rouse them, 
and roughly move them on again, when they straggle away 
north, past Trinity, to repeat their previous day's strange 

Many statements are made as to the Freemasonry of 
tramping. I have been told by old knights of the road that 
these signs and pass- words were in use, but almost wholly 
among those who have been born and bred tramps, and 
whose fathers and mothers have followed begging and tramp- 
ing as a profession in the old country. Among this class every 
possible art and device is resorted to. Charts of the 
country, showing the best routes for travel, and of cities, 
designating the most benevolent neighborhoods, are common. 
This same class have a regular system of operation. In the 
cities they beg during the winter, and when summer comes, 
one of a party will start out in advance and " work a route " 
as a peddler or tinker. In this way, as he stops at nearly 
every house on a designated route, he will have learned the 
character of the inmates, whether they are benevolent or 
rude, and he seldom takes his departure without leaving 
some pre-arranged sign to indicate to him who follows 
after, just where, and where not, to make application. 
These scamps become such keen and correct judges of 
people and surroundings that they scarcely ever commit an 
error ; and if one could read the hieroglyphics upon door- 


steps, gate, fence, or tree, which is usually laid to the chalk 
or jacknife of the bad boy of. the neighborhood, they could 
ascertain just what opinion was had of them by the tramps 
who have passed that way. But deciphering these symbols 
is simply impossible, for each party establishes its own 
signs, which are changed as often as it may be necessary ; 
for, if this were not so, some still more characterless fellow 
might follow the advance courier and take the benefit of 
his labor. 

But these things are only true of the professional tramp, 
who has nothing to recommend him to public interest save 
his shrewdness and persistency. lie has no romance about 
him, and follows this sort of life simply because he has been 
bred to it. It is only the tramp who has been something 
better, can be something better, or that, being what he is, 
has humor and bravery about him, that I consider really 
worthy of the name. 

Throughout Pennsylvania, as well as many other Eastern 
states, there are whole communities of outcasts who, for a 
better name, are called tramps. 

During the great strikes of '77 one of my operatives, in the 
pursuance of his duty at VVilkesbarre, Pa., suddenly came 
upon a bivouac of tramps near a coal-shaft, which had been 
deserted by the miners who had struck and were participa- 
ting in the general excitement at Wilkesbarre. 

This grotesque company numbered thirty or forty per- 
sons, and had evidently been gathered at this particular 
point in anticipation of possible opportunities for raids in 
every direction while the locality was deserted. They were 
cooking their supper at the edge of the timber, among the 
rocky bluffs and beneath overarching, protecting trees. 
The moon, rising above the lonesome-old breaker, fell across 
the camp, giving its inmates a weird, witch-like appearance 
as they moved about in the lights and shadows. They 


seemed to be a tired, dreary, wretched lot, and had the 
marks of travel and weaiy wandering upon them. Most 
of them had fallen upon the ground for rest, and in all 
sorts of sluggish positions were dozing in a stupid, sodden 
way that told of brutish instincts and experiences. In the 
centre of the encampment a huge kettle was placed over a 
bright fire, and from the longing looks of those around it, 
it evidently contained some stirabout that would prove 
palatable on being served. Some were dressing chickens 
lately foraged from convenient hen-roosts ; some were 
husking green corn for roasting in the coals ; others 
were munching potatoes that had been baked in the ashes ; 
others were making rude toilets with almost toothless 
combs, and old rags for towels ; while some, the most for- 
tunate of all from the tramp standpoint, were indulging in 
copious draughts of liquor to drown their sorrows, raise 
their spirits, and whet their appetites. There were old men, 
abandoned women, the wretchedest of wretched hags, young 
persons in the heyday of health and strength, and little 
children, prematurely old and shrewish ; .but all seemed as 
contented and satisfied with their fortunes as though it was 
all they deserved and better than they expected. 

The next morning the encampment broke up, and Gypsy- 
like, its members went different ways, possibly to again meet 
at some pre-arranged retreat the same night, and possibly 
to never again form another like vagabond assemblage. 

In a strip of wood on the Darby road, near Philadelphia, 
and in a most picturesque spot, is a regular settlement of 
tramps, who live in the same place winter and summer. 
Sometimes a portion of them are away upon the road, but 
it always seems that others come from a mysterious some 
where to take their places ; so that, though the members 
are ever changing, the number is nearly the same throughout 
all the year. During the day they lounge around fires 


made of dry limbs gathered from the forest, and built 
between convenient crevices in the rocks. Sometimes they 
are singing, sometimes cooking, washing, or mending, and 
very often drinking. When they get out of provisions, 
they either take to the roads and beg or steal a supply from 
the farmers, or stroll into the meadows and gather mint 
and other herbs, or flowers, which they take into the city 
and sell for whatever they can get, the proceeds of which 
they usually invest in nine parts whiskey and one part food, 
and then, returning to camp, inaugurate a regular debauch, 
when they make the woods ring and ring again with songs 
and laughter. They have a cabin built of limbs of trees 
and bark for the more aristocratic of their number, but the 
majority sleep upon the ground, with any arrangement for 
protection which their ambition may suggest. One would 
naturally think that in time they would exhaust their re- 
sources and become starved out. But this is not the case. 
They fare well, and are apparently the happiest and jolliest 
dogs under the sun. They have women among them, many 
that yet bear the traces of beauty, and the men seem to 
show them a rude yet certain kind of respect, though of 
course these women are always ready for debauch and 
revelry. At nights, quite like the Gypsies, they lie about 
the fires, play cards, or sing and dance, and seem to enjoy 
themselves to the utmost. They have a sort of a leader, 
and also a woman who holds the relation of a semi-barbaric 
queen. All that is requisite for admission to this Druidical 
tribe is the certain evidences which a tramp or outcast 
wears ; the lower you are, the more sure of a welcome you 
are. While you remain, you may have as good as they have, 
providing you show yourself willing to assist to the extent 
of your ability. You may possibly pay your way with 
well-sung songs or well-told tales ; but otherwise, you must 
do enough pilfering or begging to contribute your share to 


the common fund, or you must take to the road again of 
your own accord to avoid a broken head and summary 

It is also a fact, which is probably unknown to a hundred 
people within that city, that within the limits of Philadel- 
phia, on the banks of the Schuylkill river, near Grey'a 
Ferry, and immediately back of and below the almshouse, 
is a long reach of swampy land known as " The Reeds," 
which, during the summer, is completely filled with tramps. 
The spot has hundreds of clump willows which afford shade 
and protection for these outcasts, who flock here from the 
city, as also from the country, in large numbers. The 
almshouse is conveniently near, and these lazy crowds, from 
some unexplainable reason, are kept pretty well supplied 
from that institution. This rendezvous is a regular hotel 
for both male and female tramps if a spot where men and 
women of this class may be entirely free from police moles- 
tations, and are able to loll about day and night to their 
hearts' content, may be called a hotel. This spot, however, 
is a perfect heaven for tramps. The river is at hand for a 
bath after night ; the almshouse is close by, and from it 
abundant supplies can be begged ; they are within the city, 
where all sorts of tramp tricks may be played with an 
immediate opportunity to escape consequences. Every ad- 
vantage and facility is here offered, and they are all taken 
advantage of. If one could happen in upon this spot at 
mid-day and could remain unobserved, he could get a view 
of these outcasts at their best as tramps. Sequestered in 
the dark, cool recesses, beneath these heavy clump willows, 
would be gathered between fifty and a hundred tramps of 
all ages, conditions, and sex, and all lying about promis- 
cuously, alone or in little knots, near smoldering fires. 
Here may be an old man,.all alone and glad of it ; there, a 
a young fellow with his head upon his bundle, lazily smok- 


ing and contemplating the clouds through the trembling 
leaves of the trees above. At another spot are gathered 
three or four men and women, joking and chatting, and 
possibly making love in their rude fashion. Another party 
may be playing cards ; another, earnestly discussing some 
project for future execution ; while others are relating with 
evident relish some adventure upon the road or within the 
city, where a simpleton had been outwitted, or an officer 
evaded and outgeneraled. But the stick and bundle are 
everywhere. The lazy, contented vagabond leer and look 
are everywhere. It matters little how the elections go, 
whether the banks break, or whether revolutions occur. 
They are all contented, at least for the time being, and are 
well satisfied with life from what it has brought for the day. 

They are a study, for one cannot help wondering what 
misery has been experienced before this stolid and philo- 
sophic acceptance of a vagabond condition was reached. 
The mind of the ordinary looker-on naturally inquires if it 
is possible for these outcasts to really enjoy their degrading 
experiences; and it will puzzle you to decide whether in 
all the world there is any place for them to go to if they 
would, or if among them all there are not some who would 
be gladly received among the old friends, were this kind of 
life abandoned. 

Many pathetic and tragic incidents are daily occurring to 
add interest to this subject. One has not to go far beyond 
the daily newspapers to find this true. 

A tramp once hung himself at Columbus, Ohio, by twist- 
ing a spool of cotton into a rope and suspending himself 
from a nail in the wall. 

Another writes to the Philadelphia Times that he may 
manage to beg his way perhaps two weeks more, but that 
he has become desperate and will make his mark upon some- 
thino- before he " caves." 


Peter B. Lee, the noted tramp-printer, met his death by 
attempting to board a train and steal a ride. He had been 
a man of a good deal of independence of character, and 
had never before made an effort of this kind. Nearly his 
last words were : " Served me right for goin' back on prin- 

During the passage of the celebrated fast train sent from 
New York to San Francisco, by Jarrett & Palmer, in '77, 
a tramp, desiring to reach San Francisco, boarded the train 
at Cheyenne, climbed to the top of the coach, and enjoyed 
hugely his elegant and rapid manner of making the jour- 
ney until Sherman was reached. At that point the engi- 
neer got a glimpse of him and he at onco began throwing a 
heavy shower of cinders and increasing the speed* of the 
train to the utmost power of the engine. The rapidity of 
the train and the rolling and lurching of the coach caused 
the tramp to wind his arms and legs around a stove-pipe 
and hang on for dear life. His hat flew off quickly, and 
left his head and face almost wholly unprotected. His 
coat-tails flapped so hard that he saw he must lose them, 
but he dared not loosen his grip upon the pipe to tuck them 
under him, and they were shortly torn off like leaves 
whipped from a limb by a terrific storm. The lighter cin- 
ders passed over him, but the heavier ones pelted him like 
the fiercest hail, burned into his clothes, cut his arms, legs, 
and face, and beat upon the poor fellow's head remorse- 
lessly. So great was his actual physical suffering, and so 
terrible his fear lest he be hurled from the train and killed, 
that when the train reached Green River, and he was let 
down more dead than alive, his hair had turned gray, and 
he looked more like an old man of sixty than a lad of 
nineteen as he was. 

Instances illustrating the risks run, the dangers encoun- 
tered, the sacrifices made, the suffering, privation, and 


terror that frequently come with the tramp's experience, as 
well as an occasional exhibition of the better human traits 
which are developed, could be repeated indefinitely. 

In leaving this subject, I can only express a most earnest 
conviction, founded on personal observation and study of 
this peculiar class of people, that no severe measures will 
ever eradicate the evils to society which arise from tramps 
and tramping. Like the poor, we shall always have them 
with us. If you throw a man in prison as a vagabond, you 
leave the prison taint upon him, and forever after he is 
embittered and at war with his fellows. It may be de- 
sirable indeed, it may be found necessary, to provide some 
measures for weeding out the more dangerous of tramps. 
But as'a class they are not criminals, and we have no right 
to take such measures against them as will make them such. 
They have always existed ; will always exist. Theii 
rapid increase, which is so alarming to certain kid-gloved 
social scientists, is the direct result of unprecedented hard 
times and conditions which a great and protracted war has 
left as a legacy. When these pass away, and brighter days 
return to our industries, people will see tramps disappear 
from the highways and byways not altogether, for this 
will never be, but the thousands among them who have 
trades and professions will gradually but surely return to 

But during this period, when the hard hand of neces- 
sity bears down so heavily alike upon business man and 
workingrnan, and when we, who may be situated in com- 
fort, are so apt to forget the keen needs of thousands of our 
fellows who have fought the fight against persistent and 
relentless misfortune, and fallen, there should be a more 
general leniency towards a class who are made up of people 
often as good as we ; and some charity should be exercised, 
rather than a relentless war inaugurated, the result of 


which will only be to reclaim no one of them, and rapidly 
increase crime and criminals. 




THE majority of newspaper readers are acquainted with 
communism as exemplified in the tragic story of the sixty- 
seven days of its sanguinary reign in Paris, France, in 
1871. A portion of this era of horrors seems to demand 
brief description here. The famous Red Days commenced 
the 18th of March, and closed on the 24th of May. Mean- 
time, Paris was a miniature Pandemonium, and all of 
France a segment of Purgatory. Frenchmen suffered 
mental and physical torture. 

The humiliation and despair which followed the success 
of the German arms left the people of Paris, and notably 
the worthless National Guard, in a condition of complete 
demoralization. The long restraint caused by a protracted 
state of siege was broken over, and a period of drunken- 
ness and debauch followed. In this condition of things 
the city fell an easy prey to a horde of bad men, the worst 
of its vile elements, and human beings so devoid of all 
conscience, pity, or consideration, that it is hard to look 
upon them as possessing the least of human attributes. But 
this is the class, the world over, who are at the bottom of 
all troubles of a communistic nature. They were the real 
cause of the great strikes of '77, and their prompt and 
utter extermination, in this and all other countries, is the 
only method of removing a constant menace and peril to 
government and society. 


On the 18th of March, in pursuance of a diabolica/ 
scheme for the inauguration of a reign of terror, the police 
superintendent's offices, and the depot, or prison, were 
seized, and one of the most infamous men in the history of 
the world secured the reins of government, and became 
dictator of Paris. 

This human fiend, Raoul Rigault, with his co-conspira- 
tors, had won the treacherous National Guard, had bribed 
officials with promises, and had conquered all other neces- 
sary forces by threats. An attempt to capture the insur- 
gents proved futile, and the government forces were com- 
pelled to retire to Versailles, leaving Paris at the mercy of 
Rigault, the National Guard, the Commune, and the mob. 

Rigault is spoken of as follows : 

He was then aged twenty-five years, was connected very 
prominently in journalistic circles, always dressed with the 
most scrupulous taste, was of genteel appearance, fine 
stature, able, energetic, and single. " He was consumed by 
a most deadly hatred of society and a most intense thirst 
for blood. His associates bowed acquiescence before his 
most desperate will. No one opposed it, for his gesture 
was the signal of death. He held in his hand the life of 
every man in Paris, and wrought his terrible vengeance on 
every soul for whom he fancied he had a dislike. He 
organized murder, and instigated robbery and incendia- 

The following instances of his fiendish cruelty are given : 

He dragged M. Chandrey, a distinguished lawyer, and 
connected with one of the most influential Republican jour* 
nals of France, to a cell, to cause his murder simply to 
satisfy his hunger for murder. Ohandrey's beautiful wife 
came to Rigault with her little child, and pleaded for her 
husband's life in anguish. 

Taking the little child's hand and patting it on the head, 


Rigault replied : " My child, you shall very soon see us 
shoot your father ! " 

That very night Chandrey was dragged into the prison- 
yard and fell, shouting " Vive la Republique ! " shot 
through the heart. 

He had previously incarcerated Chief-Justice Bonjean. 
Turning from this butchery of Chandrey, he proceeded to 
that fallen official's cell, and taunted him with his coming 
doom in seeming demoniac glee. On the very next day, 
he ordered the Chief-Justice brought to the prison-yard of 
La Rouge and executed. No reason for these inhuman 
murders can be found, nor were ever given. The man's 
mere love of fiendish cruelty seemed to prompt every act, 
and was transmitted to his reckless followers. 

When the police headquarters were seized by Rigault, 
one M. Core was the director of the prison. 

" You are removed ! " said Rigault. 

" Not without an order from the Minister of the Inte- 
rior ! " answered Core. 

" We shall simplify these matters ! " returned Rigault, 
scratching a line on a piece of paper. 

In a few moments M. Core was put in charge of a com- 
munist one Garreau, a journeyman locksmith, acquainted 
with the prison from personal experience as an inmate upon 
various charges and soon found himself inside one of his 
own cells. The federals were removed, but the clerks and 
keepers retained. From his casemate Core could exercise 
a certain influence. 

In April, came Eugene Fanet, a lame barber, to act as 
commandant. He was a timid and harmless man, and lefc 
his subordinates almost to themselves. In his reign the 
prison was a sort of harem for the pashas of the Prefecture, 
and they nightly sent for as many of the women of the 
town there caged, as they required. During the sixty-six 


days of the sway of the Commune, 3,632 male prisoners 
were sent to the depot for confinement. 

No 3,440, one Jean Veyssett, aged fifty-nine, a farmer, 
charged as a spy, and ordered to be kept for disposition by 
Ferre, brought in May 21st, was a very important prisoner, 
for lie was truly an agent of the government at Versailles, 
and had in charge a plan for the defeat of the Commune. 
On the llth of May, a number of Flourens Avengers had 
searched Veyssett' s room in the city, for he was suspected, 
and not finding the man, arrested his wife, who bribed 
Courvet with 3,000 francs to remove her to St. Lazare, 
where, lost and hidden among the wives of the incarcerated 
sergents-de-ville, she could feel more safe than in Ferre's 

After failing to succeed in a peaceful surrender, Thiers 
authorized Veyssett to buy up a guard to admit the govern- 
ment troops within the fortifications. He therefore bribed 
an artilleryman at Montmartre, paying ten thousand francs 
when he and his men had spiked two guns in his presence. 
The next day, faithful to their contract, the artillery killed 
sixty federals at Levallois-Perret, an " accident " mentioned 
in the official journal as showing that " the aim of the pieces 
was not yet quite exact." Veyssett then arranged to buy up 
General Dornbrouski, who was to receive one million five 
hundred thousand francs, and safe conduct from France, for 
the surrender to the Versailles troops of the fortifications 
from the Point-du-Jour to a certain gate. The money was 
to be paid in bills on the Bank of France, or by draft on the 
Rothschilds at Frankfort. The 20th of May was the day 
fixed upon. The guns were to be silenced and a retreat 
ordered, so that the Versailles soldiery could effter, the 
drawbridge to be left down, ostensibly for the passage of the 
General " to make an inspection," and Veyssett bore the ear- 
nest of twenty thousand francs on his person when arrested. 


This spy had several different lodgings, and for a long 
time successfully evaded Rigault's agents ; but a woman 
named Mailer, and' one of his own spies, betrayed him fora 
paltry amount. Just as Veyssett was taken to the prison 
the gates were opened to the government troops. Dam- 
brouski himself, thinking that he was betrayed, tried, in 
desperation, to retreat, but was shot in the stomach 
by a woman, near barricade Boulevard Omano, May 22d. 
(Another account has it that he was killed by Sergeant 
Casanova, of the 45th of the line, who, with, an infantry 
force, had established himself in a house commanding the 
barricade, at the corner of the boulevard and Rue Myrrha.) 

Jean Viellot, aged twenty-eight, captured with arms in 
his haiids. was the first victim taken from the prison. lie 
had five francs in his possession. When given up to the 
platoon he demanded the return of his money. " You'll 
get your five francs in five minutes," replied the Flourens 
Avenger; "come along!" He was immediately dragged 
out and shot. On the register the record was written in 
accordance with the fact. 

It was the 24th of May that the cannonading recom- 
menced. At that moment of triumph Thiers' faithful 
agent, the spy Veyssett, had sealed his devotion with his 

At eight o'clock the same morning Theophile Ferre, an- 
other monster of the Commune, at the head of a body of 
demons called the " Flourens Avengers," appeared at the 
police headquarters, and in one terse order gave assurance 
of other bloody acts which were to follow. 

"All the sergents de mile, all the gendarmes, and all 
the priests must be shot off-hand ! " 

" I count upon you," he continued, carelessly. 

Two of the Federals protested. They were willing to 
fight, but said they were not butchers. He called them 


cowards, and their comrades jeered them oat of their scru- 
ples. At the clerk's office Ferre ran his fingers down the 
pages of the register until he came to Yeyssett's name. 
" Bring out that man," he said, and his order was obeyed 
almost instantly. When Yeyssett saw Ferre and the tiring- 
party he knew that his hour had corne; but, affecting to 
ignore it, he said : " 1 had twenty thousand francs with me 
when I was arrested ; where are they ? " " It is none of 
your business," answered Ferre. " Besides, we shall settle 
all our affairs with you at once." The guard surrounded 
Veyssett. The clerk asked, half in remonstrance, " Yon 
are not going to shoot that man ? " " Yes, and you too, if 
you say too much ! " returned Ferre. They marched away, 
and halted near the statue of Henry the Fourth. "You 
are to be shot have you anything to say ? " exclaimed 
Ferre. Yeyssett shrugged his shoulders, and as they pushed 
him back against the railing, answered, "I forgive you for 
killing me ! " " Fire ! " said Ferre, and in a moment a 
volley rang out. Four men lifted up the corpse if, in- 
deed, it was yet a corpse, which is doubtful and threw it 
into the Seine. Said Ferre to the spectators, " You see, we 
don't do things in holes and corners ! " 

When Ferre went back to the prison a couple of hours 
later, he seated himself in the Director's office, and called 
for the register. Ferre was new in the place. Pierre Bra- 
quond, the Deputy, determined to save the prisoners' lives 
at all hazards. He was an old soldier. He knew that a 
short time would see the city in the hands of the regulars 
a few hours at most for the Federals were giving way and 
the government forces pressing forward. The noise of the 
street-fighting was gradually becoming louder and loud- 
er. On a sheet of paper, ready prepared, Ferre wrote 
slowly a name : " Joseph Rnault, probably Bonapartist 
agent." As he did so, Braquoud slipped away to Ruault's 


cell, dragged the man out, and whispered to him: "In 
here ! No matter who calls, don't, for your life, answer to 
your name ! " He thrust him into one of the common 
wards, where some three hundred prisoners were crowded 
together. Then Braquond ran back to Ferre's presence. 
" Call out Ruault ! Hurry ! " cried Ferre. In an instant 
liis assistants w T ere shouting, " Ruault ! Ruault ! " through 
the corridors. Ruault did not answer. No one knew him. 
Many precious minutes were gained. " We can't find him ! " 
said Braquond. " You are all traitors ! " yelled Ferre, fu- 
riously striking the table. " Bring out Ruault this mo- 
ment, or I'll shoot you ! " " That won't help matters," re- 
sponded the Deputy. " You don't understand ! You are 
asking for a man who is not in the prison, at all ! " " Not 
here ? Then where is he ? " roared Ferre. " How do I 
know?" imperturbably replied Braquond. "But I'll tell 
you in a moment," and Braquond took the register and 
read : " 2,609, Ruault, Gilbert ; peddling Bonapartist songs, 
April 19th; removed to La Sante (another prison) by order 
of Edmond Levrault, May 18th." The Ruault thus saved 
was not the Joseph Ruault sought by Ferre. The real 
Joseph Ruault was meantime in Mazas, and one of the hosta- 
ges butchered in the Rue Haxo. Ferre did not notice the 
difference in names, offenses, and numbers, but, after curs- 
ing Levrault, took the book, examined it once more, and 
then ordered up " Michel." " Which Michel ? " asked Bra- 
quond. " There are perhaps half a dozen ' Michels ' in the 
prison. Tell me which one you want, and you shall have him 
in an instant ! " Taking up the register again, Ferre read : 
Michel, Lollie Pierre, policeman ; Michel, Jules Alfred, labor- 
er; Michel, Xavier, clerk ; Michel, Henri Louis, ex-sergentde 
ville." Then said : " That will do ! Call Henri Michel ! " 
At once Braquond raised the cry for " Henri Michel," se- 
cure in the knowledge that it would not be answered, for this 


particular Henri Michel, brought in May 18th, had two daya 
later gone mad with excitement and fright, and in a straight- 
jacket was then dashing himself frantically against the 
padded walls of a cell iii the infirmary. 

Meanwhile the prisoners in the common wards could see 
eight men, led by a ninth in a highly decorated coat, 
drenching the floors and window-seats with some liquid, 
applied with large brushes; then they saw them strike 
matches and apply them to the wood- work, which instantly 
burst into flames. Still the sounds of the conflict outside 
came nearer and nearer. But the fire spread, and curled 
and crackled, and devoured the interior of the depot. The 
prisoners at once raised the alarming cry of "fire," and made 
desperate attempts to escape, or attract the attention of the 
keepers. This was while the guards were shouting uselessly 
for "Michel." Ferre was raving in impotent wrath at their 
delay. Some of the boldest were already unlocking the 
doors, and whispering to the inmates to "keep up heart ! It 
could not last many minutes ! " Then suddenly were heard 
fearful shrieks from the women's wards, where several hun- 
dred scared females were kept. They had seen flames burst 
out in the Prefecture, and gone wild with panic. " Make 
them shut up! " yelled Ferre. But the cries were not in the 
least diminished. Braquond could stand it no longer, and 
leaping upon a chair, he shouted to his keepers: "Unlock 
every cell door ! Let out all the prisoners from the wards ! " 
This order was instantly obeyed. The wild rush of several 
hundred men and women along the corridors followed, and 
Ferre, starting up, ran into the street with his Avengers. 
He may have feared that the released prisoners would mas- 
sacre him and them ; or he may have remembered that the 
place was pretty sure to be burned down, and that the vaults 
of the Prefecture were filled with gunpowder. Any way, 
he fled, and after an hour and a half of anxiety, Pierre 


Braquond remained master of the field, having saved every 
hostage in his keeping, except the unfortunate Veyssett. 

Two hundred men and women prisoners set themselves 
to work to remove the powder. The first to move in this 
was Lebois, a Laker. lie was followed by an Auvergnat 
woman, Saint-Chely by name, a charcoal peddler, a female 
Hercules, of great beauty, singular coolness, and infinite 
jollity. Hair flying loose, sleeves rolled up, she shouldered 
the heavy barrels, carried them to the Dessaix fountain, and 
dumped them into the basin, recognizing her companions 
with jests and assurances, as the fire crept down the build- 
ing towards the powder, that " there was plenty of time for 
one more load." This was kept up until all the powder 
and 1,200,000, cartridges had been put out of harm's way. 
.Ferre, by threatening the firemen with death, had compelled 
them to remove with all their engines, and until midnight 
the people had to fight the flames with buckets and pitchers 
of water, wet blankets, and the like ; but they succeeded in 
saving their houses, and in preserving most of the papers 
of the Prefecture. 

The inmates of the depot, surrounded by blazing build- 
ings on either side, strove to escape. Some ventured down 
to the Quai de I'Horloge, others to a different quay, both of 
which were swept by bullets from the exchange of shots 
between the Federals and regulars. A. few escaped ; many 
were wounded; five or six fell dead. The remainder has- 
tened back to the prison, where Eraquond received them, 
organized them into squads, fastened the doors, and fought 
the fire with desperation. But, alas ! it established itself 
on every roof. Nearly a hundred prisoners became panic- 
stricken, insisted upon leaving, and did leave in charge of a 
turnkey named Laurent. Reaching the wharf, he signaled 
to the regulars with a handkerchief, and they ceased firing 
long enough for the fugitives to cross the quay and find 


safety. The remainder of the prisoners escaped death by 
burning, but came near being drowned, the great tank of 
the prison bursting and drenching the whole building 
beneath, so that the floors were covered with water ankle 
deep. At about five o'clock in the morning a detachment 
of the 79th Regiment of the Line reached the prison, and 
there was no longer any fear of fire or massacre. Two 
months before, to a day, Pierre Braquond, not caring to 
take orders from Garreau, had told M. Bonjean, the Minis- 
ter of Justice murdered by Rigault, that he intended to 
make his way to Versailles he had had enough of the 
Commune. " As - a magistrate," returned M. Bonjean, "I 
order you to remain ; as a prisoner, I beg you to remain 1 
If you and your followers leave, you will be replaced by a 
parcel of vagabonds, and we may see another Septembrist 
massacre. I adj ure you to stay and protect the victims of 
the Commune." He remained. Braquond is still at the 
depot, a stout, spectacled, smiling man of sixty. He got a 
promotion, but no medal or cross, though before entering 
the prison he had been promised a decoration, twice for 
saving drowning comrades, and for gallantry in the field; 
and when jail-guard, he saved his chief from assassination 
by throwing himself before the assassin's knife, which 
entered his breast deeply. The little barber, Fanet, still 
shaves, and tells how one of Rigault's clerks, being unable 
to settle a five-franc bill for hair-dressing, gave him a roll 
of passes to and from the prison, which helped many a 
prisoner to escape. As for Mine. Saint-Chely, she has 
prospered, and knits behind the counter of a well-stocked 
shop, broad-shouldered and jolly as of yore, and having 
only one unpleasant reminiscence of the Commune that, 
while climbing or backing out of the window of the 
prison, where there were quantities of powder stored, 
she caught her petticoat on an inopportune nail and made 


a more liberal display of sturdy ankles than she had in- 

Probably the most atrocious act of the Commune was the 
butchery, under the orders of Dictator Rigault, of the brave 
and noble Archbishop of Paris. He and other prominent 
personages were seized, thrown into prison, and held as 
hostages for the more lenient treatment of the Commune 
leaders, should the government forces eventually succeed 
in retaking the city. When they came on and on, and no 
hope was left, as a last act of diabolism he was shot with 
his companions in horror, and their bodies thrown into a 

With a grim sort of humor, the Commune abolished 
public executions, while foully murdering scores of victims 
in prison, and publicly burned the guillotine atnid the wild- 
est rejoicings of the half-crazed populace. It destroyed 
public buildings and demolished monuments. It levied 
upon the rich, and encouraged rapine upon both rich and 
poor. Incendiarism, robbery and murder were its constant 
practices. It brushed out of existence nearly a hundred 
great newspapers, and brought into existence nearly a hun- 
dred sheets which for vileness were never equaled. Unbri- 
dled license was the crowning feature. All that is held by 
mankind as execrable and infamous was enacted by it. 

Its members stole all the silver and gold found in the 
churches, and all the valuables from the government build- 
ings were appropriated. What could not be carried away 
was demolished, the Archbishop's palace was sacked, and 
liners' splendid residence was torn to the ground. .During 
the expiring hours of the Commune it was ordered that the 
magnificent palace of the Louvre should be destroyed and 
that the great church of Notre Dame should be demolished. 
When the last hope was gone, these human devils, who 
fought the government troops with a desperation and valor 


almost unparalleled in history, made a requisition for all 
the petroleum in the city and made a fierce attempt to 
completely destroy Paris, as if their own ruin would contain 
a touch of awful grandeur if it could also comprise the 
entire destruction of one of the first cities of the world. 

It is estimated that the Paris Commune was responsible 
for the destruction of upwards of two hundred millions of 
dollars' worth of property. 

But its terrors can never be computed, and, so long as 
time shall last, such another season of horror can scarcely 
be known. The death of Rigault, the dictator and friend 
of the Commune, was as startlingly tragic as any of his brutal 
butcheries had been. He was shot down in the streets, 
where he laid for days, spurned, spat upon, and defiled by 
the very populace that so short a time before had bowed to 
his supreme sway. 

So ended the Commune of Paris, of which the preceding 
is but the faintest sketch. Great volumes could be filled 
with tales of its grim humor, its deep terror, and its touch- 
ing pathos. Its lesson is not one for Paris, or even France 
alone. It is one for the entire civilized world. In looking 


back over the great strikes of '77, the recklessness and des- 
peration of lligault and Ferre are everywhere visible. The 
same inveterate hatred of society was shown in the spirit 
and actions of American Communists. Fire, pillage, mur- 
der were their object and aim. Their enlistment of the 
workingmen of the country has always been for the pur- 
pose of securing tools. The continued exciting of their 
worst passions against law, order, and society has been 
merely for the purpose of holding them in hand, bleeding 
them for their own support, and, in a time of great public 
excitement, using them for their own desperate purposes. 
Citizens of the United States must not forget this constant 
and increasing danger, and must work heartily and nnani- 


mously towards its suppression. That the horrors of the 
Paris Commune were not repeated here is only because 
the pestilential spirit was not so deeply rooted as there. 
Give it time and let it alone, and it will lift its red hand 
with all the savage ferocity with which it struck Paris, that 
most beautiful city, when her helplessness compelled the 
pity of the whole world. 



BECAUSE of the immediate connection of the Interna- 
tionale, as the great international bodies of the communists 
are called, with our great strikes of '77, I feel that some 
notice of the history and general character of that body is 
necessary to a proper consideration .of labor troubles in this 
country. On every railroad that was held by lawless men, 
in every city where violence reigned, and through every 
excited assemblage where law had been trampled under 
foot, this accursed thing came to the surface. If its mem- 
bers did not -actually inaugurate the strikes, the strikes 
were the direct result of the communistic spirit spread 
through the ranks of railroad employees by communistic 
leaders and their teachings. When they were fairly begun, 
the communists commenced to grow bold and defiant, and 
showed their hands ; and when the strikes were well under 
way, every act of lawlessness that was done was committed 
by them. They held an undeniable and easily defined 
relation to every instance of outrage, and they are unquali- 
fiedly responsible for the millions of dollars in property 


destroyed, and the hundreds of lives sacrificed. They are 
a class of human hyenas worthy of all notice and atten- 

In this country the financial crisis of 1873 had a disas- 
trous effect upon the trades-unions. Many of them practi- 
cally disbanded, and others were so weakened that they 
protected no one. In the city of New York alone, the 
aggregate memberships had been not far from forty-five 
thousand. In a few brief months there was a reduction 
apparent of fully ten thousand. In 1871, the shoemakers' 
guild called the Crispins numbered three hundred 
branches and upwards of seventy thousand members. At the 
present time a general organization can hardly be said to ex- 
ist, although several feeble offshoots of the parent stem can 
be discovered lingering along languishingly. Indeed, it has 
been several years since communism first blossomed out and 
began to flourish in the United States. The Work ingmen's 
Union of New York had a rush-light existence. In 1876, an 
Amalgamated Association of Iron-workers was formed, em- 
bracing societies previously existing in different branches 
of the iron trade. . The National Labor Union Association 
met in Baltimore, in 1866, and, although aspiring to repre- 
sent all the workingmen of the country, it gradually took 
the form of a political party, and in several States of the 
Union a labor reform ticket was regularly presented to the 
voters for their support. There is also a Labor League of 
the United States, with headquarters at Washington, but it 
is an affair of limited power and has a short lease of life. 

Though the Communistic doctrines of the Internation- 
alists have made considerable progress in England, they 
have not, until recently, or to any noteworthy extent, crept 
into the labor organizations of this country. 

It is generally understood that the International Society, 
which, during a brief experience, has been causing much 


anxiety to European governments, and whose principles are 
practically illustrated by the darker deeds of the Parisian 
Commune, had its origin in London, England, under the 
fostering care of one George Odger, a defeated aspirant for 
parliamentary honors. It is well-known that, during the 
progress of the Polish insurrection in 1863, certain resi- 
dents of England and France exhibited intense sympathy 
for the cause of that unhappy country. A deputation of 
workingmen waited upon Lord Palmerston, asking him to 
recommend active interference in behalf of the Poles. A 
public meeting was also held in London, in April of the 
same year, avowedly to promote Poland's cause. In Paris 
the mercurial inhabitants went so far as to select and send 
over a deputation to represent them on the occasion, and 
from this convention sprang the germ of an international 
association for the defense of what were called the rights 
of laboring men in every country, without regard to race, 
distinction, color, or place of nativity. In September of 
the succeeding year a second meeting of delegates con- 
vened, which drew to it attendants from nearly every Euro- 
pean country. Dr. Beesely was present and received the 
distinction of being made president. Dr. Karl Marx pre- 
pared and read to the convention a manifesto, which was 
adopted with hardly a dissenting voice. The society was 
rough-framed and established, and Odger became the first 
permanent presiding officer. The address was translated 
into various languages and circulated everywhere. The 
office of president, it was subsequently found, was incom- 
patible with the principle upon which the society proposed 
acting, and Odger having been voluntarily reduced to the 
ranks, a different chairman was thereafter appointed to pre- 
side at each weekly meeting. Early in the history of the 
Internationale the type-setters of Leipsic demanded higher 
wages, were refused by their employers, and struck. They 


subsequently appealed to the society for help, and it waa 
granted. This caused the members of the Commune to 
be watched very carefully by the government authorities. 
Even their secret agents did not escape espionage. 

Geneva, in Switzerland, had the questionable honor of 
beino; the place in which the first Communistic Congress 

~ 1 O 

gathered. Mazzini, the famous Italian agitator, put forth 
at this meeting a scheme for organization, proposing, among 
other things, a thoroughly centralized, strongly conspirital 
foundation for the society, dealing more largely with polit- 
ical than general ideas. Labor and capital, he believed, 
should stand in the background. The Russian, Bakinin, 
and Karl Marx offered an extremely radical and business- 
like plan, which the congress, after discussion, adopted. 
Among its dogmas were these : Wages for labor must be 
numbered with the things that were and are not. Salaries 
must go, as serfdom had gone, and as slave-labor would go. 
They must all be replaced by associated labor ; this was to 
be developed and fostered by national aid. It held that no 
man had a right to call anything his own which he had not 
purchased by the labor of his hands. Marx's platform 
declared that the working classes were enslaved ; they must 
be emancipated. They must bring this about by conquering 
themselves. It was claimed that the Internationalists were 
not struggling to create class privileges or monopolies, but 
for equal rights and duties, and the demolition of rule by 
any certain class. It was declared that the subjection of 
the laboring man rests at the bottom of servitude in every 
form, with all sorts of social misery as well as political 
dependence ; and the disenthrallment of the working classes 
was the great end to which every political movement should 
be directed. Pauperism could be brushed from the land by 
using the proceeds of labor according to the work performed, 
and not according to the capital invested. Individual own- 



ership should be succeeded by common ownership. No 
rights existed, or could exist or be tolerated, without duties; 
no duties without rights. Every laborer was entitled to 
share in the benefits and comforts that his toil produced. 
The fourth and last congress of the Internationalists, as far 
as is now known, was held at Basle, in 1869 ; but by that 
time Karl Marx had withdrawn from the association. Their 
last manifesto was a public defense of the crimes of the Paris 
Commune, an inkling of which has been given in preceding 

Following the formation of this society came the preva- 
lence of a dangerous spirit among the masses, manifesting 
itself all over Europe, and continuing to produce strikes and 
agitations until the commencement of the Franco-German 
war. This poison was absorbed into the political systems 
of Spain and Russia, and in both countries brought forth 
its characteristic and natural results. Governments were 
alarmed. Negotiations were entered into for the curbinor 

n o 

of the designs of leading conspirators. An antidote, or a 
preventive, for the spread of the infection, must be discov- 
ered. England was more than once confidentially appealed 
to by Spain, and asked to interfere with the strong hand to 
prevent the concoction of plots on its soil against that gov- 
ernment and inimical to the welfare of society in general. 
Ukases were promulgated at St. Petersburg, denouncing the 
sect in set terms, and providing for the punishment of its 
leaders and members. In France the Internationale found 
a warm welcome. It was like native soil, and the perni- 
cious seeds scattered by the earlier adherents sprouted and 
gave forth an abundant harvest. Despite the statute of 
1791 against the formation of societies composed of persons 
of the same trades and professions, the order grew rapidly. 
Laboring men could legally combine for a strike, if they 
thought best, but they had to abstain from politics. Mur- 


mnrs began to be heard soon after the address from the 
society. Where peace had reigned before, disturbance 
raised its hydra head. The police had orders to prevent the 
meeting of disaffected persons. The bronze-workers of 
Paris, however, to the number of five thousand, struck in 
1867, and were kept out and supported with money sent 
from England until employers were forced to comply with 
their demands. The cotton-spinners of Rouen had a general 
strike in 1868. During its continuance, at St. Etienne, 
troops had to be called out, who fired upon the mob, and 
killed fifty persons. The record of that year closed with a 
monster outbreak of workingmen at Vienna, in which fifty 
thousand communists took part. Nobody, even in that 
great affair, was especially benefited by the movement. 

Some of the most violent communists have appeared in 
Germany, and the Internationale is still a mighty lever in 
that empire. Mutual aid associations are favored by the 
government, while combinations for the purpose of raising 
wages are repressed. The trades-union movement started 
in Germany rn 1866, but agricultural laborers were not 
allowed to combine. Artisans and hand-workers in wood, 
iron, brass, etc., could arrange terms with their employers 
to suit themselves, if they refrained from threats, intimida- 
tion, and violence. It was in 1869, however, that Dr. Max 
llirsch founded a scheme to unite workmen of all classes in 
Germany under a central directorship, with a general 
council to exercise the chief executive power, the purely 
legislative function being entrusted to an assembly of 
chosen delegates. One officer was called the General At- 
torney, and, besides having the chief management of busi- 
ness, he was to devote himself to the task of disseminating 
the principles of the society and gaining converts. The or- 
ganization claimed about thirty thousand members, two 
hundred and sixty-seven branches, and included shoe- 


makers, smiths, tailors, harness-makers, carpenters, and 

The growth of trades-unions in the empire is greatly 
held in check by the action of the police, who break up 
and disperse large meetings every year, on the charge that 
they are seditious and dabble in politics. The strike in 
Silesia, in 1869, was supported by contributions from the 
confederation ; and still another, at Erith, in 1875, which at 
one time threatened to become general, was terminated only 
by the interposition of the military. 

.The recent upheaval in this country has again set the 
same class of agitators at work in Europe, and it will proba- 
bly be but a short time before their movements will be re- 
vealed and their objects understood. Intense interest pre- 
vailed in Russia and Germany regarding the railroad strike 
in America, and all their leading journals have fulminated 
articles and editorials upon the subject. The old socialis- 
tic leaders are loud in their eulogies upon the class of peo- 
ple they are good enough to call " the martyred Mollie 
Maguires." To exhibit their sympathy with that body and 
its companion association the latter composed, in the Uni- 
ted States, of the scum of creation, who stood at the front in 
the late troubles they opened subscriptions in their favor. 
It is flattering to their intelligence and sense of the fitness 
of things, however, that the scatter-brained, restless few in 
their midst have not thus far succeeded in raising any con- 
siderable sum for the unsuccessful Commune of America. 
Nor is it probable, now that their schemes are known to the 
civilized world, that much more will be contributed. They 
deserve nothing. It has been well said that communism is 
another term for scoundrelism. Viewing it in this light, the 
people of Europe are certainly correct in refusing its New 
World representatives money support. Communistic law 
boldly assumes that the vagabond is as good as the honest 


laborer, and that the laziest loafer of the slums has the same 
claim upon the more fortunate of mankind for bread and 
drink, clothing, comfort, and protection, that the industri- 
ous, economical citizen has. There cannot exist a more 
cowardly doctrine than that all men have equal rights in 
property. Rights are obtained by rates of behavior. They 
are not inherent in man, but come through labor and 
thought. The representatives of the Commune, if judged by 
this standard, cannot be made shabbier than they really are. 
They are, in their days and nights of power, confessed 
thieves. They repudiate all relations with decent society 
and decent society repudiates them sneak in at your 
kitchen and filch from your larder when your back is 
turned, and steal from your hen-coop, or smoke-house, under 
cover of night, when honest men and women sleep. They 
tell us they must have bread, yet earn nothing. They are 
of the sort that have never done anything, and never will do 
anything from choice. Constituting the real and effective 
force in all riots, they swarm to the theatre of fresh troub- 
les and hang about the purlieus of threatened cities, like 
unclean beasts and birds which sniff the scent of carrion in 
the air. They fatten on the misfortunes of their betters. 
They assume to lead good men, and do lead them to de- 
struction. They stood at the back of the Locomotive Broth- 
erhood. Out upon them ! They deserve only severe pun- 
ishment. Citizens of enlightened European countries do 
well in refusing to sustain them with money. 

There is every reason for belief that, at the back of 
actors in the scenes I have to describe when the curtain 
may be raised and the whole truth come forth will be 
found the inspiration, if nothing more tangible, of the 
Internationale possibly the identical blood- red figure which 
" cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war" in Paris, in the 
day of Robespierre, in 1793, with a Danton and a Marat aa 


his lieutenants and again, in the same city, in 1871, when 
the rally ing-cry was, " Paris against Versailles." That I 
am not alone in this helief is evidenced by more than one 
circumstance. There appeared in the Philadelphia Times, 
under date of August 5, 1877, a communication over the 
signature of " Internationalist," which boldly confessed tc 
the starting of the troubles of the preceding month, warmly 
praised the Commune, and concluded witli the admission 
that all through the world there exists a secret, all-power- 
ful, ceaseless organization, which cannot be suppressed ; 
that two emperors and any number of kings have tried to 
stifle it, but, like Banquo's ghost, it " will not down." This 
organization is pledged to the abolition of wealth, the ele- 
vation of the lowly. " Starting," as the correspondent says, 
" in Germany twenty years ago, the creation of Karl Marx, 
it now counts its four millions of members, forming a force 
as large as all the standing armies of the world, and it is 
resolved to see justice done, though the heavens fall." 

When bloodshed was stopped in Paris, many of that city's 
Commune sought refuge in the United States, and from that 
day to the present, journals in various parts of this country 
have circulated their peculiar views. It is certain that their 
societies have been gradually increasing, and that in the 
mobocratic spirit, the outrage and pillage of July, 1877, are 
plainly seen the outcroppings of this foreign-born element. 
The police say that in New England there are few, if any, 
Internationalists; hence, no riots of any consequence. But 
New Albany, Baltimore, St. Louis, New York, Philadel- 
phia, Pittsburg, and Chicago, all have abundance of that 
sort of material. Again, a Paris correspondent, seemingly 
well instructed in what he writes, has this about the Inter- 
nationale : k ' It is purely a secret organization, with agents 
always actively at work in Europe and the United States, 
as the sworn enemy of all political institutions as they now 


exist. It is a standing conspiracy against progress, liberty 
and civilization the world over. Its leaders hate the gov 
eminent of the United States as heartily as they hate the 
controlling powers of Germany, France, or Russia. One 
of the members of the French Commune has defined its 
objects. They are, atheism, materialism, the negation of 
all religion. Its political programme is absolute personal 
liberty, by the means of the suppression of all governments 
and the division of nationalities into communes more or 
less bound together; and its political plan consists essen- 
tially in the dispossession, without compensation, of the 
present holders of capital and the distribution of coin and 
other money to associations of workmen. One of the lead- 
ing Internationalists of Paris recently boasted in my hear- 
ing that the American Republic would ere long be sup- 
planted by communism, and that, as there would then be 
no capital, there could be no further strife between capital 
and labor, concluding with a statement which, in the light 
of succeeding events, seems almost prophetic, that, having 
failed in Europe, their aim is now to repeat the savage 
scenes of massacre in republican America that visited 
Paris in 1871, and on the ruins of her institutions to erect 
their own arbitrary rule." 

An organization, called the Knights of Labor, has re- 
cently attracted some attention in the coal regions of Penn- 
sylvania. It is probably an amalgamation of the Mollie 
Maguires and the Commune. In the vicinity of Scranton 
and Wilkesbarre two-thirds of the workingmen belong to it. 

Of the recent political combinations resulting from the 
strikes, I need say but little. They are to be expected. 
They will have no beneficial effect. A few demagogues 
will be hoisted to the surface, and possibly reach position, 
and the men raising them up will find, when too late, that 
they have egregiously blundered. The platform in vogue 


embodies a few of the Internationalists' theories, with 
some modern inventions of a similar character, which, in 
the nature of things, will prove ephemeral and delusive to 
all giving them room in their minds and attempting to re- 
duce them to practice. It demands that all the means of 
labor, land, machinery, railways, telegraphs, etc., shall be- 
come the property of the people, for the purpose of abolish- 
ing the wages system, and substituting in its place co-oper- 
ative production with a just distribution of its rewards. 
It prescribes eight hours as a working-day, would prohibit 
prison labor by private employers, abolish all conspiracy 
laws, and asks the government to take exclusive control of 
all industrial enterprises and detail their actual operation 
to the trades-unions for the good of the whole people. 

It is certainly true that the agitation in labor circles 
during the past few years, under leadership of agents of 
the Commune, has caused the outgrowth of numerous or- 
ganizations, which, while working independently, have the 
same ultimate object in view, and propose to accomplish 
the same object, namely, the destruction of all government 
by the ballot, and if that shall fail, by force, when the pro- 
per opportunity arrives. Among these are the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen, The Junior Sons of '76, and 
the Universal Brotherhood. There are scores more, but 
these are samples of them all. In order to give the public 
an idea of how ignorant workingmen are gulled and de- 
ceived by a form of secret society which holds them toge- 
ther by a mysterious dread and fear, where their prejudices 
may be excited and their minds filled with a deadly antago- 
nism against all law and society, I caused one of my opera- 
tives to become a member of the last-named society, the 
Universal Brotherhood, and am thus able to present its 
entire ritual. 

There is nothing very narmful in it. It is simply a mess 


of the silliest bosh imaginable. But men are initiated with 
all the impressiveness which mystery and fear can give, 
and are subsequently held and controlled by these commu- 
nistic scoundrels who in stealth and secret continue their 
conspiracies against civilization. 



" The Messenger will retire to the outer court, and see if there are any 
strangers seeking admission to our protective fold." 

The Messenger retires to the outer court. 

Messenger : " Honorable Commander, I find in the outer court stran- 
gers, chil'dren of sin and sorrow, who humbly seek admission into our 
mysterious realm, and who await your orders. ' ' 

The Commander will now proceed with the initiatory ceremonies : 

Commander : " Brothers, there are strangers in the outer court, pilgrim 
travelers, who have long wandered upon the desert wastes of the outer 
world, and now seek admission to our sacred retreat. Shall we admit 
these wanderers ? " 

Brothers, in concert : " None but true and tried men shall enter these 
sacred precincts. Prove them ! " 

Commander: "Brother Messenger, you will retire and prove the 
strangers if they be true and trustworthy." 

Messenger retires, and propounds the following questions to each : 

Messenger : " Are you in perfect health ? " 

Candidate : " Yes." 

Messenger : " Are you subject to any chronic or inherited disease that 
would shorten life ? " 

Candidate: "No." 

Messenger: " Have any of your ancestors died of consumption, cancer, 
dropsy, apoplexy, paralysis, or heart disease ? " 

Candidate: " No." 

Messenger: "Are you addicted to any habits that would tend to 
shorten life or bring reproach upon our brotherhood ? " 

Candidate : " No." 

Messenger: "Do you swear that your answers to these questions are 
true ? " 

Candidate: " Yes." 


Messenger: " Strangers, should you swear falsely, you forfeit the ben- 
efit of our brotherhood, and bear the mark of perjury upon your face all 
the days of your life. Strangers, do you swear perpetual allegiance to the 
Universal Brotherhood of the world ? " 

Candidate : " Yes. " 

Messenger : "Do you swear before God and these witnesses that you 
will keep secret and inviolate all the secret work of this brotherhood ? " 

Candidate : " Yes." 

Messenger: " I will retire and report you to our honored Commander." 
- Messenger returns to the hall and reports. 

Messenger: " Honored Commander, the strangers have taken the oath 
of allegiance to our brotherhood, answered the questions satisfactorily, 
and await your pleasure." 

Commander : " Brothers, the strangers have assumed the oath of 
allegiance and loyalty to our brotherhood. Shall we admit them to our 
royal domain ? " 

Brothers, in concert : " It is well. Bring them into the fold." 

Messenger retires to ante-room to the strangers. 

Messenger: " The candidates will now be presented severally to the 
court of our honored Commander, where they will receive instructions in 
the secret work of the brotherhood." 

The Steward now takes charge of the candidate. 

The candidate is now led around the room blindfolded, and is made to 
believe he is going through narrow defiles, rough places and over imagi- 
nary hills ; is intercepted by robbers, and the life half scared out of him, 
when he is halted and ordered to kneel at a coffin, in which is a wax 
figure representing a corpse. 

The Steward will repeat the following as he proceeds : 

Steward: "Stranger, let us proceed on our pilgrimage; let us leave 
the vales of ignorance and folly ; let us climb the hills of difficulty, and 
strive to reach the height of wisdom, where stands the temple of honor 
and fame. But it is a dangerous journey ; pitfalls abound on the way ; 
an unguarded step might plunge us down a frightful chasm into the roaring 
torrents and treacherous quicksands ; or a foolhardy venture might lead 
us over a precipice, to be dashed in pieces on the rocks hundreds of feet 
below. Stranger, we are nearing the end of our first day's journey to 
the paradise of our Universal Brotherhood. We can look across yonder 
dark, broad river to that fair land, the Eden of our hopes, the haven 
prepared for us. Far in the distance we can discern the domes and spires 
of the celestial city ; we may catch the gleam of the eternal sunlight, 
resplendent upon the pearly gates and the streets of shining gold. In 
that land there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor dying. Perpetual 


summer reigns, and the sunlight never dies. Stranger, if you follow in 
the pathway marked out by our honored order, you will gain that hap- 
pier goal, and be numbered with that mighty host of our Universal 
Brotherhood, in the realms of eternal happiness beyond the shores of 
time. But let us turn to the right, and approach the cavern of that grim 
messenger from the regions of death, where we must take an everlasting 
covenant, renew our vows, and assume the obligations of our brotherhood." 

The skeleton will stand about ten feeb from the coffin at which the 
candidate kneels ; it will hold in its right hand a book, in its left a dim 
taper ; while a dim blue light illumines the scene just enough to render 
the figure visible. Back of the figure is a black curtain, stretched across 
the hall, hiding the furniture of the hall. The brethren, all clad in black 
gowns covering the whole body, will stand around in a semicircle as 
witnesses of the covenant and oath ; a brother who is an impressive 
reader will stand behind the skeleton and propound the obligation in a 
solemu tone of voice. Perfect silence must be observed during the whole 

The coffin bears the following inscription: "THE TRAITOR'S DOOM." 

In full view stands a gallows, with an effigy suspended on a beam, with 
this inscription : " The Fate of Perjurers." 

The Steward will perform an obeisance before the figure, and address 
the skeleton as follows : 

Steward: " Dread sovereign of mortality, a wandering stranger from 
the vale of mortality has approached the entrance of our universal domain. 
He seeks wisdom and eternal life ; he is seeking admission to our protect- 
ing fold, and to be numbered with our Universal Brotherhood. He will 
take an everlasting covenant take upon himself the vows and assume 
the iron-bound oath of allegiance to our dominion and laws." 

Skeleton responds : " Child of mortality, before you can enter the inner 
portals of our mysterious realms, you must take upon yourself a binding 
obligation, and an oath to keep secret and inviolate all the private work 
of our brotherhood, and to observe and practice its fraternal precepts all 
the days of your natural life. Will you take such an obligation ? You 
will elevate your right hand, and place your left upon the coffin, and 
repeat after me : 


Commander and candidate : ' ' In the presence of the Supreme Ruler 

of the Universe, I, , do promise, declare, and say, I will 

never reveal to any person or persons any of the secret work of the Uni- 
versal Brotherhood, except to a brother, knowing him to be such by 
unmistakable signs. I will not write, cut, carve, or engrave, a word, sign, 


or figure pertaining to this work, or cause it to be done, lest any part 
thereof might be exposed. 

"I do now make an everlasting covenant to the Universal Brotherhood 
to obey its laws and practice its precepts all the days of my natural life 

' I do solemnly affirm that I will assist a brother in every time of need, 
and I will go to his rescue in time of peril ; that I will patronize, employ, 
and sustain a brother in all business connection in preference to all others ; 
that I will, to the best of my ability, render aid and support to all worthy 
brothers within the sphere of my intercourse, in all business, commercial, 
social, and fraternal relations. I do positively affirm that I will not 
wrong a brother, or any one of his family, in any way ; that I will apprise 
him of approaching injury ; and advise, encourage, and assist him in time 
of misfortune and adversity. 

" I do further promise and declare that I will not wrong this command- 
ery or any members thereof ; that I will be obedient to its laws, rules, 
and regulations ; that I will obey all mandates of the General Commander 
of this State, and of the Supreme Commandery of the World. 

" I do further promise and declare, that in case I should be guilty of 
a transgression of the laws of this brotherhood, I will cheerfully submit 
to such penalty as the council of brethren will dictate. I do also affirm 
that, in case I should ever be subject to expulsion or suspension from this 
brotherhood, I shall, regard this covenant as binding as while in full fel- 
lowship in the order. In affirmation of this covenant and these obligations 
I pledge my most sacred honor ; and should I wilfully violate them, may 
I be accursed of men and wear the mask of perjury upon the forehead all 
the days of my life." 

Skeleton: "Brothers, the stranger has taken the oath and made an 
everlasting covenant with the brotherhood. Instruct him in the myster- 
ious rites of our honored order." 

The candidate will be again led around the hall, while the brethren 
sing the initiation hymn. He will then be presented to the Commander 
with the following introduction : 

Steward : " Honored Commander, a weary mortal from the outer world 
approaches the portal of our sacred retreat, and humbly seeks admission." 

Commander : ' ' Has the stranger taken the oath and made an ever- 
lasting covenant with the brotherhood ? " 

Steward: "He has." 

Brothers, in concert, will say: " He has." 

Commander : " Stranger, we welcome you to our fold, trusting that 
you will be true and faithful to our mystic order all the days of your life. 
My friend, you have now taken upon yourself a solemn obligation, which 
in effect should be more binding and impressive than, the legal oath admiii- 


istered in our courts of justice. It involves your honor, and integrity and 
your manhood, and your reputation as a citizen and member of our friendly 
order; it should be regarded as the bond that connects us as a band of 
brothers associated for mutual aid and protection. 

" You should henceforth regard every member of our order as a friend 
and confidant. You should be to him an ally and present help in every 
time of need. You should aid, patronize, and employ a brother in prefer- 
ence to all others. You should be as regular in attendance at meetings of 
this lodge as your business relations will allow. Be prompt in the pay 
ment of dues and in performance of all duties that may devolve upon 
you. I would admonish you to exercise care and discretion in proposing 
candidates for membership, lest we incorporate with us persons who might 
disregard their obligations and bring reproach, disgrace, and dishonor upon 
our beloved order. I also exhort you to refrain from the expression of 
any political or sectarian opinions. In discussions suppress all personal 
hate or partisan prejudice which you may have entertained towards any- 
body. Let peace, harmony, and concord mark our intercourse and prevail 
in all our deliberations. Let brotherly love, charity, and sympathy be 
manifested in your daily walk. Be ever ready and willing to extend a 
helping hand to an unfortunate brother. When the hand of disease falla 
heavily upon a brother, administer to his needs with tender sympathy 
and willing hands. Should death invade our circle and strike down one 
of oar members, it will then become your duty to enshroud our fallen 
brother with the vestments of the tomb, with sorrowing hearts spread the 
funeral pall over his bier, and bear the mortal remains of our departed 
brother to an horored grave. 

' I will now instruct you in the signs, signals, salutations, grip, pass- 
words, etc. % peculiar to our order. 

' ' The outer signal is one rap on the door. 

"The countersign is the word Multitude. 

" The inside signal LJ one rap, two threes, and one countersign, Bound- 
less salutation. 

" Advance to the middle of the room, raise the right hand so that the 
forefinger rests on the brow, left foot thrown forward, and then bring the 
hand down again alongside the right leg, making a bow to the Com- 

" The grip is given with the right hand. The one giving the grip lets 
the forefinger go into the palm of the other's hand, and gives the same 
taps with the finger as you do on the inside door. The answer to it is the 
other party presses the hand. 

'"There is also a salutation, which is: TJie crops are universal; tJte 
health of the world is universal: 


" The peril signal is made by bringing both hands in front of the body, as 
if engaged in prayer, keeping them together and raising them perpendic- 
ularly above the head. The answer is, the right hand brought up, witl 
the tips of the fingers touching the top of the head. When you are going 
to a shop to look for work, shade your eyes over the brow, as if you were 
looking at a distance. The answer is the same as if brushing a fly off the 
right ear. 

" The caution signal is to brush the right hand down over the face from 
the top of the head, with the fingers extended over the face to the chin. 
There is also a voting sign, which is made by forming a semicircle with 
the right arm, with the fingers together and the thumbs inside of the 
hand. These are all the signals and passwords, used by the order. 

" Let the stranger now be introduced to our venerable Prelate, that he 
may listen to the words of wisdom and eternal truth." 

Steward: "A stranger from the outer world, a pilgrim wanderer 
bound for the celestial city, the abode of life and immortality, craves 
your fatherly counsel and benediction. " 

Prelate: "My child, hearken unto the voice of wisdom, and give ear 
to the words of eternal truth. Your life is short, your days are num- 
1 ered ; therefore prepare for your departure to that mysterious land 
beyond the shores of time. We are pilgrims upon this earth, bound for 
the paradise above, prepared for our brotherhood that they may dwell 
together in unity throughout the countless ages of eternity. 

" My child, the ceremonies observed in introducing you into this Uni- 
versal Brotherhood are designed to indelibly impress upon your mind 
the grand and noble principles upon which our order "is founded ; the 
steep and perilous ascents, the dangerous chasms, pitfalls, and treacherous 

' ' I extend the hand of brotherly greeting, and invite the brotherhood 
here present to do likewise." 



TRAMPS and communists, as classes, both played a promi- 
nent part in the great strikes of '77. Tramps, who had 
nothing to lose, in their philosophical way entered upon the 
rioting and plunder because it seemed to be the order of 


the day ; while the communists, who had lent their aid to 
the turbulence, not to assist in redressing any particular 
wrong, but merely for the purpose of precipitating a condi- 
tion of things where they might wreak their vengeance on 
society, came to the front, ripe for any form of reckless 
outlawry, and ready for arson and murder ; but the great 
moral responsibility for the strikes and their vast train of 
disastrous effects is certain to rest upon the Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers. 

This fact has been very generally overlooked. Some few 
charges of complicity have been brought against it, and 
many railway officials have held this belief, without being 
able to find the proof, or give other grounds for their con- 
viction than that they kneio from certain evidences, which 
did not amount to absolute proof, but which were convinc- 
ing beyond question, that this once powerful organization 
was responsible, more than all other causes and forces com- 
bined, for these troubles. 

It will probably never be known just how far this respon- 
sibility extended ; but it can be pretty well defined when the 
simple fact is stated that railroad troubles, as a distinct class 
of labor disturbances, never were known until after the 
organization of the brotherhood in 1863. There had been, 
of course, occasional local troubles arising from the turbu- 
lence of gangs of men employed in railroad construction, 
and infrequent misunderstandings which sometimes termi- 
nated in short-lived strikes ; but there had never been any 
protracted uprising against railroad management until this 
association had become an organized power. Ever since 
that time the attention of the public has been almost con- 
stantly directed to the rise, progress, and termination of some 
form of railroad strike. So frequent have they been, and 
so daring and impudent have railway employees become 
in consequence of the spirit of insubordination imparted 


through the remarkable growth and dictatorial assumption 
of the Brotherhood, that it could almost be said that there 
has been one continuous series of strikes ever since said 
organization was effected. 

But, before going further into its history and a detailed 
account of its doings, it would seem to be in place to give 
a short sketch of the man who, above all others, has made 
the Brotherhood successful in point of numbers, wealth, and 
influence, as well as dangerous and contemptible in its arbi- 
trary exercise of a power as illegal as it is menacing to all 
railway and other public interests. It is very certain that 
the organization is passing out of power and influence, and 
that it is tumbling to pieces of its own weight and the 
geneneral public condemnation which its acts have brought 
upon it ; but this man, P. M. Arthur, its Grand Chief En- 
gineer, has enjoyed to so large a degree the cheap glory of 
being its master-mind, and, as he claims, having brought 
innumerable railway companies to terms through the power 
at his back, which he has invariably used more to his own 
aggrandizement than in the Brotherhood interests, that he 
would seem to deserve a place in these records of the great 
strikes of '77. 

At the corner of Seneca and Superior streets, in Cleve- 
land, that most beautiful of American cities, is a long, three- 
story brick building, known as Sloss' Block. The lower 
story is occupied by shops, between which, at the entrance 
to the stairway leading to the upper stories, one who is in 
the habit of reading signs as a diversion would notice the 

following : 


ROOMS 9 AND 10. 

If you were of an inquiring turn of mind, as my opera- 
tives generally are, or if you had any special business at the 


headquarters designated, you would climb the narrow stairs, 
enter a pleasant hall, on either side of which are lawyers', 
brokers', and insurance offices, and, continuing to the extreme 
end, passing a side entrance leading up from Seneca street, 
you would turn to your left and enter a very spacious apart- 
ment, not very elegantly furnished, but still having fine 
appointments, and impressing you more with the air of a 
comfortable reception-room than as an office. In one sense 
it really is so, for as there is little done here requiring many 
callers, the general business of the order being transacted 
through the mails and by telegraph, that appearance can be 
easily retained, the more easily as there is another room 
next it, inside of which, very carefully and securely ar- 
ranged, is still another apartment, where all the secret work 
of the order is transacted, and from which has emanated 
more annoyance to railway interests than from all other 
sources that can be named. 

Seated at a line secretary between two windows, where, 
winter and summer, there are always plants and birds, will 
be seen the man who, for several years, has been a constant 
annoyance and threat to railroad officials throughout the 
United States and Canadas. 

I can best describe him by comparing him in personal 
appearance with the great evangelist, Mr. Moody, and with 
no disrespect to that eccentric individual. Take out of 
Moody's face, then, the low-browed, sullen-eyed, bull-dog 
look; give him closely-cut, well-silvered hair, instead of 
glossy, almost black hair, and a closely-trimmed set of whis- 
kers, rather gray instead of glossy brown, which cover all of 
the face save the cleanly-shaved upper lip ; give him, instead 
of a fish-like, expressionless dark eye, a blnish-gray eye full 
of light and animation, and, at times, of jollity and merri- 
ment; provide him with just as ruddy, though not so 
" puffy " a complexion, and rather one indicating a more 

sacrificing diet and a better habit: make him a trifle 

O * 

shorter, though proportionally just as solidly built; and 
then give to every motion of his form and features decisive, 
determined action that reminds you of superb and finely- 
governed machinery, and you have the man before you.* 

Mr. Arthur was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1830, and 
is at this writing nearly forty-eight years of age. His father 
was a shawl manufacturer in a modest way, but not to that 
extent which would permit of an extended education of his 
family. Shawls were manufactured entirely by hand in 
those days, and young Arthur would probably have grown 
up in that trade were it not that, when he was eight years of 
age, his mother died, and two years later his father came to 
America to endeavor to establish a business here, leaving 
the children with an aunt to be cared for. A year or two 
later his father sent for him, but there was some delay 
about his sailing, and his father set out from America to 
bring him here; but he had been put in charge of a ship's 
officer in the meantime, and while the father was returning 
to Scotland the son was aboard a vessel bound for this 
country. They passed each other in mid-ocean, and young 
Arthur never saw his father afterwards, as the latter sick- 
ened and died before reaching Scotland and was buried at 

Mr. Arthur states that this left him almost alone, and 
altogether dependent on his own resources, in New York, 
in 184:2. He finally found an uncle, one William Service, 
who was a straw-goods merchant at 110 William Street, 
who gave him a home and a good deal of work. Becoming 
dissatisfied with his employment and his surroundings, he 
turned boy-tramp and strolled out into the interior of New 
York State, to take whatever luck might bring him. 

* See Frontispiece. 


At last he straggled into the quaint little Dutch town of 
Niskayuna, in the Mohawk Valley, and there fell in with 
an old German farmer named Matt. Winne, who was going 
to do wonders for him. He led young Arthur to believe 
that, work as hard as ever he could, he could never possibly 
hope to earn his " keep," as he called it. The old farmer 
had a big farm, ran a brick-yard and dealt in timber, and 
Arthur found his work almost more than he could do ; but 
he kept on and remained with Winne for several years, and 
then went to Schenectady, where he got employment with a 
wholesale grocer named G. Q. Carley. After he had been 
in this grocery work nearly two years, he purchased a horse 
and dray with his savings, and turned drayman, which 
proved to him an unprofitable investment, when he sold out, 
and after a little time secured his first employment from 
any railroad company, in the repair-shops of the Schenec- 
tady and Utica (now the New York Central) Railroad, where 
he was taken on as a " helper," or a stout, handy young 
fellow to do anything and everything which might be re- 
quired of one who had no regular trade. 

After a few months of this sort of work, he secured the 
position of fireman on the old "Benj. Marshall," a little 
single driving-wheel engine, John Wicks, engineer, who was 
afterwards killed in an accident where his engine jumped the 
track. From the " Benj. Marshall ". he was transferred to 
engine " 23," David Oxley, engineer. This same David Ox- 
ley is now master mechanic at the car-shops of the Illinois 
Central Railroad, at Centralia, Illinois. He remained with 
Oxley about a year, when he was put on engine "49, :3 
Edwin Wemple, engineer; and after firing two years and 
two months altogether, he got his first engine, being given 
passenger engine " 16." From this he was transferred to 
the "Mechanic," from that to the "President," a ten- 
wheel engine; then to the "Mohawk," and then, succes- 


sively, to engines "John Bridgeford," "Edward H.Jones," 
and the " Cephas Manning." While running the latter 
engine its name was changed to the " Win H. Vanderbilt." 
Mr. Arthur ran the " Yanderbilt" until he left the New 
York Central Railroad, to attend, as a delegate, the Grand 
International Division of the Brotherhood, which was held 
in Cleveland, on February 25, 1874, when he was elected 
to the office of Grand Chief Engineer for a period of three 
years. He was again elected to the same position and for 
the same term of office at the convention held in Boston, in 
October, 1877. 

Of the Brotherhood itself, its original objects were un- 
doubtedly all that they should have been ; and to-day it 
would be one of the most admirable adjuncts of railway 
service were it confined to the disbursement of charity, the 
strengthening of those ties of friendship and common inter- 
est, and the mutual improvement and assistance, which 
make any class of employees better men and more faithful 
in the discharge of their duties. 

The primary organization was effected by the following 
engineers : E. Nichols, F. A very, L. Wheeler, John Ken- 
nedy, T. Wartmouth, M. Higgins, B. Northrup, Geo. Q. 
Adams, and W. D. Robinson. These men were all friends 
and acquaintances engineers on the Michigan Central, 
Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana, the Detroit and 
Milwaukee Railroads, and the American division of the 
Grand Trunk Railroad and came together at Marshall, 
Michigan, in April, 1863, as any number of friends, all fol- 
lowing a like avocation, might come together to form a 
helpful association. Mr. Arthur himself states that these 
men had no idea that the organization thus started would 
develop into what it has, which is undoubtedly a fact ; for, 
on looking up these men's characters, I find that they were 
persons of kind hearts, good purpose, and so faithful to 


their calling that they would have contemplated the char- 
acter of such an order as now exists with utter dismay. 

These engineers framed a constitution and by-laws em- 
bodying the fundamental principles of the order, and pro- 
duced an obligation which was subsequently changed to a 
most terrible oath, which will be given in a succeeding 

The form of association as then effected proved wonder- 
fully popular, and the organization of divisions on different 
roads was a work of the greatest ease. When this had been 
somewhat advanced, a convention was called and delegates 
sent from each division, who met at the hall of Division 1, 
Detroit, August 17 and 18, 1863. The headquarters of the 
Detroit Division was then, and is now, at room 23, Murrill 
Block, at the corner of Jefferson street and Woodward 

This convention, on the second day of its meeting, 
founded the order and gave it the name of the Brotherhood 
of the Footboard, and elected W. II. Robinson Grand Chief 

At the convention held the next year, in Indianapolis, the 
name of the order was changed to the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers, and it was ordered that the annual con- 
ventions should be termed Grand International Divisions. 

To illustrate how popular the order was at that time, and 
show its rapid increase, it is only necessary to instance the 
fact that when the convention met at Indianapolis, only one 
year after the Brotherhood was fairly on its feet, it was 
found that sixty-seven divisions had been established, and 
that a membership of over sixteen hundred engineers had 
been secured. 

The progress of the order for a period of several years was 
flattering and really remarkable. So long as it remained 
an association for the mutual benefit of its members, and 


was conducted upon the principles which ordinary charitable 
associations are supposed to be founded, it received both 
the earnest encouragement of the railroad authorities and the 
public press. It was everywhere welcomed as one of those 
organizations which cannot but elevate and improve its 
members. Wherever its conventions were held the citizens 
welcomed its delegates, railroad companies furnished them 
with free transportation, and newspaper men made unusual 
efforts to give full publicity to their proceedings. And 
this state of things would have been certain to continue had 
not its leaders become eventually possessed with a greed for 
personal aggrandizement, and a desire to use the power that 
the rapid wealth and swift increase of numbers gave. 

At the Boston convention of '66 a resolution was passed 
authorizing the publication of a monthly journal, to be 
exclusively devoted to the interests of the order ; and there 
was accordingly established a magazine, called The Brother- 
hood of Locomotive JJj.ngineers* Monthly Journal. The 
supervision of its publication was vested in the grand offi- 
cers ;.and the magazine, though of limited interest, has had 
a large circulation, both among members of the order and 
among railroad officials, whose interest in it of late years 
has been solely that which has been created by alarm. 



IN the early part of '77, when the order had the largest 
membership, although it had for some time been waning in 
prosperity, it was known to have upwards of ten thousand 
members. In October, '76, the membership stood at 9,975, 


and about one hundred and fifty initiations were known to 
have taken place daring the succeeding year. 

It was claimed by tho order that over ninety per cent, of 
all the skilled engineers of the United States and Canadas 
were members. I hardly credit this, for the simple reason 
that, in many instances where the officers of railways have 
made a persistent fight against the dictation of the order, 
which in time grew intolerable, and my services were had 
for securing engineers to take the place of discharged or 
striking Brotherhood men, not only was the number requir- 
ed always available, but hundreds more than were needed 
could in every case be secured. These men were not ama- 
teurs, but were skilled engineers ; and when it is borne in 
mind that, although the Brotherhood at one time had men 
on railroads in every state save Florida, there was no rail- 
way in the country whose engineers were all Brother- 
hood men, their claim would seem to be altogether un- 

The officers of the organization which for nearly ten 
years the association has been conducted merely to support, 
are the Grand Chief Engineer, First Grand Engineer, 
Second Grand Engineer, First, Second, and Third Grand 
Assistant Engineers, a Grand Guide, and a Grand Chaplain. 
Three of these are salaried. The Grand Chief Engineer, 
P. M. Arthur, since '71 receives, it is stated by members, 
$3,000. He only admits to receiving $2,500 annually, and 
all expenses entailed through travel, establishing subdivi- 
sions, conducting strikes, bullying railroad officials, and the 
like. The First Grand Engineer has charge of the editorial 
work of the Monthly Journal^ and is a general assistant to 
the former officer, being vested with like powers, so far as 
regular office business is concerned, during his absence. He 
receives a salary of $2,000 per year. The First Grand As- 
sistant Engineer holds the position of the Brotherhood's 


financial officer, and also receives a salary of $2,000. Thus 
it will be seen that, when the various expenses of so exten- 
sive an organisation are grouped the allowances for the 
hundreds of items in the hands of men who have got an 
order like this by the throat for the purpose of being sup- 
ported, which cannot but be enormous, and are added to 
the large cost of sustaining strikes and the yearly expendi- 
ture for salaries, this most important branch of railway 
employees is famously taxed for the simple privilege of 
being led, or forced, into repeated collision with employers, 
of being surrounded by a constantly demoralizing influence, 
which from its very nature antagonizes their own and their 
employers' interests, and which in nearly every instance at 
the end of the year leaves them not only out of pocket to 
the extent of their fees, but the amount lost by many weeks, 
and sometimes months, of self-imposed idleness. 

One feature of the Brotherhood, in theory at least, will 
command universal respect. This is its insurance depart- 
ment, which was established in '67 ; or rather an association 
of that kind was then formed, which subsequently became 
a department of the organization. In that year Frank 
Abbott, an engineer of the New York and Erie road, issued 
a circular to the different divisions of the Brotherhood, re- 
questing all those divisions favoring some plan of insurance 
to send delegates to Port Jervis, New York, for the purpose 
of effecting such an association. A large number respond- 
ed, and the matter was got under way in December of that 
year. This plan of insurance was simply this : On the death 
of any member of the association, to issue notice of the same 
and order an assessment of one dollar on each member. All 
members of this association were Brotherhood men, and it 
was finally incorporated in the order. Before this, however, 
it had suffered a loss of above twelve thousand dollars from 
its officers appropriating that amount. 


It is stated that nearly a million dollars has been paid 
out to the widows and orphans of deceased engineers. If 
so, a good work has been accomplished, whatever has been 
the manner of doing it. But if all this has been done, it 
was some time since, for recent facts have come to light 
which show that though assessments have been repeatedly 
increased, payments of this kind have been continually less- 
ening in number, as well as decreasing in amount. 

It is claimed by Mr. Arthur that the Brotherhood is in 
.no sense antagonistic to railroad interests ; but in the same 
breath he lays down the following as its regulations govern- 
ing the action of its members in cases where strikes are 
inaugurated, or where such misunderstandings arise as arc 
liable to precipitate strikes in case the demands of the dis- 
affected Brotherhood engineers are not acceded to : 

If engineers are not receiving commensurate wages, or 
are notified that a reduction in wages is to be enforced, or 
if from any other cause they have become dissatisfied, they 
first meet in their division lodge -and discuss the matter. 
In case a majority decide that the " grievance " should 
become a matter of protest, a committee is appointed to 
wait upon the proper officer of the road and make the com- 
plaint, or such complaint is made in writing and submitted. 
If it is refused attention, or if it receives attention and the 
demand contained is refused, the power of the division is 
exhausted, and the "grievance," with a full history of what 
action has been taken by the division, is then referred to 
the Standing Committee on Grievances, or the General 
Grievance Committee, as it is called. 

This body, which is composed of thirteen members, and 
which is something in the nature of a high court of appeal, 
is appointed annually by the Grand International Division, 
and is composed of twelve members of the Brotherhood, 
generally selected with a view to the importance to the 


order of the railroad lines on which they are employed, the 
thirteenth member being the Grand Chief Engineer. This 
places the determining vote, in case of a tie, always in the 
hands of the latter, and in reality makes that personage the 
supreme dictator, as he certainly has been since the posi- 
tion has been occupied by Mr. Arthur. 

This General Grievance Committee is called together at 
Cleveland, and occupy the inner guarded room within the 
second apartment of the general offices before referred to, 
and are supposed to inquire into the merits of the grievance 
submitted by the division. If it is considered ground- 
less, or should it appear that it would be a poor policy to 
force the matter upon the railroad company, the division 
which has appealed has no further recourse. But if a 
majority of the committee conclude to force an issue, the 
Grand Chief Engineer is empowered to proceed to the com- 
pany's headquarters, and with all the power of persuasion, 
or all the force of threats, secure for the engineers of the 
road the demanded concessions. 

If the company cannot be bullied into granting them, 
the Grievance Committee, which has remained in session 
awaiting the result of the efforts of the Grand Chief Engi- 
neer, again act upon the matter, and if it is decided to make 
a fight, a strike is at once ordered, and the whole power of 
the Brotherhood which of late years has meant intimida- 
tion and violence, as well as a most reckless use of money 
where it was necessary, and the wildest of promises where 
the latter would answer are brought into requisition to 
make the strike a success. 

Of the scores of strikes previous to the great strike of 
'77, precipitated by the Brotherhood, probably those of the 
Boston and Maine Railroad, and the Philadelphia and 
Heading Railroad, were the most important, as well as the 
most disastrous to the order, for they both illustrated the 


silly bombast and pretension, as well as the utter insignifi 
cance, of the order when it came in collision with railway 
officials who were possessed of dignity, decision, and ac- 

Of the strike on the first-mentioned line, which occurred 
February 12, '77, the facts were as follows : The pay of 
all employees on that road up to '76 had been steadily in- 
creasing for the previous fifteen years, so that they were 
then receiving from sixty to seventy per cent., according to 
grade, higher wages than they received in '62. The per 
diem was from $2.50 to $3.50, with an additional sum of 
twenty-five cents per day, which was withheld until the 
close of each three months, and then paid as a bounty to 
all those who could present a clear record. On account of 
a general falling off in the business of the road, and an 
imperative necessity for comprehensive retrenchment, an 
order was issued, to take effect January 15, '76, reducing the 
salaries and wages of all officers arid employees ten per 
cent. This left the sixty-seven engineers on that railroad 
receiving from $2.25 to $2.90 per day, which was still from 
fifty to sixty per cent, more than was received by the same 
class of employees in '62. An effort was then made by the 
engineers, nearly all of whom were Brotherhood men, to 
get the order rescinded so far as they were concerned ; but 
the officers of the road would not yield, and there the mat- 
ter rested for nearly a year, during which the Brotherhood 
had inaugurated and carried out successful strikes some 
of them, and notably that on the Grand Trunk Railroad, 
with great injustice and cruelty on the Central Railroad 
of New Jersey, the Georgia Railroad, the St. Louis and 
Cairo Narrow Gauge, and the Grand Trunk, which had 
filled the members of the order all over the country with a 
good deal of self-confidence and bravado. 

Animated by this feeling that they could accomplish 


about what they liked, during the latter part of March, '77, 
the Brotherhood engineers on the Boston and Albany road, 
through their committee, submitted to the company's offi- 
cers what was in effect a demand for a return to the old 
scale of wages so far as engineers and firemen were con- 
cerned, having already enlisted the latter class through 
promises of compelling an increase of their wages. 

President White, after reading the paper, told the com- 
mittee that he had no authority to act ; but if they desired 
an immediate answer, he could only say that, as far as he 
was concerned, he could not comply with the demand, and 
felt certain that no encouragement whatever would be 
given them from any source. 

Upon this termination of the interview, Arthur was 
telegraphed for, who, upon his arrival in Boston, immedi- 
ately penned President White a note, in which he stated in 
a very grandiose manner that lie did not come " in the 
spirit of coercion and dictation, but as a mediator," to set- 
tle the matter, and requesting, in an offensive way, an inter- 
view. President White, holding quite a different view of 
Mr. Arthur than Mr. Arthur did of himself, very property 
declined to have anything to do with him, not being able 
to understand how the business of the Boston and Maine 
road was in any way identified with the business of Mr. 
Arthur, who resided in Cleveland, and occupied a fat posi- 
tion merely because it pleased several thousand working- 
men to support him in idleness. 

This resulted in a modified form of a demand being pre- 
sented by the engineers, in which were embodied proposals 
very much more modest than those previously submitted, 
and another long interview ensued, during which the mem- 
bers of the committee stated that if their demands were re- 
fused, a strike of every engineer on the road would be the 
result. No desire for further time for consideration was ex- 


pressed by any one, and it was tacitly understood that the 
decision arrived at was final. 

The engineers, under Arthur's management, immediately 
prepared an ultimatum embodying all of the demands which 
had been previously made. This was submitted on the 
twelfth of February, and stated that unless their demands 
were submitted to by four o'clock in the afternoon of the 
same day, all of the companies' engines would be brought to 
a 'standstill at that hour; and at the same time an order 
was issued by the committee to every engineer upon the line 
to stop work promptly at four o'clock, wherever that hour 
might find fhem, and there to hold their engines for a period 
of two hours, unless a telegram signed " G. W. Stevens," to 
the effect that all was " settled," should be received. But if 
such telegram should not be received, to " blow your boiler 
out and abandon your engine." 

But the officials of the Boston and Maine road were not 
quite ready to transfer the management of their business to 
either Mr. Arthur or the Brotherhood of Locomotive En- 
gineers, and Superintendent Furber had made such arrange- 
ments as prevented that requirement, even for a short time. 

Promptly at four o'clock, wherever a passenger train was 
stopped there was found a skilled engineer to take the 
place of the striking Brotherhood man, and with very little 
trouble and delay every train then out was run to its desti- 
nation ; and the subsequent passage of regular trains, with 
the exception of freight trains, was very slightly retarded, 
so prompt and vigorous had been the action of the officers 
of the road. 

Arthur and the Brotherhood engineers were greatly dis-^ 
mayed at their quick defeat. They fondly thought to 
bring the Boston and Maine officials humbly to their feet, 
and a howl of defeat was everywhere heard. There was 
only one thing now to be done. That was to bring into 


requisition the same system of "bulldozing" and intimi- 
dation which has disgraced every body of strikers that ever 
were got together. This was found useless, as the officials 
checkmated the Brotherhood by an effective use of police, 
and every man who took the place of a striker was thor- 
oughly protected. The next move of Mr. Arthur was to 
squander the Brotherhood's money in buying off every man 
possible who presented himself as a " scab " or substitute 
for strikers. This had the effect of annoying the manage- 
ment of the road somewhat, but inside of two weeks every 
thing was running smoothly, and the Brotherhood had 
suffered its first overwhelming defeat. 

Now, to illustrate the foolishness of this man Arthur, it 
is only necessary to state the fact that, in less than ten days 
after he had publicly boasted in Boston that by a wave of 
his hand he could stop the movement of every railroad train 
in America, he was left in the humiliating position where 
he could contemplate his own littleness, where he could 
ponder over having squandered thousands of dollars of the 
Brotherhood's money, ostensibly collected for the benefit of 
the helpless widows and orphans of engineers ; where he 
could realize that he and his society, through their dictation 
and tyranny, had thrown out of employment sixty-seven 
men, the larger number of whom had been in the steady 
employment of the Boston and Maine Railroad Company 
from ten to thirty years, and who were now reduced to the 
unenviable position of being obliged to beg work of other 
companies, with the discredit attaching to them of having 
participated, and failed, in one of the most criminally fool 
ish and reckless strikes ever known. Not one-fourth of 
these men have since secured employment ; the pledges of 
the Brotherhood, that they should be sustained if they 
failed, have all been broken ; and many of these deluded 
men are to-day utterly without support for themselves or 


their families, suffering from one of the most cruel and ar 
bitrary organizations that can be imagined; for it has in- 
duced good men to add to its power and influence, urged 
them into an antagonism towards their employers which 
threw them out of work, and then, when they were helpless, 
had utterly deserted them. 

The trouble on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, 
in April, '77, resulted quite as disastrously to the then dis- 
organized Brotherhood as did the strike on the Boston and 
Maine road. 

Certain information had been placed -in the possession of 
Mr. Franklin B. Gowen, the president of the road, that a 
strike for higher wages by all the regular trainmen of the 
main line and branches, under the management of the 
Brotherhood engineers employed on the Philadelphia and 
Reading road, was to shortly take place. 

In the minds of Mr. Gowen and the directors of the road 
there was only one way to meet this danger. The insolence 
of the Brotherhood threatened to destroy all security and 
safety in railroad management. Nearly every railroad in 
America had felt its demoralizing influence, and their ofti- 
cers trembled when they heard its ominous mutterings. A 
fight must sooner or later come, and with all that fearless- 
ness and keen calculation of results which characterized Mr. 
Gowen, in his splendid and victorious battle with those 
pests and disgrace of modern civilization, the Mollie Ma- 
guires, he at once determined to grapple with this still more 
insolent and dangerous organization, whatever the conse- 
quences might be. 

By openly challenging all the power of this most power- 
ful order, the Philadelphia and Reading road performed a 
duty to the general public which in its extent can hardly 
be estimated. It is beginning to be realized, but at that 
time it was only faintly appreciated. Its management had 


no animosity towards the Brotherhood as a society, any more 
than it conld have towards a church sewing-circle ; but they 
felt that the constant menace which existed, as the organi- 
zation was conducted by Mr. Arthur, not only towards their 
individual interests, but to all railroad interests, had become 
simply unbearable. As Mr. Gowen put it, he preferred a 
precipitation of the worst that could come, and that at once, 
to a continuation of the company's business with this Damo- 
clean sword hanging over it. 

The Philadelphia and Reading Company, which impera- 
tively demanded the withdrawal of all the engineers who 
wished to remain in its employ from the Brotherhood, did 
not make this demand without proposing to provide all of 
and more than the Brotherhood's helpful features. It 
agreed to contribute $15,000 to a life insurance fund, and 
$10,000 to an accident fund, both for the benefit of the 
employees of its road. To the life insurance fund engineers 
should pay $2, conductors and firemen $1.25, and brakemen 
$1 each per month. In the event of death, the families of 
those who had contributed $2 per month would receive 
$3,000 ; of those who had paid $1.25 per month, $1,000 ; 
and of those who had given $1 per month, $700 ; payments 
to be made within one month after the decease of the em- 
ployee so insured. To those dismissed from the service of 
the company, the amount contributed would be returned, 
and participation in the benefits of the fund would immedi- 
ately cease. To those voluntarily leaving, nothing would be 
returned, and their interest in the benefits would also end. 
In the accident department, those paying into the fund fifty 
cents per month would receive $6 per week when they were 
disabled ; those contributing seventy-five cents per month 
would receive $9 weekly ; and those giving $1 per month 
were to be paid $12 weekly. In no case, however, was the 
payment to be continued longer than six months. It was 


also provided that the $25,000 endowment, and the moneys 
received from contributors, were to be placed in the hands 
of the president and cashier of the Farmers' National Bank 
of Reading, who, with Mr. Gowen, should act as trustees oi 
the fund, and who were also required to submit an annual re- 
port showing a full statement of receipts and disbursements, 
the company to pay all expenses for clerical assistance. 

Now, any rational man cannot but admit that this propo- 
sition took from the Brotherhood all opportunity for com- 
plaint that this company in particular had no regard for its 
employees save in the light of rolling-stock and machinery. 
It provided everything that the Brotherhood provided, with 
the single exception of the power to strike and dictate terms 
to a railroad company for conducting its own business ; and 
right here was the rub. 

After the company had perfected this plan, its General 
Manager, Mr. Wootten, immediately issued a notice to all 
employees, and especially directed to the engineers, explain- 
ing the proposition of the company as to insurance endow- 
ment, and stating that all engineers who desired to remain 
in the employ of the Philadelphia and Reading road must 
withdraw from the Brotherhood ; and that their remaining 
on their engines after a certain designated date would be 
construed as an indication of their acquiescence in the 
requirements of the company. 

This was decisive action, and it was bound to bring about 
decisive results. 

The Brotherhood engineers, who had never before been 
called upon to swallow so bitter a pill as they conceived 
this to be, met at" once; and, with their usual insolence and 
assumption of power, under direction of the great mogul, 
Arthur, issued a notice, not only to engineers, but to all 
trainmen of the road, to stop work at twelve o'clock, mid- 
night, on the 14th of April, 1877. 


Through the services of my agencies, the Philadelphia 
and Reading Company were as well prepared for this anti- 
cipated action as it was possible to be, and to the deep cha- 
grin of the Brotherhood, which made a more desperate fight 
than they had ever before made or will ever again make, 
not a single passenger train was stopped, or even delayed. 
Before they had scarcely left their engines, these misled 
and deluded men found their places filled in most instances 
by engineers quite as skilled and capable as themselves ; 
while a large number of experienced firemen were instantly 
promoted to engines, which they handled with consummate 
skill and coolness under the trying circumstances. 

To counteract this, the defeated Brotherhood organized 
numbers of firemen and brakemen into what they termed a 
subsidiary " Union," and led its members to believe that by 
degrees they should be admitted into the Brotherhood, which 
promised every man who could be persuaded or intimidated 
from work, or who had come from a distance to accept 
work and could be bought off. the same sum per month to 
remain in idleness as the company would pay to them 
should they retain their places, or accept positions offered 

It is needless to add that in no single instance were these 


reckless promises kept. 

Notwithstanding every force and power which the Broth- 
erhood could muster, the running of the road was but a 
very little impaired. The most trouble was experienced on 
the Catawissa branch, extending from Port Clinton to Wil- 
liamsport. Many of 'the striking engineers lived at Cata- 
wissa, and they insulted, annoyed, and threatened the men 
constantly, and on several occasions were barely prevented 
from mobbing them ; but the company increased its police 
force, and, like the Boston and Maine road, furnished their 
new men very thorough protection. 


To illustrate how powerless these discharged Brotherhood 
engineers and their sympathizers were to consummate then 
threatened destruction of engines and other property of the 
company, and how simple a matter it is at any time for 
railway corporations to throw off utterly and forever this 
miserable and constantly threatening yoke of insolent bond- 
age, it is only necessary to state the circumstance, now a 
matter of railroad history, that no importance whatever 
should be attached to the statement in the newspapers that 
a large number of engines had been burned, and thereby 
rendered unfit for service. The bare fact of the matter is 
that but one engine out of the hundreds in use was disabled 
during the entire trouble, and that the cost of its repair was 
insignificant and trifling. ;i j 

There was, of course, some trouble and delay consequent 
upon the general excitement and inexperience of a number 
of the new trainmen. This, however, was but temporary, 
and in a short time it was evident to all that the Brother- 
hood had a second time, and that within a period of two 
months, experienced a defeat that was both disgraceful and 

And now for the result of all this recklessness. Not 
half a dozen of this large body of men, who were as com- 
fortably situated as men could wish, have been able to se- 
cure employment since they so shamefully deserted it. 
Being out of employment, the Brotherhood has proven itself 
absolutely powerless to furnish anything but the most pal- 
.try assistance, which came in driblets and pittances of no 
earthly help, and which were in fact an injury, as they 
served only to build a hope that more substantial recogni- 
tion of their loyalty would be forthcoming, and pre- 
vented their taking up other work until these misled men 
had reached a condition of abject want and suffering. 

This is no imaginary picture, nor is it a careless statement 


based on insufficient information. The public need not go 
beyond the passionate appeals for aid made by delegates to 
the Grand International Division held at Boston on the 17th 
of October, '77. 

They stated that these Philadelphia and Heading en- 
gineers, who had struck and whom the Brotherhood had 
pledged its sacred honor to sustain, had lost their homes, 
had had their families broken up and scattered, many or 
their children being subjects for alms ; that, through the 
discouragement that had come upon them, others had 
merged into loafers and drunkards, while still others were 
forced into becoming tramps and vagrants. 

Every phase of human suffering and despair was shown 
to have been endured by these men, and, after most piteous 
begging and pleading, this great braggart brotherhood was 
finally induced to vote the amounts promised. Up to this 
time they have not been paid, and the rapid dismember- 
ment of the order will undoubtedly prevent such payment 
ever being made. 



I HAVE been able to ascertain that the securing of an 
increased membership for a Brotherhood lodge is more often 
a matter of policy than gaining good men for the organiza- 
tion, or for bettering men who need bettering, as Mr. Arthur 
so strenuously claims is an important feature of the order. 

When a lodge is established, the first and only object of 
the charter members is to quietly and rapidly secure a con- 


trolling influence among engineers on the line or lines 
where the lodge may be in operation. No doubt there has 
been an effort at the beginning to place the matter in the 
hands of engineers of the greatest influence and best stand- 
ing ; but after this much has been accomplished, the only 
object beyond is to create power from numbers and secret 

The point is simply to bring about a condition of things 
where, when any difficulty ocelli's between the manage- 
ment of a railroad company and any of its employees, there 
shall be found in this Brotherhood organization sufficient 
power to control the final settlement in some manner through 
which the order shall be the gainer, and so that the com- 
pany shall be compelled to concede its right, and if not its 
right, its power, which is still more effective, to both control 
and dictate. 

The benefits to be derived from organization, association, 
mutual aid, fraternity, provision for families in case of acci- 
dent or death, are the influences first used to approach non- 
Brotherhood engineers for the purpose of getting them 
within the order. 

It is simple enough to see how powerful these are to men 
whose profession is so dangerous as that of the engineer, 
and it is no discredit .to these brave and earnest fellows that 
they are anxious to make some such provision as the Brother- 
hood so temptingly guarantees. This is the bait thrown 
out. After the lodge has been established, all' this guise of 
good fellowship and fraternity falls off. The form is sus- 
tained, but every member of the organization at once sees 
that the real purpose of the order is the acquiring of a con- 
centrated power which shall at all times, even at the veriest 
whim of its leaders, be able to assert itself in antagonism to 
railway management. 

In pursuance of this policy, which, from the nature of 


things becomes an active, progressive principle, new mem- 
bers are sought from among engineers with a view to theii 
nse at the point and in the section where the lodge is 
organized. One man may have influence at headquarters. 
Ue must be got hold of, for outside the order he is danger- 
ous to it. Inside the order he is at least harmless, and hr 
" influence " may be doubly effective in its interests. An- 
other man may be naturally mulish and obstinate and full 
of denunciations of the Brotherhood and its members. He 
must be secured in order to quiet him. Another may have 
a special and peculiar influence with firemen ; may be ex- 
ceedingly popular with them. He must be made a mem- 
ber quietly, so that in case of trouble this class of trainmen 
may be better controlled. In fact, among the vast body 
of railroad employees in our country and Canada, this 
order stands precisely as a huge political devil-fish that 
feeds upon anything and everything necessary to satiate its 
appetite and give it power ; and it is both quite as regard- 
less of what comes to its voracious maw as what it puts its 
reckless and once powerful grasp upon. 

For whatever cause it has been found desirable or neces- 
sary to bring a non-Brotherhood man within the order, when 
he has at last consented to become a member the following 
are the forms considered requisite and ceremonies to be ob- 
served before he shall have become a full-fledged brother: 

His application is signed by three members of the order 
in good standing. " Good standing" in this order has come 
to mean that one enjoying such reputation owes no dues. 
The three signers must vouch that the applicant has run on 
some road as a locomotive engineer for the period of one 
year, and that he possesses a good moral character. This 
application is then passed upon by the lodge in session. If 
the applicant is accepted, he is sometimes admitted at that 
session, but oftener not until some succeeding session, it 


being supposed desirous to give the impression that it is not 
such an easy matter to become a member of this great order. 
At the time set for initiation, however, the candidate, in 
company with a good brother, proceeds to the lodge-room, 
after the lodge is in session, and awaits developments in the 
ante-room. The following is a diagram of a division lodge 
room, and gives the relative positions, or " stations," as they 
are called, of its officers : 

r> : 



A Station of the Chief Engineer. His duties are to preside at all lodge 
meetings, and perform similar functions to all officers of like char- 

B Station of the First Assistant Engineer, who is the lodge Secretary. 

O Station of the Second Assistant Engineer. He is the Treasurer and 
general financial officer of the division. 

D Station of the First Engineer. This officer only officiates at the 
opening and closing ceremonies, and in the initiatory " work." 

E Station of the Second Engineer, who assists in preserving order, and 
attends to the "wicket" communicating with the ante- room, and 
all applications for admission from that quarter. 

F Station of the Chaplain. 

G Station of the Guide. This officer has charge of the candidate dur- 
ing his initiation. 

H Station of the Third Engineer, who acts as Outside Guard in the 

I Altar. 

J Wicket communicating with ante-room. 

X Door. 

X X Ante-room. 

When everything is in readiness for the reception of the 
candidate, the Guide proceeds to the ante-roorn, in company 
with the Chaplain. The latter greets the new-comer appro- 
priately, and then questions him closely as to his motives in 
desiring to become a member of the Brotherhood. The 
burden of this is to make a still deeper impression upon the 
stranger of the importance of the order. Satisfactory an, 
swers being received, the two leave the candidate in the 
ante-room in charge of the Third Engineer, and return to 
the lodge-room, where they report the result and resume 
their "stations." On notice by the Second Engineer} 
through the wicket, that the lodge is prepared to receive 
the stranger, the Third Engineer and an assistant blindfold 
him most securely. 

He is then conducted into the room, where all the mem- 
bers rise with a great rush and racket. This is followed by 
perfect silence for a moment, after which, during the sing- 


of an ode, the Guide marches the candidate around the 


hall twice. The room is completely darkened, so that, 
should the new-comer conclude to remove the bandage foi 
purposes of his own, his treachery would avail him nothing. 

Then, in perfect silence, he is led to the Chief Engineer's 
" station." That officer suddenly and impressively inquires 
who it is that approaches. The Guide humbly states that 
he has a friend in charge, who wishes to become a worthy 
member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. 
After the Chief Engineer has formally satislied himself that 
the candidate is well qualified, he orders the Guide to con- 
duct him to the station of the Second Engineer, who repeats 
the challenge offered by the Chief Engineer, and is answered 
in precisely the same way, which brings an order from the 
Second Engineer to proceed to the altar. 

This is immediately in front of the Chief Engineer's 
"station." Here the candidate is compelled to kneel and 
place his left hand upon his heart, and his right upon the 
Bible, which lies upon the altar before him, when the Chief 
Engineer administers the oath, the candidate repeating each 
sentence after him. That it contains that which should be re- 
pulsive to all sentiments of manliness and fair-dealing among 
men, and makes of this organization something to be de- 
spised and condemned, every good citizen cannot but admit. 

It is as follows : 

I, -- , do swear that I am a locomotive en- 
gineer, having been employed as such for a period of one 
year. I now wish to be made a member of the Brother- 
hood of Locomotive Engineers. 

In this solemn position I do promise and swear, and de- 
clare upon my most sacred honor, that I will keep forever 
secret any and every thing that I shall see done, or hear, 
in any division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. 

Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will never in 


any manner be disloyal to this order, or wrong any one of 
its members, or permit one of them to be wronged or in- 
jured, if it shall be in my power to prevent it. 

Furthermore do 1 promise and swear that I will forevei 
keep secret the doings and orders of this Brotherhood, and 
that I will never disclose to any living person its passwords, 
grips, and signs, except when duly authorized so to do, and 
then only to a member in good standing. 

Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will support, 
and abide by, all the requirements and decisions of the 
Grand International Division of the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers ; and further, that I will never speak of 
the order in a disrespectful manner, but will always yield 
a cheerful obedience to all of its laws, rules, and usages, and 
that I will not recommend any unworthy man to member- 
ship in this order. 

Furthermore do I promise and swear that, should I be 
expelled from this order, I will never disclose to any living 
person anything concerning the Brotherhood, of any name 
or nature, and will as sacredly preserve its secrets as though 
I were still a member in good standing. 

Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will at all 
times do everything in my power to assist a member of this 
order in good standing to secure and retain employment ; 
but I pledge my most sacred honor, calling on God as my 
witness, that I will never, under any circumstances, assist, 
or recommend for employment, any one who is a non- 
Brotherhood man, or an expelled member of this order. 

To all of which I do pledge my most sacred honor, bind- 
ing myself to a rigid execution of every promise, in spirit 
and letter, to the uttermost, under no Less a penalty than to 
have my eyes torn from their sockets, and to myself be for- 
ever damned and disgraced by all members of this Brother- 
hood of Locomotive Engineers. So help me God ! 


I have purposely italicized the latter portions of this oath 
so that the public may fully appreciate its fearful character. 

Here is an organization with a professing Christian at its 
head a man who in every public manner possible, upon 
the platform, in long-winded communications to news- 
papers, to acquaintances and friends, and with his eyes 
raised to heaven to witness his honesty and sincerity, has 
protested that nothing but sweetness, simplicity, reform, 
Christian charity and all the graces have nestled within it, 
which has for its very foundations a most heartless pledge to 
refuse all assistance to the very class to which they belong, 
and every member of which is just as deserving as them- 
selves of the opportunity of securing an honest livelihood. 

Out upon such " brotherhood " ! 

Every important sentiment expressed by this obligation is 
utterly antagonistic to the spirit of our republican citizen- 
ship, and its very treason to common humanity, to common 
decency, and to common manhood, should bring upon their 
supporters, and propagators, and particularly upon the dan- 
gerous man who to-day is both ruling and ruining the or- 
ganization with a sham and pretense of pious humanita- 
rianism, while living upon the hard earnings of his deluded 
followers, the execration of all classes of workingmen and 
that of all other good citizens. 

The fearful oath which caps all this dangerous stuff, 
binding the engineer taking the same to the terrible penalty 
named, in case of disloyalty to the Brotherhood, is too re- 
volting to call for comment. It is simply the consummation 
of outrageous brutality. 

But this is not all. 

After the administration of this oath, the light is sud- 
denly turned on in the hall, the bandage is removed from 
the eyes of the candidate, and he is then given a " lecture " 
by the Chief Engineer, in which the solemnity of the oath ia 


dwelt upon, his general duties regarding secrecy and other 
matters are reviewed, and he is specially reminded, and 
that with great impressiveness, that it is one of his chief 
duties to prevent, with every means in his power, the pro- 
motion of firemen to the position of engineer. 

Now, in every instance where Brotherhood engineers 
have gone upon a strike, it has been their first business to 
secure the co-operation of the firemen upon the line, or 
lines, where the strike was to occur. This is invariably 
done by representing to these hard-working fellows that 
their interests are identical, that they are the stuff from 
which engineers are made, that the fireman and the engi- 
neer are equally powerful when combined, and equally 
helpless when separated, and that it is the chief duty of 
men who aspire to become engineers to assist these men in 
every possible scheme and move which will give them an 
advantage over the railroad company; and yet the "lec- 
ture " of every chief engineer of every division of this 
Brotherhood contains a most earnest and impressive injunc- 
tion that it is of paramount necessity with the Brotherhood 
engineer that he shall use every means in his power to pre- 
vent the fireman's promotion ! 

How will this great body of earnest fellows relish the 
knowledge that these Brotherhood men whom they have 
stood by manfully in every trouble with which they have 
been identified have used them as mere tools to cast aside 
when done with, and that it is one of their most earnest 
duties to prevent their well-earned advancement ? 

After this remarkable " lecture," the candidate is obliged 
to sign the constitution and by-laws, when he is instructed 
in the use of the signs, grips, and passwords of the order. 

This order has three signs the Sign of Recognition, the 
Sign of Distress, and the Voting Sign. 

The Sign of Recognition is as follows: Both hands are 


raised, open and backs upward, until, with the arms, they 
describe a semi-circle, the points of the fingers meeting 
between and just above the eyes, and then botli hands ara 
brought down over the eyes to the sides with a quick move- 
ment, indicating the penalty of having the eyes torn from 
their sockets in case of disloyalty. It is answered in the 
same manner. 

The Sign of Distress is made by placing the left hand 
upon the region of the chest, pressing the same, and ex- 
pressing by the features that the one making such sign is 
suffering bodily pain. The response is made by the use of 
the same sign. 

The Voting Sign is made by raising the left hand, instead 
of the right, as is usual in such bodies when the votes are 
counted, bringing the hand to the breast, and then dropping 
it at the side. 

There are two passwords. The general password, which 
is used when traveling and when testing visiting members 
as will be explained is changed annually, and is given 
by the Grand International Division of the order, and only 
to those divisions whose grand dues are wholly paid. 

This password for the year 1877 was the word " Michi- 
gan," the peculiarity of its division into syllables, and their 
pronunciation, vouching for the sincerity of its possessor. 
This will be explained. 

Aside from this, each separate division and in February, 
'78, there were about two hundred of these divisions, or 
lodges, in the States and Canada has its own password, 
which, under any circumstances, is of very little impor- 
tance, as each member of a local lodge is expected to per- 
sonally know every other member. 

There is but one grip for all circumstances and occasions. 
This is given by grasping a brother's right hand with youi 
own, shaking it heartily, and instantly, on ceasing this 


motion, giving the side of his hand four successive taps 
with the point of your little finger, which should be quickly 
recognized in the same manner. 

The amount of initiation fee is fixed upon by each divi- 
sion, but it is usually ten dollars. 

The emergency fund (local), division dues, Grand Inter- 
national Division dues, and the " levies " ordered by Mr. 
Arthur for the sustenance of striking Brotherhood men, and 
for the insurance payments to families of deceased Brother- 
hood engineers, usually have amounted to about nine dollars 
per member annually. On account of Mr. Arthur's rash- 
ness, the striking of engineers in several localities, and the 
great strikes of '77, for that year they reached twice the 
amount stated, and were utterly repudiated by large num- 
bers of Brotherhood engineers. 

Aside from the signs, grip and passwords, members of 
the order in good standing are furnished with a traveling 
card, a copy of the face and reverse of which I here give : 


To The 

This is to Certify, that Bro 



Is a Member in Good Standing of 
Div., No.- 

Given at , 187 . 

F. A. E. 

' C. E. 



' Experience as a 


Employed at present by 

F. A. E. 

It will be seen that this is a complete record of the man, 
and entitles him to every consideration and courtesy in the 
power of the order, when presented ; but there is even still 
a check on a person who may have surreptitiously become 
possessed of one of these important cards, which must in- 
varibly bear the impress of the seal of the division which 
grants it. 

This is " the test." It is invaribly applied to a visiting 
brother under the following circumstances, and in the man- 
ner described. 

The visitor is admitted by the Outside Guard, who immedi- 
ately communicates the fact of such admission to the Second 
Engineer, through the wicket. The latter officer at once 
makes the fact known to the Chief Engineer, who suspends 
business and appoints a committee to wait upon the visitor 
and submit him to the " test." 

On their reaching the ante-room, the chairman of the 


committee greets the supposed brother cordially, causing 
him to give the grip, which is answered. The visitor has 
the right, and frequently asserts it, to demand the charter 
of the division, that he may be assured that the lodge is 
properly authorized and regularly working. If this is found 
satisfactory to the visitor, he so expresses himself, when 
both he and the chairman advance towards each other with 
extended hands. Then grasping each other's hand, again 
giving the grip, and placing the left side of the toe of the 
right box)t against the left side of the instep of the other's 
right boot, the visitor bends forward, whispers the first syl- 
lable cf the word " Mich i : gan," thus : " Mich ! " pro- 
nounced sharply "mish!" The chairman responds bj 
whispering in his ear, " I ! " The visitor then answers, 
Gan ! " * 

This test was formerly considered sufficient for all pur- 
poses, and on its being properly sustained by the visitor, he 
was immediately conducted into the lodge-room, when, ad- 
vancing to the center of the hall, he saluted the Chief Engi- 
neer with the regular sign of recognition, which was returned 
by that officer, when the Guide led him to a seat, and at 
" recess " he was heartily welcomed. 

But, on account of the recklessness with which the organi- 
zation has been handled, leading, as it has, to general dis- 
satisfaction, withdrawals from disgust with the whole thing, 
and expulsions for non-payment of assessments to perpetu- 

* The Traveling Password for the present year (1878) is the letters 
"B. L. E.," given in the same manner as the word " Michigan." 

The Sign of Recognition has also just been changed from that of bring- 
ing the joined points of the hands from the center of the forehead, quick- 
ly down over the eyes to the sides, to clasping the hands in front of. and 
upon, the waist. 

The Sign of Distress only supposed to be used at night is now given 
by sharply striking together the two hands and uttering the words : "O 
help me ! " 



ate warfare against some railroad, and the consequent idle- 
ness of scores of men whom it was found necessary to sup- 
port, this test-work is now little relied on. 

The traveling card, which has been explained, is now 
almost the sole test of membership and good standing, as it 
must be renewed every three months, and will not be 
granted by the division only when dues have been fully 
paid. Its necessity is also shown in the fact that, although 
for years it has been almost an invariable custom for engi- 
neers, when traveling from one section of the country to 
another, to " get a lift " in the cab of any engineer to whom 
he may apply, so much bitter feeling has been created 
within the Brotherhood itself by the withdrawals and ex- 
pulsions referred to, and so much suspicion has arisen 
between Brotherhood men since the great strikes of '77, 
that the comparatively few Brotherhood engineers who still 
have faith in the order will not permit another engineer 
to ride upon his engine, however effectively he may give 
the sign of distress, or however excellently he may stand 
" the test." 

He must have the traveling card, or he is left the alter- 
native to pay his fare or tramp it. 

This concludes what I know to be a full and complete 
expose of the inner workings of this order. With the infor- 
mation here contained and a " traveling card," every intel- 
ligent male reader of this book could enter any division 
lodge of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers with 
just as much ease as P. M. Arthur himself. 

I am able to also say, with quite as certain a knowledge, that 
the organization has passed its zenith of power and is gradu- 
ally but surely falling to pieces. Whether it is true or nob 
thousands of members have come to feel that Mr. Arthur 
was re-elected through the veriest of political wire-pulling ; 
and a large number of the members openly express the con- 

viotion that the inonevs of the organization are being svs- 

*/ O / 

tematically misapplied. Such a loss of confidence can 
never be regained from men who labor for their money so 
steadfastly and faithfully as do locomotive engineers. 

They see that dissensions are 'constant; that members 
are constantly withdrawing from various causes of disaffec- 
tion ; and that other members nearly three hundred during 
1877 and almost twice that number for the first two months 
in 1878! are being expelled for non-payment of dues and 
assessments which are continually growing more onerous 
and burdensome ; they see that every pledge made by the 
grand officers has been broken nearly as soon as it has 
been made ; and, above all, they have learned, many from 
the bitterest of personal experience, that in almost every 
instance where a strike has been ordered, it has not only 
brought them disaster, notwithstanding .the bluster and 
bravado of Mr. Arthur, but that they have been perma- 
nently deprived of labor, and, after that, deserted in the 
most cowardly manner by these grand officers who have so 
sacredly promised them support. 

Intelligent men, as the locomotive engineers almost in*a- 
riably are, after a time learn these lessons so well that no 
sophistry, flattery, or selfish cunning, can retain their confi- 
dence or renew their fealty when they have once retired 
from the order ; and it may be set down as a certainty of 
the future that the day for any powerful organization of 
railway employees of like influence and daring to that 
which the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers had 
gained and exercised, is passed, and will never within the 
present generation be re-established upon the crumbling 
ruins of this notorious and at one time respectable organiza- 

Before passing from the subject of railway employee 
organizations, it is no more than proper that a few words 


should be said of those other associations kindred to the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. 

The Grand International Union of Locomotive Firemen, 
which is of comparatively recent origin, is nothing more or 
less than an almost exact copy of the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers. Its grand officers are the same, under 
different titles, and have the same general duties ; its lodges 
are operated in almost precisely the same manner as are the 
divisions of the last-named order ; it publishes a monthly 
magazine, similarly edited and conducted ; it has its Gen- 
eral Grievance Committee, with the same functions and 
powers ; and it feeds and supports, out of the scrimped 
savings of hard-worked firemen, just the same number of 
official dictators. 

This organization has, at this writing, eighty divisions, 
comprising a membership of nearly four thousand firemen. 
It is not considered prosperous, as the firemen who have 
already joined the order, with the career of the Brother-' 
hood of Locomotive Engineers in mind, are not over-confi 
dent of its success ; and that immense body of firemen 
outside of the association, for the same reason, are very cau- 
tious about forming an alliance with influences which can 
only antagonize them towards their employers, as well as 
endano-er their own interests. 


But, of all ridiculous, wild, and absurd schemes of brain- 
less and unprincipled men for the combination of em- 
ployees in railway service, the Trainmen's Union was the 
silliest, the craziest, and the most reckless. It was this or- 
ganization which precipitated the great strikes of '77, but 
as elsewhere stated, the encroaching spirit of communism, 
and the insolence which the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers had engendered in nearly all classes of railway 
employees, were the principal causes if, indeed, they were 
not the real causes which created the Trainmen's Union 


itself. This notorious society was founded by Robert A. 
'iinmon, or "Boss" Ammon, a sketch of whose career is 
elsewhere given. This reckless adventurer and conscience 
less agitator organized the order in Allegheny City during 
the latter part of May, 1877, and just previous to the at- 
tempted strike of the next month, being the person to for- 
mulate the oath, as well as the constitution and by-laws, 
and was the first person who took the oath and signed the 

The machinery of the Union was very simple. The 
whole thing was only the result of one of Ammon's freaks, 
and, although it was at one time the bugbear of nearly 
every railway official in the country, it never had one iota 
of character or power. It was a new thing, and because it 
permitted all trainmen to become members, the public im- 
mediately jumped to the conclusion that nearly all trainmen 
had joined it, and what was of really the least importance 
imaginable, became something to be dreaded and feared by 

Although a great effort was made to secure members, at 
no time in its existence had it a membership of over seven 
hundred persons. It was commonly believed that one hun- 
dred times that number belonged to the order. It received 
everybody and anybody without question. All that was 
necessary to be known of a candidate for admission was 
that he was a professed enemy of railroad management on 
general principles ; and at the third meeting for the initia- 
tion of members, my operatives were able to become mem- 
bers of the union without any trouble whatever. 

To illustrate how characterless the organization was from 
beginning to end, it is only necessary to state the fact that 
the " grand chief " of the union was one " Sam " Muckle, 
who was so worthless and unprincipled a man that, though 
he had at one time occupied nearly every position below an 


official one in railway service, he had become so thor- 
oughly dreaded and despised, that he himself confessed to 
be unable to secure employment on any railroad in the 
country. Besides this reputation, which he so richly mer- 
ited, he added the honor of being proprietor of one of the 
lowest "poker- dens " in Pittsburg, and of being the con- 
stant companion of thieves and prostitutes. 

The Trainmen's Union is no more. It died a violent 
death with the violence of the great strikes, and there can 
to-day hardly be found a man who will confess to having 
once been a member. 

And thus the disruption of such combinations goes on. 
"Were they confined to such purposes as is always claimed 
for them by their leaders, they would live and accomplish 
vast good. As they are merely schemes for exercising 
brute force for selfish ends, whatever may be the disaster 
and ruin to others, in good time they invariably meet with 
the fate they deserve. 



LEAVING for the present, further discussion of the subject 
of tramps, communists, and turbulent organizations, to be 
reverted to hereafter, as occasion may demand, I come to 
the time just preceding the 16th of April, 1877, and the 
incidents bearing upon the beginning of trouble with the 
Baltimore and Ohio Eailway. In 1856, John W. Ganett, 
who had acquired some reputation as a business man, be- 
came president of the company, which he found in poor 


condition, its stock quoted low, and its dividends small 
indeed. Garrett appeared the right man for the place, and 
when the civil war came, developed splendid executive 
ability. Surrounding himself with capable lieutenants, and 
having influence with the secretary of war, he secured such 
profitable contracts that, in the end, the credit of the cor- 
poration was fully restored, and the road extended, until it 
became one of the most prominent lines in the country. 
Early in the month of July, however, clouds began to 
gather above the president's head. A storm was impending 
which, before it could be controlled, or its power combated, 
would extend its ravages from the Atlantic to the Pacific, 
and from Pennsylvania to Texas, involving the nation in 
untold loss and misfortune. The great strike of '77 had its 
inception upon this line of road, and was the result of 
a docking of ten per cent, in the wages it paid its train 
employees. The llth of July, the president by means of 
an official circular, informed the hands that, at a meeting 
convened the same day, a preamble and resolutions had 
been adopted ordering a reduction of ten per cent, in the 
compensation of all officers and operatives of the road where 
the sum received was in excess of one dollar^;- diem, the 
change to take effect on and after the sixteenth of the same 
month. This rule embraced every man engaged upon the 
main line and branches east of the Ohio River, and the 
trans-Ohio division, as well as the roads leased and run by 
the Baltimore and Ohio Company. The notice stated that 
the road had postponed action in this direction until some 
time after its great competitors, the Pennsylvania, New 
i r ork Central, Hudson River, and New York and Erie 
companies, had made sweeping and similar retrenchments, 
hoping that meanwhile business would revive and the 
necessity for a decrease of expenses thus be obviated. In 
this they were disappointed. The principal reason brought 


forward for the action taken was depression in general 
business interests of the country, which was unavoidably 
and seriously affecting the earnings of all railways. In 
short, the change must be made. The call for it was im- 

Persons who have means of information superior to those 
of the ordinary observer suppose that the low-wages move- 
ment along the great trunk lines was undoubtedly canvassed 
and decided upon by the representatives of the various 
roads shortly after the close of Yanderbilt's freight war, in 
the spring. At least the Pennsylvania company put it in 
force during the month of May. Its cutting down of 
wages to the extent of ten per cent, met acceptance by the 
men employed. At least they made no trouble over it at 
the time. The Erie road followed, with the New York 
Central, the reduction to take effect the first of July. In 
these cases the laborers were duly informed, beforehand, 
of the changes that were to be made, and had an opportu- 
nity, if they so desired, to send in a demurrer. The .Balti- 
more and Ohio road, as asserted in its circular, was nearly 
the last to move in the matter. Two days before the rule 
was to be enforced on its line, some of the firemen at once 
decided to strike. They could not, and would not, stand 
such sweeping deductions from their incomes. Divisions 
or sections of the Trainmen's Union were in full blast all 
along the line. They had been effectively instituted, dur- 
ing the preceding spring and summer, by a duly author- 
ized traveling delegation from the Pennsylvania road, and 
every preparation made for a movement of their own, 
unanimously determined upon, but which they had intended 
deferring until the succeeding fall. Would they ever be in 
better trim to make a stand against the company ? Many 
thought not ; so they began the strike. 

These woikingmen assumed that their grievances were 


unbearable. They were certainly badly treated by the 
merchants and boarding-house keepers along the route, the 
latter class compelling them to pay inordinately high 
rates for meals, lodging, and such necessities as trainmen 
are compelled to have. They believed that a turn in affairs 
could not make them much worse off, and it might possibly 
better their condition. With low earnings which, however, 
were not so low as other workingmen were receiving very 
high rents, heavy demands on their scanty store for all 
they had at the stations and elsewhere, extravagant prices 
for groceries and provisions, by dealers outside of Balti- 
more, where many of those having families made their 
frugal homes, with extortion pressing them on every side, 
coupled with compulsory credit purchases from month to 
month, they began to nurse a hatred towards the company 
and an antagonism towards the general public. Of one 
thing, however, they could not reasonably complain. Their 
monthly pay came regularly. On no occasion, since the 
inception of the organization, had the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad's laborers been forced to wait more than a few 
days for their rightful dues. The engineers, firemen, brake- 
men, baggagemen, and other hard- worked employees of the 
road always received their dues with admirable prompti- 

The company had been for more than a year gradually 
reducing the number of persons under regular pay, and yet 
retained more than the traffic of the line warranted, prefer- 
ring to do the best possible by those retained rather than keep 
a large force on starvation wages. But still there was more 
help than work. The directors claimed that they must keep 
a certain force, in order to meet the demands of the coming 
busy season, when men might be hard to find. This excess 
of help, as compared with work done, caused some com- 
plaint. Those under wages lost valuable time, amounting 


in some cases to two or three days in a week, for which 
they could collect no compensation, and thus reducing their 
incomes greatly, but which was still far better than no em- 
ployment at all. The road carried a moderate amount of 
freight to the eastward, but could not get sufficient to the 
westward to load its cars. It ran in the busiest season not 
more than thirty-five trains in each direction. To the west 
they were unprofitable, being largely made up of empty 
cars. Thus the number of cars in a train could be increased 
or doubled up, and a portion of the crew must lie over and 
wait, at their own expense, until their services were re- 
quired. The labor demanded of those working was consid- 
erably increased, while part of the crews remained idle. 
It was a style of management which could not fail in a hard 
time to prove economical to the railway, but it was very 
hard upon the employees of the company. Often a single 
brakeman on a freight train had over twenty cars to attend 
to, an increase of eight over those of the previous year. 
Then the number of men on a train was reduced to four 
the conductor, brakemen, engineer, and fireman. These 
things, coupled with the great depression in wages, were 
sufficient to engender discontent. There were grounds for 
it. But the subsequent act of the engineers and train- 
men's unions cannot be approved or sustained. They had 
discouragements so had the entire people of the United 
States, for that matter. But it would seem that men en- 
dowed with ordinary foresight might have known that their 
condition could not be bettered by a strike. Still they did 
not see and struck. 

As soon as President Garrett, Vice-President King, and 
Second Vice-President Keyser were made acquainted with 
the strike and they knew it early and were well-posted as 
to the movements of the Brotherhood of Engineers and the 
Trainmen's Union they pronounced it untimely, ill-ad- 


vised, and fated to meet no great success. This road, like 
all others, was passing through the darkest days of ite exist- 
ence a financial stringency which was affecting the whole 
country. There was a falling off in business where an 
accession had been confidently calculated upon. These 
were some of the results of competition and unproductive 
extensions of line. The demand, they all said, existed for 
a curtailment of expenses, and the reduction had to be 
made. -But the strike was simply suicidal on the part of 
the men engaged in it. When informed of the demands 
of the strikers, the officers promptly refused them. They 
knew that a stoppage would lead to a great loss, but pre- 
ferred to let the road stand still for six months rather than 
submit to dictation and cause a reinstatement of the former 
rates of wages. 

Meetings of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers 
were held, advice was given and received, and that body, 
it was supposed, had concluded not to take part in the 
strike. At least such was the report made to outsiders. 
But, if the organization did not turn out as a society, it con- 
sented that the Trainmen's Union should do so, and in some 
instances assisted indirectly in starting the important move- 
ment. All things being ready, the strike was commenced 
at Martinsburg, West Virginia, where the first actual vio- 
lence occurred on the very day that the reduction of wages 
on the Baltimore and Ohio road was ordered to take effect, 
which was on July 16, 1877. 

In the lively little city of Martinsburg, West Virginia, 
near the historical Harper's Ferry and the locality where old 
John Brown sealed his devotion to what he considered a 
holy cause with his life, and a little less than a hundred 
miles from Baltimore, occurred the first important incidents 
of the great strikes of '77. The precise time was the 
night of July 16th. The same day two engineers deserted 


their locomotives at Riverside, south of Baltimore. The 
strikers had notified the crews of all freight trains that no 
person should move an engine after a certain hour, under 
penalty of death. It is not pretended that this order was 
an official fulmination from the Trainmen's Union. It had 
undoubtedly obtained circulation through its leaders, how- 
ever, and carried with it the weight of an authorized rule. 
Engineers on the road were paralyzed. The managers of 
the line hastened to make good their usual trips and secure 
help to take the places of the men striking. But they met 
only partial success. 

Martinsburg, which has added to its eventful history the 
doubtful compliment of having been the theatre of the in- 
auguration of violence in the late labor troubles, is a hand- 
some place of eight thousand inhabitants, centrally located 
in the midst of the garden-spot of West Virginia. It is 
probably the most prosperous of the inland cities of the 
great valley of Virginia. Swept by the waters of the 
placid and beautiful Potomac, its environs are unsurpassed 
for romantic and picturesque glimpses of farm-houses, 
green fields, sloping hillsides, glades, and groves. To the 
westward stands North mountain, and to the eastward rise 
the cloud-like tips of the famous Blue Ridge. Nestled like 
a flower-garden in a sweet valley, between the higher peaks, 
is the town, resplendent in white paint, glistening church- 
spires, and numerous brick buildings with the brightest of 
green blinds. To the northward and southward, unrolled 
in a vast and undulating plain, dotted with clumps of trees 
and crossed and recrossed by network of fence and hedge 
between mountain-spurs, is seen the fruitful savanna form- 
ing this portion of Berkeley county. Nearly all the land 
is arable, and under a high state of cultivation by a hardy, 
rugged population, many of whose members have removed 
to the state from Pennsylvania and other states, since the 


close of the late war. A more orderly or thrifty people 
than these farmers conld not easily be found. The counties 
of Morgan and Jefferson adjoin Berkeley on the west and 
the east ; the Potomac on the north ; and Frederick, in Old 
Virginia, on the south. For many miles around Martins- 
burg the region is rich in grain-fields and pastures, the lat- 
ter specked with fat cattle and fine sheep, and in its stables 
are some of the best bits of horse-flesh in the whole coun- 
try. To those who have been accustomed to traveling 
through the dreary, yellow-soiled, sad, forlorn, deserted, and 
forsaken portions of the Southern States, this section of 
West Virginia appears a very garden of Eden. It is really 
a delightful locality. The town is well built up, and has 
some spacious edifices, public and private. Nearly all of 
the orthodox churches are represented by houses for wor- 
ship, of more or less pretensions ; and there are six school- 
houses for the accommodation of white and colored chil- 
dren, twenty-five hundred of whom can be taught within 
their ample halls. The business of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, with that of the division shops, gives employment 
to a large number of mechanics, and the pay-roll from rail- 
road and repair labor alone amounts to some $30,000 
monthly. The streets of the city are lighted with gas. 
Medicinal springs of great reputation are found within a 
few miles. The cost of the system of water-works, obtain- 
ing cold, clear water from a lime-rock spring near by, was 
over $SO,000. It was in this happy neighborhood, since 
the war resting in peace and quietude, that the combina- 
tion of railroad men, carrying out their communistic ideas, 
imbrued their hands in blood and met their first loss of 

The night of Monday, the 16th of July, the train hands 
leaving Baltimore that morning, and those coming from the 
west upon freights, began to concentrate at Martiusburg. 


Some of the cabooses from the city had several employees 
in them. There was nothing unusual in seeing a initnbei 
of locomotives upon the tracks near the dispatcher's office. 
Nor was there anything particularly noticeable in finding 
several freight conductors, engineers, firemen, and off-time 
baggage-men and brakemen congregating at that point. 
But there was surely something of more than ordinary inter- 
est transpiring, or about to transpire, when these persons 
met mysterious!} 7 in little groups at the depot hotel, the 
machine-shops, on the track, at the switch-stand, and in 
other localities, and anxiously and excitedly counseled to- 
gether, not speaking above a whisper, but emphasizing their 
words with many gestures, and often signs of undue excite- 
ment. Everybody seemed to be in ill-humor. The expla- 
nation of the unusual gatherings, the conversations, and the 
gesticulations, was plain enough when one fireman an- 
nounced to the dispatcher that the cattle-train was forced 
to stop there, as its crew, conductor included, had struck, 
and no one could be found to fill their places. In fact, he 
thought no more trains would be allowed to move from 
Martinsburg, in either direction. The infection soon com- 
municated itself to the lookers-on, and they commenced to 
talk and energetically wag their jaws and tongues, adding 
to the confusion of the hour. More people came down the 
hill from the adjacent business houses and residences, to 
see what was going on. Among the rest was the big police- 
man, with the broad back and crooked legs, with his club 
in hand. Then there was the thin policeman, and the small 
policeman, both with their big clubs. These latter person- 
ages sauntered leisurely around the depot, then stopped, 
leaned listlessly against the posts of the gallery, and waited 
to see if their invaluable services would be called for. 
Presently the locomotives were detached from the trains, 
and all run into the " stables " at the round-house, where the 


proper attendants were in readiness to take them in hand, 
" rub them down," and draw their fires. 

Everything was performed systematically and quietly, 
without use of loud words or unnecessary noise of any sort, 
as if the work had all been pre-arranged before the com- 
ing in of the trains. When asked by the proper officials 
what such movements portended, the strikers responded 
that no more trains were to be run over that road, in any 
direction, until the ten per cent, reduction of trainmen's 
wages should be withdrawn by the company. It was, 
in truth, a strike of the trainmen for higher pay. With- 
out it was conceded, they intended to refrain from work, 
and would not permit a new set of men to labor in their 
places. The freight trains must stand just where they were. 
Mail trains could pass for the present, but eventually they 
would also be brought to a stand-still. This was, in part, 
the statement made to the company for its consideration. 

A buzz of stirring interest was elicited from the, by this 
time, increased crowd of spectators. The ripple spread 
and widened, and spread again, until it reached every citi- 
zen of the place. It was taken up by the telegraph, flew 
quickly to Camden Station, Baltimore, the headquarters of 
the corporation, where it was the cause of considerable trib- 
ulation among the officials and employees ; then sped to the 
great centres of the Associated Press, in Washington and 
New York, whence in a few minutes the news was sent 
forth, still on the wings of the lightning, that there was 
trouble at Martinsburg, West Virginia, on the line of the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and that an actual blockade 
of the line had been formed. The staid citizen of Portland, 
Oregon, when he read the brief announcement in his favor- 
ite paper, the next morning at the breakfast-table, glanced 
slightingly at it, and quickly concluded that it would hardly 
amount to anything. The Britisher, rosy and rotund, in 


London, impatiently remarked, while he quaffed his bitter 
beer at his inn: "Those blasted Hamericans 'av got Imp 
another wiot an' a wnrnpus, hall about nothing ! " And he 
probably sent his copy of the Times politely to a hot place, 
because of its lack of something stunning in the way of war 
dispatches. The little vibration of wrath had reached to 
the uttermost limits of earth having the telegraph, and still 
caused no particular sensation. But it was the precursor 
of a monster -wave, which made America tremble and sent 
a perceptible thrill throughout the habitable globe where 
newspapers are published and dispatches received. 

The small policeman was finally sent for the Mayor, 
Captain A. P. Shutt, who promptly put in an appearance, 
and, backed by his trio of municipal guardians, held a con- 
ference with the railway officials, during which he made 
known his willingness to do all he could to induce the dis- 
turbing element to subside. Then, in accordance with his 
promise, he proceeded to speak with the crowd, now greatly 
increased by railroad men making their homes in the city, 
using mild and temperate language, and advising those 
present to return to their work and trust to the fairness 
of the company in the settlement of their grievances. He 
thought they would, in that manner, receive whatever was 
just and proper. His remarks were well calculated to quiet 
and conciliate reasonable beings ; but the mob, following 
the general rule, had reached that point where sense van- 
ishes, and passion and uncurbed turbulence assume the 
reins and drive men's minds to madness and violence. 
Therefore, the Mayor was hooted at, derided, and his good 
counsel turned to ridicule. He signally failed in impressing 
upon the railroaders any of his mild-mannered notions. 
He could not make them understand that it would be best 
to run their locomotives to their destinations. On the con 
trary, his speech served to add fuel to the fires already 


fiercely burning, and, in a short time, giving it up as a hope- 
less task, lie sent his policemen to arrest the ringleaders of 
the mob. The crowd of strikers laughed in the faces of 
his inefficient force. The policemen made frantic efforts 
to obey, but were powerless. Both of the Mayor's appeals 
were about equally fruitless. The men would not work. 
The engineers found an excuse for refusal to work, saying 
they dare not ascend to their cabs. The firemen and the 
trackmen held back with all their strength ; neither would 
they allow others to supply their places. The Mayor was 
finally forced to withdraw from the field, with his officers, 
and the strikers in a short time had the situation at their 
undisputed command. By midnight the machine-shops, 
depot, and round-house were all deserted, save by a deputa- 
tion of Union men, left to guard the track, and see that no 
trains started from or passed by that point. The strangers 
from Baltimore had sought shelter at the hotels, or been 
taken in and provided for by their fellow-strikers, and the 
local master of transportation, the telegraph manager and 
his operatives, were left alone in the office to communicate 
the information of the strike to President Garrett and Vice- 
President King, at Baltimore. 

A little after midnight a special car brought to the spot 
Capt. Tlios. B. Sharp, General Master of Transportation, 
who, after taking in the full condition of affairs, which 
was not difficult of comprehension, sent the result of his 
investigation in a telegraphic dispatch to the principal 
office. After due consideration by the Baltimore officials 
of the road, a telegram was prepared and sent to Governor 
Mathews, stating the facts as here given, and asking him 
to send a militia force to compel the strikers to abandon 
violent measures and allow trains to move in safety. 

The Governor was very prompt indeed ; some there were 
who thought him entirely too prompt in returning a dis- 


patch to Col. C. J. Faulkner, at Martinsburg, dated at 
Wheeling about midnight, ordering the colonel, if necessary, 
to call out his command, the Berkeley Light Infantry, to 
protect and aid the civil authorities, and make due report 
to the executive office as to his operations and the existing 
state of affairs. 

Col. Faulkner is a son of the Confederate General Faulk- 
ner, who, it will be remembered, gave the United States 
forces so much trouble throughout West Tennessee, in 1S62 
and 1863. 

When informed of the Governor's wishes, which was at 
about 12.30 A.M., July 17th, Col. Faulkner returned answer, 
also by telegraph, that the strikers had refused to allow 
trains to move either east or west from Martinsburg, and 
inquired if his instructions extended any further than merely 
protecting the peace. If so, he desired. an answer in full. 
Meanwhile, orders were issued by Faulkner fpr the imme- 
diate assemblage of the militia command at their armory, 
prepared for active duty. This was promptly responded 
to, even by many railroad men, members of the organiza- 
tion, and possibly at the same time connected with the 
Trainmen's Union. Certainly a number, as well as numer- 
ous citizens, were hearty sympathizers with the men on a 
strike. In half an hour a dispatch was received from Gov- 
ernor Mathews, advising Col. Faulkner to avoid the employ- 
ment of force if possible, but to see that the laws were exe- 
cuted, at the same time giving all necessary aid to the civil 
authorities. The Governor's message concluded : 

" 1 rely upon you to act discreetly and firmly." 

The hour fixed upon by Mr. Sharp, Master of Transporta- 
tion, for moving the trains, was five o'clock, Tuesday morn- 
ing. An engineer and fireman were hunted up, who agreed 
to take the stock-train through to its destination, if pro- 
tected while doing so. Col. Faulkner, his command of 


militia, Mayor Shutt and his police, and the Sheriff of 
Berkeley County and a posse, were requested to be present 
and see that the rioters did not interfere. Before retiring 
from the scene, Col. Faulkner once more asked Governor 
Mathews, by telegraph : u Must I protect men who are will- 
ing to run their trains, and see that they are permitted to 
go east and west ? " In an hour the Governor replied as 
follows : " I am informed that the rioters constitute a com- 
bination so strong that the civil authorities are powerless to 
enforce the law. If this is so, prevent any interference by 
rioters with the men at work, and also prevent the obstruc- 
tion of the trains." 

With this communication in his pocket, Col. Faulkner 
knew plainly what his duty was, and he repaired to the 
armory to take command of his men. With the excitement 
accompanying the strike, the known orders for the gather- 
ing of the militia, the marching upon the streets of men in 
uniforms and bearing arms, there was little sleep that visited 
the eyelids of the citizens of Martinsburg that eventful 
night. Almost the entire population was out of doors, and 
white persons and colored were gathered in knots on the 
corners, discussing the unusual state of affairs, and wonder- 
ing what the morrow would bring forth. Never, since the 
close of the war, had the city experienced such a sensation. 



Br five o'clock the next morning, W. H. Harrison, Esq., 
Master Mechanic of the company, reached Martinsburg 
from Cumberland, accompanied by Mr. French, and held a 
consultation with Capt. Sharp and the remaining local force 


of the railway. They caused a locomotive to be fired up, 
attached to the cattle-train, and, having an engineer and 
fireman engaged, were about ready to start matters anew. 
The sun was rising when an attempt was made to set driv- 
ing-wheels once more in motion ; but the striker's guard 
from the round-house came swooping down and interfered, 
ordering the non-striking engineer to hold hard or he would 
be killed. 

He promptly shut the throttle, brought the engine to, and 
probably saved his life by so doing. He remained with the 
locomotive for a short time, prepared, if he had a chance, 
to rush the train forward ; but finally left, with his com- 
panion, to obtain breakfast. Up to this time Col. Faulkner 
and the militia and the sheriff of the county had not come 
to the assistance of the railway officials; neither was the 
mayor, with his police force, present. The president and 
officers of the company were duly advised of the circum- 
stances, and at once forwarded instructions by telegraph for 
Sharp to keep on trying until success crowned his efforts. 
The quick eye of the Master of Transportation flashed omi- 
nously as he read the dispatch, and he pushed his gray hair 
farther back from his forehead, saying to the operator at 
the instrument : " Tell President Garrett and Mr. King that 
everything possible for me to do shall be done ! " This 
message passed quickly over the line to Camden depot. 

The abortive trial, in the early dawn of the day, to move 
the train, and the consequent sounding of the shrill steam- 
whistle, had startled the excited inhabitants of Martinsburg, 

9 CD/ 

and they flocked down the streets leading to the depot, 
anxious to learn what might be going on. With the resi- 
dents came the strikers belonging in the city, reinforced by 
those from Baltimore and the West. They congregated 
about the basement doors of the hotel, above which were 
the ticket office and the telegraph department, spread over 


the surrounding ground in small squads the railroad men, 
as though by agreement, separating from the others and 
concentrating a formidable force, perhaps a hundred strong, 
near the company's buildings. Mr. Harrison, the Master 
Mechanic, who was personally and favorably known to 
many of the disaffected, went to and conversed with them, 
endeavoring by every means in his power to influence their 
minds in the direction of peace, and bring about an amica- 
ble adjustment of the prevailing troubles. A majority of 
the employees were well disposed towards Harrison, and 
listened to his words attentively, but without exhibiting any 
change of heart or countenance. The look of fixed and 
stern resolution did not dissolve under his soothing counsel. 
Their frenzy was not perceptibly lessened, or the feeling 
that they must strike materially reduced. Finally, after 
exhausting his supply of arguments, Harrison returned to 
Sharp, reporting that the malcontents would not change 
their decision in regard to the stopping of all freight trains. 
They were, if anything, more firmly resolved than ever that 
110 trains should be started, and that everything in the 
freio-ht line must remain as it was until their demands met 


compliance. Mr. Sharp, a cool, determined man, of iron 
will, when he received this information reached a decision 
not at all favorable to a peaceful solution of the surrounding 
difficulties. His cold, stern-looking face grew colder and 
more callous, and he stroked his gray beard impatiently. 
The grumblers had been in the habit of accusing Sharp of 
being at the bottom of the rough discipline to which they 
were continually subjected, and many really believed that 
he was the cause of the late reduction in wages. In truth, 
he was decidedly opposed to the cutting-down doctrine, and 
in favor of restoring the pay to its original amount. But 
of this his enemies were ignorant, and, when they saw him, 
walk quickly to the vicinity of the locomotive, and order 


the engineer forward to his destination at all hazards, they 
were greatly enraged, and many were the bitter words and 
scowling glances cast upon him as he stood defying them 
and their power. At this juncture the ranks of the strikers 
were expanded by some citizens, deputations from the rab- 
ble, a number of half-grown boys, and the scum of the town 
groggeries, partly armed with clubs and huge rocks, placing 
themselves in position, and by words and demonstrations 
of violence declaring that they too would aid in obstructing 
the movements of trains. 

Before the engine could be moved a single length of rail, 
the mob made a dash for the foot-board, swarmed upon it, 
over the coal in the tender, and thence into the cab, rudely 
driving the newly-engaged engineer and fireman from their 
positions. Members of the Union then uncoupled the loco- 
motive from the train and ran it to the round-house, leaving 
the box-cars standing on the track, no nearer their destina- 
tion than before. 

The trainmen on a strike their numbers, by this time, 
increased to several hundred sought to do no further dam- 
age, but retired from the place where the engine had been 
left, and, in almost a solid mass, gathered nigh to watch 1 
proceedings. Nobody had been hurt. The volunteer en- 
gineer and fireman were away, having escaped and returned 
to their homes, so that Sharp was again defeated, and he 
advised the company of the fact. 

Meantime the assemblage of spectators and the array of 
strikers continued to increase. The balcony of the hotel, 
which faced the line of railway, and the high land about 
and rising above the track, were literally crowded with 
greatly excited people, men, women, and children. 

At about nine o'clock, four hours later than the time ap- 
pointed, the sound of fife and drum was heard from the 
vicinity of the center of town, and presently the bright 


colors waving in the air, and the gleaming arms and accou- 
trements of the Berkeley Light Infantry, were seen advan- 
cing towards the passenger depot, headed by Col. Faulkner. 
The Mayor, with his powerless police, was already at the 
spot. A hurrah, and then a loud shout of welcome, greeted 
the militia as they filed down the steep steps by the track 
and marched unopposed to the round-house. Another cheer 
went up from the populace when the engineer and fireman, 
who had been discovered and brought to the spot, appeared 
at the front, very closely followed by their wives and chil- 
dren. At the depot they halted for a moment. The women 
threw their arms around their husbands' necks and frantically 
embraced them, urging that they refrain from attempting the 
perilous task. The angry mob, they said, would be sure to 
do them an injury. It had already treated the men roughly 
and made threats of what should be done the next time. 
Their lives would be lost, they were positive, if they at- 
tempted the business again. But, fairly tearing themselves 
from the grasp of their families, who impeded their progress, 
the brave fellows started at a swift pace to the round-house, 
part of the time protected by the militia, and mounted the 
engine, which was already fired up. Soon the engine moved 
out and was attached to the cattle-train. Following the loco-- 
motive, on either side, were the soldiers, with guns loaded and 
bayonets fixed. Their progress was painfully snail-like from 
the pressure of the close-formed ranks of the strikers, which 
kept surging against the militia, but indulged in no violent 
acts, seeming to satisfy themselves with yelling, hooting, 
hissing, and employing harsh and insulting language, prin- 
cipally heaped upon the two men in charge of the engine. 
When the train was for the third experiment made up for 
starting, the engineer and fireman, protected and guarded 
in their places by armed soldiers, with still other militiamen 
upon the tender, the buffers, on the pilot and in the caboose. 


the excitement of people and trainmen rose to white heat 
Then the mayor suggested to Col. Faulkner that he observed 
in the crowd of belligerents a strong determination to use 
narsh means and to not respect the presence of State militia, 
too many of whose officers and privates were themselves 
railroaders, and in full accord with the movement against 
the company. 

"Would it not be well," suggested Mayor Shutt, "to 
speak with the strikers, and give them at least fair warning 
of what they may expect if they interfere with the engine 
or the train ? " 

Col. Faulkner was of the opinion that such a course would 
be for the best ; and, standing in a prominent position on 
the passenger platform, he commenced an address, the pur- 
port of which was pacificatory, and at the same time courte- 
ously firm and impressive. He counseled delay reference 
of their troubles to President Garrett anything rather than 
the exercise of brute force, in seeking to obtain their rights. 
His words were unheeded. When he informed the infu- 
riated men that they must not touch the engine or -the cars, 
at their peril, they only laughed at him. The train was at 
the moment moving on the siding in the direction of a switch 
that, if properly turned or set, would lead it upon the main 
track of the road. 

By this time it was nearly ten o'clock, and the mob had 
greatly increased in size and power. Parts of the militia 
command were deployed upon either side of the train, to 
see that its couplings were not tampered with. The re- 
mainder occupied positions whence they could protect the 
fireman, engineer, and brakeman. As the train steadily 
and slowly drew nigh the switch, a militiaman named John 
Poisal, while sitting on the cow-catcher, particularly noticed 
the position of the switch-ball, which indicated that the 
train, unless some change was made, would be thrown ofl 


the right track. Immediately jumping to the ground, mus- 
ket in hand, he ran forward to the switch. William^Yan- 
dergriff, one of the striking firemen, stood nigh, and had just 
swung the bar so as to send the engine in the wrong direc- 
tion, and remained on watch to prevent its reversal. 

John Poisal reached the spot in time and put out his hand 
towards the rod, when, amid the general confusion, Yander- 
griff's voice rang out loud and clear : 

" Don't you touch that switch ! " 

" I'm not going to see the train run on a siding if I can 
prevent it ! " answered Poisal, firmly grasping the iron. 
He had not time to move it. Yandergriff said no more, 
but drew a small pocket-pistol from his belt, and before 
Poisal had time to change the switch, fired two shots in 
quick succession, full upon the militiaman, one of the 
bullets plowing a jagged furrow in the side of Poisal 's 
head, just above the ear, and the other flying wide of the 
mark. This sudden onslaught caused a lively scattering 
among the women, children, and peaceably disposed and 
more timid citizens, while the mob drew closer up to the 
soldiers. The switch remained unchanged, and the locomo- 
tive stopped. But this was not all. Poisal, upon receiving 
the striking fireman's shot, rapidly raised his gun and dis- 
charged it, aiming at Yandergriff. Another soldier sent 
a second missile in the same direction, and both were well 
aimed. One bullet struck the young man in the thigh, and 
another penetrated his arm. He fell, mortally wounded. 
There followed several explosions of small arms, but no 
other persons were seriously injured. Poisal and Yander- 
griff were taken to their homes. In a moment the militia 
found themselves overpowered, and once more the strikers 
had things all in their own way. The sounds of the firing 
drew larger crowds from the city, and the excitement was, 
if possible, still more intense. 


The fireman and engineer who had volunteered to start 
the train, managed to escape, left the locality, and returned 
to their homes. 

Col. Faulkner appreciated, in an instant, that his militia, 
however brave and trustworthy under ordinary circum- 
stances, would not attempt to kill their relatives and friends, 
their brothers and neighbors. He therefore reported to 
Mr. Sharp that his soldiers were powerless, many openly 
sympathizing with the strikers, and he must march them 
back to the armory. They were of no use where they 
stood, and the only course left was to order them home, 
leaving the road blocked up with trains and everything in 
the cars subject to the caprices of an inflamed and angry 

All that day, and for several days thereafter, Vander- 
griff lay upon his bed suffering terrible agony from his in- 
juries, at his house in the city, watched over and nursed by 
his wife and the best surgeons the country afforded. It may 
as well be stated here that, twelve days subsequent to the 
shooting, on the 28th of July, he breathed his last, and the 
following Sunday his remains were buried in the cemetery, 
the funeral being largely attended from the Lutheran 

John Poisal, the militiaman, was not severely hurt. In 
a few days he made his appearance upon the streets, appar- 
ently as well as usual. 

These few and simple circumstances were greatly mag- 
nified by the correspondents of Baltimore, Washington, and 
New York papers, who visited the place in force, and by 
the time the small speck of news reached the West, it had 
grown to such prodigious proportions that Martinsbnrg 
people, who were witnesses of all the incidents, could hardly 
recognize it. If the journals were to be credited, civil war 
reigned in West Virginia. The story spread abroad in this 


exaggerated form, and lighted the torch of communism, 
which in a few days burned brightly throughout the whole 
country. At no time was the number of actual strikers or 
disaffected railroad men upwards of seventy-five or eighty, 
but the many citizens and others backing and working with 
them formed a mob of really large proportions. 

After the departure of the militia from the scene, firing 
and confusion seemed to cease, the railroaders retired to 
their former position near the machine-shops, and there 
awaited further developments, the locomotive being un- 
coupled and again returned to its place in the round-house. 

Col. Faulkner, who, it must be borne in mind, had given 
his men no orders to fire upon the strikers hence, running 
no risk of his commands being disobeyed was thoroughly 
disgusted with the part he had, with his company, been 
forced to assume in the riots. Desirous of performing hia 
whole duty, he yet sought to enforce the laws without shed- 
ding human blood, and had met no success. He at once 
telegraphed to Governor Mathews, saying he had faithfully 
tried to protect the men in moving trains, but had been 
fired into, having one man shot, and the militia shooting 
one man. Then the engineer and fireman deserted, and 
the train could not be moved. At a later hour he for- 
warded to Governor Mathews a second telegram, to the ef- 
fect that it was impossible for him to do anything further 
with his command the most of the men, being railroaders, 
would not respond. The force of strikers was too formi- 
dable for him to cope with. In response, the same day, 
came a dispatch from the Governor stating that the peace 
must be preserved, law-abiding citizens protected, and 
whatever force might be needed to accomplish this would 
be used. He could send a company from Wheeling, if 
necessary, in which there were no men " unwilling to be 
used in suppressing riot and executing the law." The Ian 


guage employed by the Governor touched Col. Faulkner 
sensibly, but he did not at once reply. During the day, 
however, he addressed the Executive to the effect that the 
sympathies of the citizens were entirely with the Strikers ; 
engineers and firemen were reluctant to risk taking out 
trains, and if he thought such a condition of affairs called 
for a military force, he would have to send it from another 
point than Martinsburg, from reasons before stated. In a 
telegram sent to Martinsburg the ensuing day, the Governor 
spoke very highly of Col. Faulkner's appeal to the rioters, 
and his conduct in the discharge of the delicate and im- 
portant duty with which he had been intrusted. 

The revolutionists had full possession of all the railroad 
property in and around Martinsburg from. Monday night 
until the morning of the succeeding Wednesday, the 18th 
of July, at 7.30 o'clock, when about fifty of the members of 
the Mathews Light Guard, from Wheeling, under Col. 
Delaplaine, arrived in the town. For upwards of an hour, 
however, the soldiery remained in the cars that brought 
them, awaiting the result of a conference between their 
officers and Attorney-General White, Mr. Wm. Keyser, 
Second Vice-President, Col. Sharp, and others, as to the 
proper course to be pursued in the emergency. The rioters 
made no demonstration more than to keep up a guard over 
the works, and all stories concerning their erection of bar- 
ricades and intrenchments near the round-house, which 

. - 

were freely circulated by the press, were merely the inven- 
tion of imaginative newspaper correspondents. Had an 
attempt been made to move the freight trains, however, it 
is probable that they would at once have resumed hostili- 
ties. Remaining quiet, apparently content with the work 
they had done, the men narrowly w T atched the progress of 
events, and telegraphed as often as possible the condi- 
tion of affairs to the leaders of the Trainmen's Union at 


Baltimore, Graf ton, Cumberland, Pittsburg, and other 

At noon on the 18th of July the strikers visited the rail- 
road workshops iu Martinsburg, and ordered the laborers to 
suspend operatioas, which they refused to do, and the train- 
men were compelled to leave, their mission unaccomplished. 

All passenger and mail trains, meantime, were allowed to 
pass either way, unmolested entirely only the freights 
being stopped, the idea appearing to be to avoid an infrac- 
tion of United States law through interference with the 
post-office department. No damage was done to the prop- 
erty of the railway company at Martinsburg, and none was 
attempted. The men engaged in the troubles said that if 
they were not interfered with, no person should be molested. 
The cars filled with cattle were finally sent forward by Mr. 
Man tz, over the Cumberland Valley and Western Maryland 
railroad, and the stock reached its destination not much the 
worse for temporary detention. 

As was very natural under the circumstances, and consid- 
ering the direction of the sympathies of the people, great 
indignation prevailed among all classes of citizens of Mar- 
tinsburg at what they denominated the hasty and ill-advised 
action of Governor Mathews. They thought the power of 
civil authority had not been exhausted, and that Sheriff 
JS r audenbousch might have quelled the disturbance of Tues- 
day without the loss of life, had a properly constituted posse 
been called out. But this is open to grave doubt. From a 
careful survey of the field, made by an employee of my 
agency only a few days after the occurrence of the inci- 
dents just related, I am satisfied that it would have been 
almost impossible to have found in the whole of Berkeley 
county, at the date of the strike, a sufficient number of im- 
partial, non-sympathizing men to have dislodged the rail- 
roaders and their armed and unarmed supporters. The 


residents along the line of the railroad were from some rea- 


son very much prejudiced against the company, and for a 
time, until their passions had cooled off somewhat, would 
hardly have turned out, upon the simple order of the sheriff, 
to disperse a mob which, from their standpoint, was be- 
lieved to be working in a proper direction. 

In the meanwhile, the Wheeling Light Infantry had 
charge of the town, but did not seek to interfere with the 

CJ i 

operations of the strikers. It was deemed best to await 

On the ISth of July, at the urgent request of Mr. Garrett 
and the directorship of the Baltimore and Ohio road, Gov- 
ernor Mathews forwarded to President Hayes a lengthy 
telegram, explaining the situation and asking that United 
States troops should be furnished. 

Col. Delaplaine was censured for the highly-colored re- 
port he had sent to Wheeling, upon the arrival of himself 
and command at Martinsburg ; but that gentleman's descrip- 
tion of the condition of affairs was moderation and mild- 
ness exemplified, compared with that of the earlier press 

The Light Infantry from Wheeling went into camp near 
the railway and at the court-house. After their advent, 
while awaiting developments, no further attempts were made 
to move trains, and hence the strikers were worn out with 
watching, and made no effort to control the property of the 
railroad company. It was not until Brevet Major-General 
W. H. French, Colonel of the Fourth U. S. Artillery, with 
two hundred men armed as infantry, arrived on the ground, 
that anything was accomplished towards starting freight 
operations on that portion of the line. The Federal sol- 
diers from the arsenal at Washington had no sooner reached 
Martinsburg than quiet and order reigned supreme. 

Previous to this, however, President Hayes had issued 


his proclamation, directed to the citizens of West Virginia. 
It was a document similar in most respects to those usually 
issued from the office of the National Executive, upon the 
application of the Governor of a State when an emergency 
occurs and there is no time in which to assemble the legisla- 
ture to meet the difficulty. It was on this occasion founded 
npon the representation of Governor Mathews that turbu- 
lence existed in different parts of the State, which the author- 
ities were unable to suppress. The President admonished 
all good citizens of the United States, and all persons within 
the territory and jurisdiction of the United States, against' 
aiding, countenancing, abetting, or taking part in such un- 
lawful proceedings, and warned those engaged in or con- 
nected with said domestic violence and obstruction of the 
laws to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective 
abodes, on or before twelve o'clock meridian of the 19th day 
of July. It bore the great seal of the United States, and 
the signatures of the President and F. A. Seward, Acting 
Secretary of State. 

Gen. French's first work, after reaching Martinsburg with 
his force, was the issuance of a general order, in the shape 
of a hand-bill, notifying the inhabitants that traffic on the 
line of the Baltimore and Ohio road must no longer be 
interfered with, and that those who impeded movements of 
United States troops did so at their peril. This perma- 
nently settled the difficulty as Martinsburg. The rioters 
had to retire. They could not fight the government of the 
United States. 




FKOM Martinsburg the communistic madness radiated in 
various directions; but in the course of this relation Balti- 
more seems to come next in importance and date of occur- 
rence. This place contains, or is supposed to contain, 
eminently suitable elements for the rapid generation of the 
mob principle. While it is the Monumental City, and a 
great metropolis in more ways than one, within its borders 
a certain rough and cosmopolitan class has settled, which can 
be relied upon for a fight or a scrimmage on the slightest 
possible provocation. The history of the town, dating back 
to 1729, as it does, furnishes a number of incidents similar to 
those taking place during the great strikes of '77; but the 
first purely railway difficulty happened tha 30th of June, 
1830, and was caused by a contractor on the Baltimore and 
Ohio road leaving his laborers without settlement of their 
just dues. In revenge, the swindled workmen burned ties, 
tore up rails, and destroyed whatever stood in their way, 
gathering, to the number of three hundred or more, and 
resisting the sheriff and his posse with all their strength. 

The Baltimore military were called out the 31st, and cap- 
tured sixty of the rioters, the remainder making their 
escape. The judge of a court before whom the men were 
taken discharged them the ensuing day. Three years later, 
November 13, 1834, one Gorman, another contractor, and 
then employed upon the branch being built to Washington, 
eighteen miles from the city, was assailed in his shanty, 


dragged off and severely beaten, in company with John 
Watson, a superintendent. Watson was subsequently mur- 
dered while lying alone, sick in his bed. 

Two of his assistants and several other persons were dan- 
gerously wounded. Their persons were then robbed of 
valuables and money. Three hundred of those known to 
have been engaged in the crime were captured on the 25th, 
and lodged in prison at Baltimore. 

But the strike of the greatest proportions took place 
about the last days of April, 1857. In this instance the 
conductors and crews in charge of freight trains, on the 
27th of the month mentioned, resolved to quit work, and 
did quit on the first and second divisions of the road. The 
dissatisfied sought to secure their ends by forcible means. 
They camped in the woods between Relay and Baltimore, 
and built bonfires at frequent intervals, around which they 
collected, waiting for trains ; but the company sent none 
out, excepting such as were accompanied by armed guards. 
The crisis came the first of May, about four o'clock in the 
afternoon, when Sheriff Pole, of the city, summoned a party 
and appeared at Camden Station, placed his men in an old 
car, attached it to a freight train, and started for the main 
line. Near Gwynne's Falls several other trains from Mount 
Clare were drawn up, and they followed the pioneer cars 
carrying the armed deputies. At Jackson's Bridge they 
met the first resistance. A man appeared ahead, waving 
his hat for the engineer to stop, but he was not heeded, and 
barely succeeded in getting off the track in time to save his 
life. An attack upon the train was soon made. Pistols, 
and a kind of short rifle then in fashion, and weapons of 
almost every conceivable description, were discharged at 
and thrown upon the sheriff's assistants, and they, in turn, 
fired their thirty muskets upon the strikers, wounding sev- 
eral. While going under the bridge, huge stones were 


Imrled down upon, and crushing in the roofs, of the cars in 
several places, but they were dragged through by the pow- 
erful engine. The following three trains were more unfor- 
tunate. Rioters stopped and surrounded them, jumping 
recklessly from the bridge upon the locomotive and caboose, 
putting down the brakes, despite the efforts of the persons 
in charge to prevent, uncoupling the cars and throwing 
away the coupling-pins. These trains had to be returned 
to Mount Clare. The same scenes marked the succeeding 


Sunday and Monday, on the line to Ellicott's Mills. Gov- 
ernor Ligon issued a manifesto, warning all persons to keep 
away from the neighborhood. Saturday afternoon the Bal- 
timore City Guards, Captain Warner, and the Independent 
Greys, Captain Brush, were called out, and, with the sher- 
iff's force, put in passenger coaches in advance of the 
freight. At the extreme end was the paymaster's car and a 
small trunk car, the latter called " Sebastopol." The train 
moved under command of Col. Shntt and Captain Kaw- 
lings. All passed smoothly until in the heavy cut at Jack- 
son's Bridge, when, as on the preceding day, rocks were 
thrown and pistols discharged at the men, but no damage 
was done. A mile farther along, however, in another deep 
excavation, a sharp fire was poured into the train, which the 
military promptly responded to, one man, Henry Houser, 
being killed, and a number wounded. Houser had been a 
fireman, and lived at or near Mount Clare. At Lee's Sta- 
tion the road was completely blockaded by an engine and 
tender having been thrown from the track, with the stock 
train, by means of a heavy stone placed under a rail for the 
purpose. On the return trip a number of the cars of the 
sheriff's train were thrown off through the spiking of the 
track by rioters, and several of the military riding on the 
engine badly cut and bruised. The troops had to foot it 
into the city, which was reached at two o'clock Sunday 


afternoon. Subsequently these troubles were all amicably 
adjusted. In May, 1862, another difficulty involved the 
same line at Mount Clare Depot, where an attack was made 
upon the building- by a large crowd of men calling them- 
selves Unionists, who beat and roughly handled some labor- 
ers accused of being Secessionists. The police took no 
notice of the affair. From the date last mentioned until 
the riots about to be described, the line of road suffered 
little, if any, from mobs. 

Other disturbances which have occurred in Baltimore, 
entirely disconnected with railroads, I need not review in 
these pages. 

As early as the 17th of July, at 3 A.M., a train had been 
wrecked near the gas-house in South Baltimore, the engine 
ditched, and rendered for the time being entirely useless. 
Some smoke arose, and an alarm of fire was sounded, bring- 
ing -out the fire department. No further damage was done 
in this direction at the time. The disaster was supposed to 
have been caused by the strikers, and a reward was offered 
by the company for the capture of the perpetrators. Dur- 
ing the same period the mob spirit developed among fruit- 
can makers of Baltimore, who, to the number of eight or 
nine hundred, guided by the socialistic principle, demanded 
an advance in the rate of their wages. They had been 
receiving thirty cents per hundred for two, and thirty-five 
cents for three-pound cans, and wanted the sum increased 
to forty-five cents and fifty cents respectively. At first the 
proprietors held out, but the organization was too complete, 
its plans too well Arawn, and they were compelled to accept 
the overtures and pay the rates made bj T their employees. 
The box-makers and sawyers made a similar demand, were 
refused, stopped work, and in the end a compromise was 
effected, by which the men secured nearly, if not quite, all 
they asked for in the commencement. 


These artisans had their regular societies, or unions, and 
held monthly or weekly meetings, the idea being to control 
everything in their own interest. The success of their 
movements had its effect upon the larger and more power- 
ful societies in the city. Their members were encouraged 
and believed that they too might gain their wishes if they 
made a bold stroke and put forth a powerful and united 

It was natural that the management of the Baltimore and 
Ohio road should feel a pervading sense of insecurity dur- 
ing the occurrence of these events, and especially after 
receiving a full report of the condition of affairs at Martins- 
burg. They soon saw that they had to look out for break- 
ers even nearer home. There was trouble at Mount Clare. 
The firemen struck, refusing to accept the ten per cent, 
reduction. At 10 A.M. the same day a freight train from 
Mount Clare was detained at Camden Station, three miles 
from the city, by trainmen who refused to allow its passage 
farther towards its destination. Mr. A. J. Fairbank and 
Marshal Gray went to the assistance of the company, for 
the purpose of protecting the men engaged to run the loco- 
motives. They succeeded in starting forward a train or 
two. There was great excitement in the neighborhood, but 
no persons were injured. The freights from Locust Point 
were also stopped, and the firemen badly punished by a 
crowd of strikers. Difficulty subsequently showed its front 
at a point between Baltimore and Relay Station. 

In the midst of these fast gathering trials, the company 
adopted the plan of removing, as far as possible, temptation 
to do harm from the way of all discontented men, absolutely 
withdrawing all freight trains, closing up all transportation 
of goods, merchandise or stock upon the line between Balti- 
more and the Ohio River. No cars were allowed to be run 
in any direction, except those carrying passengers and the 


United States mails. This left the strikers without ground 
to stand upon in fact, knocked the foundations from be- 
neath all their schemes. 

As had been expected, the cessation of train-running gave 
the strikers great offense. This was carrying the war fur- 
ther into Africa than they had ever thought of going. The 
rule applied to the Metropolitan and Washington branches 
of the line, and the company determined to maintain the 
order until the Governors of West Virginia and Maryland 
and the President of the United States should do something 
to make carriage of property perfectly safe. 

At about the same time that the troops reached Martins- 
burg, disorder raised its ugly head at Cumberland, and in 
different portions of Maryland, always upon the line of the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Knowing the coveted power 
which West Virginia had signally failed to develop, Gov- 
ernor John Lee Carroll tried to avoid, in Maryland, the par- 
ticularly sharp and dangerous rock upon which Governor 
Mathews had struck and foundered, by sending troops to 
face the strikers from localities far removed from the places 
to be operated upon. lie had no faith in the use of Cum- 
berland companies of militia to subdue a rebellious spirit 
and disperse a mob at Cumberland ; hence, on Friday, the 
20th of July, he issued from the executive office a call, 
directed to Brigadier-General James R. Herbert, command- 
ing the First Brigade of National Guard, at Baltimore, to 
take the Fifth Regiment of his brigade and proceed to 
Cumberland, there to aid in the suppression of riot and 
lawlessness along the line of the railway. At the same time 
he published abroad his proclamation, calling upon all com- 
binations of men, formed at different points in the State, 
composing a conspiracy to impede traffic and interfere with 
the business of the country, and with railroad transportation 
of freight, at once to desist from unlawful proceedings 


abstain from excitement, and to aid the authorities in main- 
taining peace and good order. 

The request had been but a few hours abroad when the 
men of the Fifth were found promptly at their armory, 
with everything in complete order to move. The militia 
had been assembled previous to the Martinsburg trouble, 
but the order to march was countermanded by the Gov- 
ernor. He then said that, after consultation with the Mayor, 
the Hon. Ferdinand C. Latrobe, and the Commissioners of 
Police, he deemed it inexpedient to part with the Fifth or 
Sixth Regiment, but requested both bodies to remain at their 
armories, subject to call. They might be needed at almost 
any hour during the day or night. 

By the morning of the 20th of July there were prevalent 
serious apprehensions that trouble might be experienced 
even in the city of Baltimore. The people began to grow 
nervous and excited. Business was little attended to. On 
the Friday mentioned Mayor Latrobe was aware of the fact 
that, within the hour he had consumed in writing to the 
Governor, serious symptoms had appeared in the streets, 
and there was a reasonable prospect that any attempt to 
remove the militia to the scene of difficulty would be 
resisted to the bitter end by the rioters, their sympathizers 
and friends. 

A little later in the same day the Fifth and Sixth regi- 
ments were ordered to gather at their armories, ready to 
march at short notice for Camden Depot. This building 
has been described as the general headquarters of the lead- 
ing officials of the Baltimore and Ohio road. The exten- 
sive and handsome structure was erected expressly for a 
depot and the offices of the company. There were the 
spacious apartments of President Garrett, Vice-President 
King, Mr. Keyser, the General Superintendent, the Passen- 
ger Agent, Architect, Civil Engineers, and other officials 


and attaches of the corporation. The depot was already, so 
report had it, surrounded by a mob, and its safety momen- 
tarily threatened. A number of suspicious persons had 
also been observed hanging about the neighborhood, and it 
was believed that the strikers intended to burn and destroy 
whatever they could lay their hands upon. It was their 
openly expressed determination, at all events, to make it 
impossible for the military to be transported to Cumberland. 
They claimed that a great mistake had been made in allow- 
ing the United States troops, under General French, to pass 
through to Martinsburg. Had they been compelled to go 
by the way of Baltimore, it is more than probable they 
would have been delayed, if not wholly obstructed. 

The Fifth Regiment met with comparatively little oppo- 
sition in leaving the armory, on North Howard Street, and 
succeeded in reaching Camden Depot and gaining the cars 
prepared for their reception. To it were to be added the 
two companies of the Sixth Regiment. This last-mentioned 
organization, which had but recently removed to its new 
armory, in the vicinity of the shot-tower, corner of Front 
and Fayette Streets, began to gather, Colonel Clarence 
Peters in command. In the afternoon of the eventful 20th 
of July, privates and non-commissioned and commissioned 
officers were within the armory, which is a large, square, 
five-story, brick building ; the drill-room is situated on an 
upper floor and accessible only by a broad, steep stairway. 

Previous to this an arrangement had been made that the 
fire alarm bells, in the event of an attack upon any portion 
of the city, should be rung thus : " 1 5 1," which should 
constitute a military signal, demanding the presence of the 
soldiery at some particular place. 

Colonel Peters was present at the armory. The men, in 
uniform, were resting, in various negligent attitudes some 
upon the floor on blankets, others in chairs, and others still 


upon wooden benches, in different parts of the great room, 
in anticipation of the order to march. One or two groups were 
encjaofed whilins: awav the time at a game of cards, usin< 

O O O / O / O 

a heap of knapsacks for a table and sitting upon empty 
ammunition boxes. The arms were in repair, cartridges 
distributed and guns stacked in the usual way. This was 
the situation of affairs when an orderly brought a message 
the third from the same source during that day in the 
name of General Herbert, requesting Colonel Peters to 
have two companies of his command at Camden Depot by 
8 o'clock that night, sharp, and without fail. 

This notification was at once communicated to the Cap- 
tains of the companies, and Colonel Peters started for Gen- 
eral Herbert's headquarters, where he soon presented him- 
self, with the request that he might be allowed personally 
to accompany his men, with the Fifth. General Herbert 
said he would willingly give such permission, but dare not, 
as he was aware that by far the greater portion of the re- 
mainder of the troops would be required in Baltimore, and 
therefore he felt forced to refuse. 

" No ! It cannot be ! " answered General Herbert, " your 
services, and those of your men, will be wanted in the 

Colonel Peters was dissatisfied, but returned to the armory 
of his regiment, where he remained until half past six in 
the evening, when another message from General Herbert 
arrived, inquiring how the regiment stood. Colonel Peters' 
reply was that he had a good complement of men and 
officers, and others were rapidly reporting. The companies 
would soon be ready to start. 

At a quarter to seven o'clock the military alarm, " 1 
5 1," was sounded. It was understood by the strikers, as 
well as by the soldiery, to mean that a collision had oc- 
curred, or was liable to occur, and that the troops in the 


armory were to set out at once. "While members of the 
regiment ran to, and entered the armory, passing the senti- 
nels at the foot of the stairs, the unruly element also col- 
lected in great force in the surrounding street and upon 
the sidewalks in the neighborhood of the shot-tower. 

There was great trouble stalking abroad. The vicinity 
of Camden Depot was probably the place of rendezvous. 

The men of the Sixth Companies I and F formed and 
took up their arms in the drill-room, numbering less than 
forty men to the company. There was a look of resolution 
upon their faces. They were assembled for duty, and evi- 
dently intended performing it faithfully and unflinchingly. 

Meanwhile a distant murmur, as of many voices, or the 
noise of rushing waters, and the fall of many feet, ascended 
to the position held by the soldiers. 

Colonel Peters walked to a window and looked out. 
Below him he discovered that the ground, in every direc- 
tion, was black with turbulent humanity. From the shot- 
tower, even to the walls of the armory ; upon the bridge 
spanning the inky and motionless waters of "The Falls;" 
on the avenues intersecting the larger thoroughfares, was 
packed in close array a swaying, staggering, infuriated mul- 
titude. It quickly flashed through his mind that cowardice 
would possibly be attributed to him if he failed to lead his 
soldiers down the staircase and through that fierce crowd. 
But he had received the orders of his superior officer to 
remain and continue command of the remainder of his regi- 
ment. It was for him to obey. The sight his eye rested 
upon was one that a man beholds but once in a lifetime, 
and having seen, never desires to look at again as long as he 

There were in that sea of upturned faces, in that mael- 
strom of human beings, among the maddened communists 
and other people, many merely innocent spectators as there 


nsually are in such gatherings many women and some 
children, accidentally caught in the rnidst of the rabble, and 
all unable to escape. Bat with these there was a sterner 
sort, part of which has been known as the plug-iigly ele- 
ment, always ripe for mischief, and, on this occasion, fully 
resolved that the regiment should not leave peaceably. 
There was the hardy mechanic, on a strike; the railway 
fireman, on a strike; occasionally an engineer, on a strike 
because he had nothing else to do; butcher-boys with their 
aprons on, armed with cleavers and big knives to aid the 
strike ; cartinen, with loaded whips ; coal-drawers, with 
their wagon-stakes and grimy features ; firemen, from the 
nearest engine-house, and of the olden time, who belonged 
to no particular company, with the air of Bowery boys, and 
clubs in their hands ; and others in whose hearts burnt a 
desire to injure the Company hence no wish to benefit the 
soldiery, that they well knew were assembling for the pur- 
pose of strengthening their natural enemy, the railway. 
There were gangs of grumbling and discontented laborere 
of all kinds and all classes, and equally noisy crowds of 
youngsters, who never worked at anything, carrying sticks, 
strips of boards, fence pickets and different weapons of 
offense and defense, knowing little of the cause of the tur- 
moil, and caring less, so that they could enjoy their fun 
rare fun, for them, perhaps, but cause of sorrow before they 
were through with it, to hundreds of their happy house- 
holds. In the background, as well as in the foreground of 
that dread picture, were found many women, wives of shop- 
keepers and. among the rest, bar-room keepers, who were 
not and never had been wives and owners of stalls and 
the smaller sort of stores; women broad of shoulder and 
hip arid face, with eyes that partook of the fishy, and lips 
which were more familiar with billingsgate and blasphemy 
than kind words and soothing airs to infancy ; women with 


bare arms and muscles like those of Charlotte Cushman'a 
" Meg Merrilies ; " men with blackened hands and faces, 
wearing smiths' aprons, fresh from adjacent forges ; men 
in black hats, fashionably cut clothing, and showing hands 
unused to toil, but with their blanched countenances and 
glaring eyes turned upon the protecting walls of the armory ; 
and countless others of the rude and uncanny of all branches 
of industry, all- exhibiting their purpose to stop the military 
from marching to their destination, even though they had 
to rend, tear, and kill in the attempt. In several places the 
pavement had been torn up with axes and bars, and the 
rocks, bricks, and fragments transferred into missiles, which 
the crowd brandished, and were ready to cast upon the 
militiamen whenever they should make their appearance. 
Still the multitude grew darker, more dense, and the shrieks 
and maledictions of women and men became more intense 
and more terrible, all directed towards the upper casements 
of the building, from which an occasional uniform could be 
discerned as its wearer peered out to catch a glimpse of the 
mob the map of mad humanity beneath. Never were 
soldiers hemmed in and threatened by a more fierce and 
bitter army than that encircling the devoted members of 
the Sixth Regiment. 



COLONEL PETERS turned away from the window, formed 
the men, and gave the command : " Forward, march ! " 

The soldiers obeyed with alacrity, Company I, Captain 
"Win. L Tappan, leading the way, and closely followed by 


Company F, Captain John C. Fallen, Major Andrew 
George, Colonel Peters, Lieutenant Q. C. Brown, and other 
officers were in their proper positions. Reaching the stair- 
way, they were formed into twos and fours, with bayonets 
fixed and pieces at " trail arms." It is not probable that 
the men, as a body, knew what they had to face upon the 
streets, as they had not been looking from the windows, but 
Major Andrew George had experienced a trial of it while 
seeking to enter the armory building a few minutes earlier. 
His first salutation, upon reaching the vicinity, was a sud- 
den and stunning blow on the head from a heavy club, and 
the savage cry, " Kill him ! Kill him ! " sounding in his 
ear. He managed to get in, however, just as the two com- 
panies about to leave were taking positions in rank, and at 
once assumed his place. They reached the hall leading to 
the street, and as the doors were thrown open for their 
egress, the guards ran in with great haste, succeeded by a 
fierce volley of stones and other missiles, thrown by the mob 

Captain Tappan's Company wavered, and some of the 
men were driven backward, the retrogade movement, caus- 
ing slight confusion among those at the rear. But all 
promptly rallied, and resumed the way forward to the side- 
walk. When once more at the main entrance, the men en- 
countered pistol shots, bricks, and cobble-stones from the 
infuriated crowd, which seemed determined that the sol- 
diers should not leave the locality alive. But the militia 
bore the onslaught unflinchingly. As a body, they endured 
the assault. A few men who had charged their rifles with 
ball cartridges after having first been driven into the hall- 
way, raised their weapons, and before anything could be 
said or done to prevent, fired several shots, aimed over the 
heads of the rioters. This was merely done to intimidate 
their opponents. The leader of the communists did not falter. 


A few scowling, swarthy fellows looked about them, sa~w 
that no person was hurt, and believing they were receiving 
only blank cartridges, shouted loudly in derision, and 
began the storm anew. One man, standing in an open 
space, only a few yards from the soldiers, emptied his revol- 
ver into their confused line. From the pressure of human 
beings the men were unable to form regularly upon the 
sidewalk. This was almost too much to be endured in 
patience. Colonel Peters saw that his force was about to 
discharge another and effective volley, and with his sword 
struck up the barrels of the muskets near him, crying, with 
all his strength of lung: "Don't lire!" But the command 
was unheeded. Fire they did, and several of the snarling 
pack encompassing them bit the dust. He ordered differ- 
ently, and continued to exert himself to prevent tiring. It 
was beyond his, or any other man's power. Soon thereafter, 
leaving his men under command of the company officers, as 
General Herbert had instructed him to do, the Colonel 
retired to the armory, there to ^take care of the soldiers 
remaining. At that moment, if we credit the story of 
rioters themselves, seeing the foray that was being made 
upon their comrades, then at the street, a few of the militia 
men stationed in an upper floor of the building, fired upon 
the assailants. This unexpected movement resulted in the 
killing of a young man named Byrne, whose body was soon 
afterwards removed in a wagon, by the police, to Middle 
District Station. 

The frenzy of the mob, which was fearful before, rose to 
complete lunacy at this, and an avalanche of rocks and 
bricks struck the building, breaking glass and smashing 
sashes as well as heads. Major Andrew George, before 
alluded to, and who had received such attentions when seek- 
ing the armory, was the recipient of similar tokens of regard 
when going out. A huge rock struck him in the body ; a 


brick drew blood from his head, and he was in danger of 
being stamped to death by the feet of his enemies when he 
was rescued by the police. 

Before a gun had been fired by the militia the two sol- 
diers, who were acting as sentinels, had been knocked down 
and beaten by the rioters. 

Captain Tappan, of Company I, who bravely walked in 
the advance of his command, was successful, after several 
rifles had been discharged, in placing the men in something 
like order. But during the process, made doubly difficult by 
the disorder about him, two soldiers were wounded by the 

" You'll go to fight workingmen, will you ? " roared one 
of the ringleaders, in a stentorian voice, while he waved a 
huge club in the air. Receiving no answer, he continued : 
" Give it to them, d n them ! Kill them ! They shall 
never get out of here alive ! " 

The whizzing flight of bricks, stones, and pistol-balls, and 
the yells, and curses and hisses, which succeeded, were 
appalling even to veterans. The soldiers had been more 
than human if they refrained from a proper reply to the 
onset. They did respond. One after another, they sent 
into the close crowd shot after shot from their death-dealing 
guns. Every time a musket was discharged somebody, it 
mattered not who, was observed to fall. Yet the insane 
concourse did not give way. Still they pressed harder upon 
the soldiers, with murderous hands raised to clutch their 
throats and seize upon and use their arms. 

Every moment, to those close prisoners in the midst of a 
host of worse than ravenous beasts, seemed an hour. 

At last Captain Fallou's detachment was also massed in 
irregular order, and Captain Tappan's force started and 
turned towards Baltimore Street, Company F taking the 
Bame trail as soon and as rapidly as possible. The enemy 


was before, behind, and on each side, and it was found a 
troublesome task to attain even slow headway. Men were 
momentarily wrenched out of the ranks, and severely hurt 
before a start had been made. 

The two platoons were soon irretrievably separated. 

One young fellow had his gray uniform stripped from 
him by a gang of ruffians. Then three of the most sturdy 
took him and threw him over the bridge railing, into the 
deep, filthy waters of u The Falls." Few were there to look 
after him, and had he not, through much floundering and 
sputtering, gained the surface and clambered upon a con- 
venient pije-driver, he must inevitably have been drowned, 
as no human being could scale the steep wall bounding 
either side of the inky and bad-smelling stream. He 
narrowly escaped suffocation, as it was, and felt perfectly 
satisfied to stay upon the protecting float until darkness set 
in and with it brought comparative safety. 

Presently the militia formed lines across Baltimore Street, 
the riotous rabble still pursuing. 

Lieutenant Q. C. Brown, Regimental Commissary, was 
struck on the head with a stone at the foot of the armory 
stairs. Bullets whizzed past him, but fortunately giving 
him no further wounds. Soon regaining his feet he was 
able to reach the platoon and keep it in line, although he 
wavered and staggered like a drunken man, he was so 
weak from loss of blood. 

Another young man was cut off from his comrades, his 
musket taken forcible possession of, and ten or twelve 
rioters, surrounding him, tore off his uniform coat, trampled 
it in the dust of the pavement and then struck and kicked 
its owner until they supposed he was dead. Their brutality 
was not satiated until the man's body was almost one mas8 
of bleeding bruises. 

" Look ! see them pounding the poor boy ! " said a tender- 


hearted German, named Pahl, who resided in the neighbor- 

" Yes, and if yon say too much, you'll catch it too ! " 
yelled a trainman, one of the brutes engaged in the outrage, 
at the same time moving rapidly towards Pahl. That 
gentleman precipitately retired from the vicinity, suddenly 
appreciating the fact that his further presence there was 
quite unnecessary. This man was an eye-witness of the 
attack upon the soldier thrown into " The Falls." 

Another member of the Sixth took refuge in a friendly 
cigar store, whence, having been provided with citizens' 
clothing, he soon emerged and made his way homeward. 

Before all could get away from the locality of the 
armory a man stopped on the sidewalk and shouted : "Kill 
them ! Kill them ! " and setting the example, drew a pistol 
and began tiring upon the soldiers. Three or four of the 
military were knocked down, and cruelly and wantonly 
belabored after they were defenseless and prostrate. 

Mr. Pahl saw all of this. He truly had reason to think 
that sufficient. 

When Byrne fell, a friend of his, named Fisher, who 
stood nigh the deceased, was grazed by the same bullet. 
While Byrne was killed, Fisher received no injury, the ball 
passing harmlessly through his clothing at the hip. Frank 
Faber, another acquaintance of Byrne, instantly ran to the 
corner of Fayette and Front Streets, tenderly raised Byrne's 
head and cried out to the soldiers : 

" For God's sake stop that firing ! You have killed one 
man already ! " 

Byrne never recognized any one. His career was ended 

J O J 

when the deadly messenger overtook him. 

Still the mob pursued the militia. 

The throng assaulting the two parts of companies of the 
Sixth Regiment was estimated by the policemen, sent by the 


marshal to protect the sentinels, before any firing had been 
done, at from two thousand to twenty-five hundred persons. 
About the time stones begun to be thrown at the guards, 
while the soldiers had not yet reached the lower hall lead- 
ing to the street, it must have exceeded that number by at 
least several hundreds. It was not lessened as it passed 
along Baltimore Street, still hot for the fray. 

Company I, which had been the first to encounter the 
communists, did the most of the firing at the armory. That 
its members refrained from making hostile demonstrations 
as long as reasonable persons could expect, under the pecu- 
liarly dangerous and exasperating circumstances by which 
they were surrounded, is the opinion of all intelligent and 
fair-minded men who witnessed the provocation received. 
It was simply impossible to prevent them from emptying 
their muskets upon the strikers, who attacked them from 
front and rear with violence almost unparalleled, even in 
the history of such assemblages. 

The ringleaders of the mob, as given out by both soldiers 
and police, were two men named Kirby and Crane. They 
urged on the bestial crowd, by word and example, and 
caused them to continue the assault, even after earnest 
firing by the militia commenced. Nothing seemed to daunt 
them. Officer Blake, of the police force, was in the armory 
a little past 7 o'clock, and at that time found some two 
thousand people environing the place, the two men men- 
tioned acting in the capacity of directors. The largest and 
heaviest rocks and bricks from the streets were flying in the 
air. The officer states that the first shots fired by the 
soldiers were aimed high, over the rioters' heads, and they 
were answered by another and thicker storm of stones, after 
v Inch the militia discharged their weapons point-blank into 
the thick ranks of their assailants. They did not fire that 
way, until savagely attacked. Of this he is very positive. 


Sergeant .Rowe, also of the police, M r as among the earliest 
of those upon the scene. He entered the armory with 
Officer Brown, managing to get the sentinels inside before 
they were killed, although they had been struck with rocks 
and pieces of bricks. He is of the opinion that the soldiers 
could never have extricated themselves without firing ball 
cartridges. There was no unoccupied space of ground on 
which to begin a charge of bayonets, and had there been, the 
close quarters gave no opportunity for effect. In a few 
moments more, had the militia withheld their fire, the mob 
would have obtained forcible possession of their guns, 
ammunition, and accoutrements, and themselves made use 
of them. When several rounds of lead had been adminis- 
tered the throng broke in twain, part flying towards Balti- 
more Street. 

Colonel Peters, in accordance with orders, remained 
penned up, with the third company of the regiment, until a 
squad of police was sent to his relief. 

If the reader supposes, for an instant, that the strikers de- 
serted the soldiers and permitted them to march unmolested 
through the streets to Camden Depot, he is greatly in error. 
On the contrary, the firemen, trackmen, brakemen, and 
others, closely pushed and hotly pressed upon the two com- 
panies, which were soon separated by considerable space as 
far as Light Street, while marching on the double-quick to- 
ward their destination, and kept up an incessant fire of pis- 
tol-shots, and shower of stones and bricks and whatever 
was found that could be converted into a weapon of offense. 

Baltimore Street is a principal thoroughfare, and upon it 
are situated many of the largest and most elegant business 
houses of the city. The American building, at the corner 
of Baltimore and South Streets, is a handsome and costly 
structure, and its upper windows overlooked some of the 
most exciting scenes of that hurried march of the Sixth 



Regiment. At this point the soldiers turned and discharged 
their weapons upon those who were so nearly upon them, 
then wheeled and resumed their tramp. The sidewalks and 
crossings were, at that hour, crowded with pedestrians, of 
all ages and descriptions, and both sexes, and the volley of 
musketry caused the utmost consternation. Children ran 
and screamed. Women screamed and fainted, and men 
found occasion to get out of the way most ungracefully and 

At the corner of Frederick and Baltimore Streets another 
scattering discharge of musketry came, and after that the 
crowd of rioters perceptibly diminished, and men and 
women again ran and scattered in every direction possible 
excepting towards the soldiers. Horses were frightened, 
broke from their fastenings, and ran, dragging shattered 
vehicles after them, thus adding to the prevalent hubbub. 
More women and children shrieked, and the panting mob 
howled hoarsely, still keeping upi offensive demonstrations. 
But the chief spirits were fast losing heart. Their blows 
and hurrahs were not so vigorous as at the start, before 
many of their men had been killed and wounded. Still it 
was a straggling street fight, as before stated, until Light 
Street was reached. Then several more ladies fainted and 
were taken to the nearest drug-stores, where they received 
necessary attentions. 

Again at Charles Street, a few soldiers discharged their 
guns, producing fresh panic and disorder. 

As a rule, at this juncture, the street cars were deserted. 
One, connected with the " Red Line," however, continued 
its regular route. In it was a Mr. Thomas Charlton, of No. 
165 John Street. This gentleman was so completely ab- 
sorbed in contemplation of what was going on around him 
that he paid no attention to his more immediate surround- 
ings, until, when chancing to look for the conductor, in the 


accustomed place, he found himself alone with the horses 
and the car driver, conductor, and passengers having de- 
serted the vehicle as being in dangerous proximity to the 
shooting soldiers, then steadily advancing toward it, and 
the hooting, raving mob. Immediately comprehending 
that he might be in far more tenable quarters, Mr. Charlton 
jumped from the platform, leaving horses and car to pur- 
sue their course, or stop as they might deem advisable, and 
ran off as fast as his legs would carry him, quickly placing 
one of the pillars of the Carrollton Hotel between his valua- 
ble person and the sight of musket or gray coat. After a 
while, looking out from his place of concealment, he dis- 
tinctly saw one of the soldiers leave a rear rank, walk to the 
middle of the street, level his musket, take deliberate aim 
at a striker, clad in light clothing, who was in the mob 
standing on the sidewalk, and fire. The man fell dead 
where he was. The soldier then joined the company, re- 
loading his piece as he ran to his former position. Mr. 
Charlton, seeing he would be out of range, went to and 
raised the dead communist's head. He proved to be Otto 
Manecke, and when the remains were taken in charge by the 
police and removed to Middle Station, a heavy paving stone 
was discovered in his coat pocket. 

It was subsequently stated that Manecke had been en- 
gaged in assaulting the militia and was noticeable from his 
dress. If so, he certainly met summary punishment. 

While on Baltimore Street the soldiers shot a newsboy, 
named Oppenheim. It is not shown that the lad formed a 
part of the striking gang, or that the shot was aimed at 

Two other men were shot down at the corner of Balti- 
more and Holliday Streets. Officer Wright of the Police, 
was hit with a heavy stone, and severely inj ured, while in 
the performance of his duty, at the corner of South Street. 


The mob, from some reason, seemed to avoid the north 
side of Baltimore Street, mostly gathering on its southern 

Two men were also killed between Calvert and North 
Streets. They were seen to fall by Officer Mclntyre, who 
saw the soldiers fire. It was after eight o'clock when the 
event occurred. 

A volley was given at the corner of Gay and Baltimore 
Streets, but no one appeared to be hurt by it. 

When the soldiers had reached Light Street the gathering 
darkness was only occasionally illuminated by a pistol-shot. 
There were but few rocks thrown, and no musketry returned 
upon the mob by the militia. That particular storm had 
spent its fury. The strikers were gradually losing spirit 
and their numbers sensibly lessening. One man, however, 
in the garb of a railroader, seemed loath to give up the 
chase. He gesticulated frantically, throwing his arms in 
the air, shaking his lists at the militia, and shouting : ' ; Oh, 
you 1 You all ought to be killed ! " 

But he could not rally the mob again, and at Light Street 
the running fight ended as abruptly as it had commenced. 
While a demoralized few continued to follow, and make 
hideous noises, there were none to be found who would face 
more musketry. 

Captain Tappan's company was considerably inangled, 
and three men were entirely disabled. 

The Captain had done all he could to prevent firing, but 
the men were so incensed and so closely pressed by the mob 
that his frequent orders to cease loading and firing were 
oithei unheard or promptly disobeyed. At Holliday Street 
he was joined by Captain Fallon's command, Company I, 
and they afterward moved forward in a body to Camden 
Depot, which was finally reached in a little more than half 
an hour from the time when they departed from then 


armory. And such a half hour's march even veterans of 
the late war said they had never endured. Captain Fallen 
lost fully one-half of his company from different casualties, 
arriving at their place of destination with only eighteen out 
of the thirty-six who were in rank when he set out. Cap- 
tain Tappan had been more fortunate, starting off with 
thirty-eight thirty-five responded at roll-call at Camden 

That many of the citizens of Baltimore deeply sympa- 
thized with the military in its perilous journey through the 
streets and through the mob, is shown by the fact that sev- 
eral times while the officers were endeavoring to keep their 
men from firing, people on either side of them shouted, as 
they passed, not to interfere, but let the soldiers shoot. 
They were free to say it was a burning shame to see men 
stand, with guns in their hands, and be torn and killed by a 
pack of ravenous wolves. 

No idea can be correctly conveyed, upon paper, of the 
perfect mass and jam of people swarming on Baltimore 
Street that evening while the battles were taking place. 
The estimate fixed by Captain Fallen upon the extent of 
the crowd following the companies of troops, was from three 
thousand to four thousand, and he is probably not far from 
the proper figures. In answer to a question from one of my 
operatives, a few days after the occurrences, Captain Fallon 
said that he did not know that he was to face an army of 
belligerants when he, at the head of his force, was descend- 
ing the armory stairs. He followed Captain Tappan's men, 
and none of his own company had their arms loaded ; but, 
when driven back by the soldiers ahead of them, many 
charged their guns with ball cartridge, sixteen rounds of 
which eaoh man carried. 

Colonel Peters must have had some knowledge of what 
was impending, and so had Major Andrew George. The 


former said nothing, but simply obeyed General Herbert's 
orders. The latter had no opportunity to give warning. 
Fully a cart-load of bricks and stones were gathered up in 
front of the armory. When the fighting was over, and 
after the Marshal had sent a squad of police from the north- 
eastern district to protect the house and property, the place 
looked as if it had passed through a heavy siege. 

Darkness closed around the remnant of the two com- 
panies of the Sixth Regiment, safe at Camden Depot with 
the Fifth Regiment. But the rioting for the day was not 
concluded. The scene was only shifted the end was not 



FOR a time the military were left in quiet possession of 
the depot, but the cars in which they took up quarters could 
not be moved to Cumberland until the time for the regular 
departure of passenger trains arrived. Meanwhile the 
police concentrated in strong numbers outside the building. 
Encircling them presently came the rioters, in a great noisy 
throng. From half-past eight until nine o'clock at night 
they were rapidly recruiting in strength. Gradually the 
crowd grew into an immense concourse, each particular 
member of which desired to annihilate the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railway, Camden Depot, and all the soldiers gathering 
there. Outside this circle were many who had convened at 
the spot from mere curiosity, or because they sympathized 
with the mob. Here stood some whose sensibilities leaned 


towards the company and law and order, but they were in 
hopeless minority, and did not dare to say a word in the di- 
rection of their wishes. Certainly, there were many who 
held the most bitter hatred towards the members of the 
Sixth Regiment. Cries went np from these of: "Kill the 
accursed militia ! Fire the building and scorch the murder- 
ers out ! " and many other similarly encouraging salutations. 
It is not to be wondered at, that some of the men and offi- 
cers of the Sixth were panic-stricken, left the cars, and when 
able to secure citizen's clothing, ingloriously retreated from 
the neighborhood. The hatred of the militia by the mob 
did not seem to extend to the Fifth Regiment, whose mem- 
bers stood guard at all assailable points and were not receiv- 
ed with the execrations and hisses greeting the appearance 
everywhere of those clad in the uniforms of Company I, 
and Company F of the Sixth. One or two officers effected 
their escape from the station in disguise, and officer Beafelt, 
of the Southern Police District, still retains the sword of 
one young man who exchanged it for a gum overcoat which 
he picked up inMcClintock's baggage room. This occurred 
soon after the Sixth arrived at Camden Depot. The sol- 
dier in question was probably new to active service. He 
hastily entered the baggage-room, took the coat, put off his 
sword, and, wrapping himself in the rubber garment, disap- 
peared, leaving the blade and scabbard behind. He was 
subsequently seen hurrying nervously through the crowd. 
Officer Beafelt was seriously injured, being accidentally 
struck by a locomotive, the next day, and did not discover 
his loss until well enough to have inquiries instituted. He 
held the sword, hoping that its former owner would call and 
make proposals for a re-exchange but he failed to make 
his appearance. There were comparatively few who thus 
fled from their colors and from their brother officers; a ma- 
jority of both regiments firmly standing their ground against 


fearful odds, and, under circumstances well calculated to 
cause the bravest to tremble. 

Soon after eight o'clock a detachment from the mob, 
which had been fired upon by the Sixth, commenced tearing 
up the railroad track, beyond the depot, near the corner of 
Eutaw and Camden Streets. 

The mob had also started an attack ou the Fifth Regi- 
ment, after its arrival, using stones and other handy pro 
jectiles. But this command was composed of better ma- 
terial, or was under more effective discipline than the Sixth, 
and reserved its fire, bearing the attack like veterans. They 
had no men severely wounded. .Their actions left the stri 
kers to merely exhaust themselves, and probably accounts for 
the respect which the mob exhibited for men wearing their 
uniform. But this force, with the remains of the platoon of 
the Sixth, was not sufficient for the protection of the great 
depot and its surrounding buildings, which were constantly 
invaded by the alert foe, and valuable property stolen, de- 
stroyed, or in some manner damaged. Bayonet charge 
after bayonet charge had to be made, in different quarters, 
to clear the crowd away, and while the soldiers were em- 
ployed at one point the enemy would, in force, make an at- 
tack upon another. 

After one of these advances by the mob, and succeed- 
ing assaults by the military, the communists entered the 
lower part of the depot, at Lee Street. Every effort was 
made to prevent it, but the descent was too powerful to be 
successfully handled. The soldiers were rudely beaten 
back with clubs, shovels, bars of iron, rocks, and bricks, and 
the hordes of the strikers rushed in, like infuriated beasts of 
prey, scenting the blood of their torn victims. It was with 
difficulty that the small company of soldiers managed to re- 
treat in season to save their arms and their lives. But escape 
they did, and, securing reinforcements, in their turn swooped 


down upon the rioters, with bayonets fixed, and renewed the 
contest. After the mob had destroyed the dispatcher's office, 
savagely venting their wrath upon it, converted its boards 
and timbers into kindling wood, and driven off the tele- 
graph operator and other attaches, to seek protection with 
the soldiery, there was a collision between the rioters and 
the militia, which resulted in the inglorious retreat of the 
former, some of their members taking with them wounds 
from the sharp points of bayonets, the scars of which are 
probably to-day unpleasantly reminding them of a frenzy 
which they will be in no hurry to repeat. Flying from the 
sheds, the rioters sought other places of approach, which 
they were not long in discovering. 

By this time it was nearly ten o'clock, and still the 
refractory crowd exhibited no symptoms of weariness, or 
any signs that they would permanently retire from the local- 
ity. On the contrary, they were more bitter and aggressive 
than ever. Showers of stones filled the air, windows and 
furniture were broken, and men cut, bruised, and maimed, 
while the roaring, hooting horde swerved to one side and 
then to the other, shouting at intervals : " Kill them ! " 

' O 

" Kill them ! " " Burn the dogs in the kennel ! " " Smoke 
them out ! " The worst population of Baltimore was slowly 
but surely forming a huge and disreputable mass in the 
vicinity of Camden Depot. From the lowest, vilest dens, 
the petty gambling hells, the drinking cellars, the houses of 
ill-repute, the thieves issued, the very scum of the slums, 
having no other idea than to plunder, steal, and, if occasion 
offered, cut throats and murder. Even the wretched women 
of the town rushed out of doors, bare-headed, some of them 
almost bare-bosomed, and joined the common cause with 
the sanguinary commune. In every part of the strangely 
constituted army investing the depot, these perverted and 
shameless creatures were found on the offensive, and by 


words and gestures developing and inflaming the evil pas- 
sions of the men and larger boys who were near them, and 
some even taking an active part in the fray. 

A little later another sally was started by the rioters, this 
time directed upon a portion of the inclosure, which had 
been for a moment left exposed and comparatively unpro- 
tected. Entering the place where the debris of the ruined 
dispatcher's office was, a decided stand was made, in such 
force that, when perceived by the soldiers, the ranks of the 
mob could not be easily broken. The leading rioters were 
engaged in some devilish work, the officials very well knew, 
but they were not able to decide what it might be, until a 
bright column of flame suddenly shot up beneath the wood- 
work of the sheds, caught the supporting pillars, well cov- 
ered with paint as they were, and flew to the roof where it 
spread, and blazed away unchecked. At the same instant 
a handsome new passenger car was forced open, a pile of 
combustibles thrown upon the floor, and the ready torch 
applied. In a moment the thick varnish of the interior of 
the splendid coach was converted into a sheet of fire, which 
burned and cracked, and in a few minutes communicated 
to the framing timbers, burst through the windows and 
reached the outside, when, fanned by the breeze, it was not 
long before the car was destroyed. Another, and yet an- 
other car caught, and the engine standing on the same track 
was so seriously injured, that it could not possibly be moved 
that night. The train with troops, the rioters knew, would 
now be forced to remain until morning. 

Then the mob sent out exultant cries and bursts of cb- 
moniac laughter. It had just done what it most desired 
to do. It had performed its best work. There was evi- 
dence of this reflected red on the sky, above, and athwart 
the walls of the nearest buildings, and the cry of "fire," 
always dreadful in large cities, was made doubly horrible 


by the fearful scenes through which the residents had 
passed in the time following the attack upon the militia. 
It was well settled in the minds of the mob that Camden 
Depot would soon be burnt to the ground. To that hand- 
ful of men, shut up in the magnificent but inflammable 
passenger house, which soon might prove their funeral pyre, 
the alarms and the -sight of the lurid flames, as they as- 
cended in the air, were inexpressibly thrilling and impres- 
sive. They could not tight their way out. If the fire con- 
tinued, the offices and the brick walls surrounding them 
might fall and bury them. The question was : Would the 
commune hold them there? Woulcl they look on and see 
the building and its contents destroyed? These were in- 
quiries which thousands mentally asked themselves as the 
station-bells rang out the private signals. It was very 
probable that the destruction of the depot was exactly the 
thing that the rioters most desired. No general fire alarm 
was sounded, the city authorities fearing that it would give 
rise to further excitement, but the department was prompt 
to turn out, and soon several engines and their men reached 
the streets near the depot. The communists evidently op- 
posed all such interferences. They considered the fire their 
particular ally, and objected to any intermeddling with it. 
EverythiMg in that structure they silently devoted to the 
flames. Collecting in a dense mass where the engines 
were expected to take up positions, when the steamers 
reached the spot, strong armed men seized the horses' 
heads, grasped the bridle-bits and ordered a halt in proceed- 
ings. The firemen tried to comply with instructions from 
the Chief Engineer, but without avail. They were in the 
power of the rioters and thus perfectly helpless. For the 
instant they had to suspend operations and look at the roar- 
ing flames but put no water upon them. 

" Throw no water on that fire, boys ! " was the order of 


one of the rioters, who enforced his commands with a huge 
horse pistol, loaded to the muzzle. 

This mob was in sober earnest, as it had been from the 

The light from the burning roof grew brighter, the flames 
crackled louder and more furiously, and the destroying ele- 
ment gnawed deeper and deeper into the structure. The 
crowd cheered the fire, and the fire cheered the crowd. 
The firemen, the soldiers, the police, the officers of the 
company, and a few sober citizens looked on with bated 
breath, awaiting the action of somebody. If this state of 
torpidity lasted, the mob hoped that the building and all 
contained in it would be consumed. 

At this crisis the city police, in augmented force, ap- 
peared on the scene and stopped before the engine nearest 
the depot sheds, surrounded it and its crew and then moved 
forward to the hydrants, from which water could be taken, 
halting only when they gained a position whence their hose- 
men could command the roofs of the burning structure. 
The mob was caught unprepared for so bold a maneuver, 
still it did not recoil until the policemen had emptied their 
revolvers, and followed up the advantage gained by a fierce 
onslaught with their heavy clubs. The plugs were opened, 
hose attached and water thrown with effect, while the police 
continued* to advance, driving the mob before them. Soon 
the flames were converted into harmless clouds of steam. 

The women mingling in the mob tried to force the men 
back to the assault, and did several times succeed in bring- 
ing their almost disheartened followers face to face with 
the blue coats, but it was only a momentary rally, and they 
fell back to their former positions. Then there arrived 
another squad of police, with fresh-filled navy pistols, 
making a sortie, backed by a platoon of the Fifth Regiment, 
and causing the riotous element to subside and withdraw to 


a safe distance. Several of the female rioters, however, 
almost unassisted by the males, came to a stand in the neigh- 
borhood of Lee street, refusing stubbornly to budge another 
inch, fairly defying the police, threatening them with stones 
and clubs, and urging and coaxing the demoralized com- 
munists to renew the attack. The viragoes were finally 
driven from their vantage-ground, muttering curses both 
loud and deep, mingled with blood-curdling threats and 
groans, accompanied by revengeful shakings of fists at those 
who had interfered with their work of destruction. 

The flames were extinguished before irreparable harm 
had been done, after the shed was burned and some coaches 
rendered useless. But not until two o'clock in the morning 
of the 21st was comparative quiet restored. There were 
very few in the city who enjoyed their usual allowance of 
sleep that night. Wild rumors of outbreaks kept citizens, 
police and military awake and continually on the alert. 

Baltimore awoke the morning of the 21st of July to a 
realizing sense of all that had been done during the pre- 
vious day. The scenes of the preceding night were among 
the most revolting and terrible experienced by any city 
while the troubles lasted. The new day came in bright and 
peaceful. People were glad to learn that most of the 
stories of riot, bloodshed, and outrage which had reached 
their ears about midnight first, that the Custom House 
was on fire ; second, that all the principal machine-shops 
were doomed ; third, that the entire city was to be destroyed, 
and similarly exciting relations of frightened men and 
women were wholly wanting in foundation, as, under like 
circumstances, such tales usually are, and that the mob of 
the preceding evening had been followed by no more serious 
and extended loss of life and property. 

By seven o'clock A.M., or a little later, Baltimore was 
itself again. People walked the streets as usual, and came 


and went in the pursuit of peaceful avocations without fear 
of molestation. The convulsion had occurred, the earth- 
quake come, and the worst surely happened. Now all was 
peace. But, within the limits of the corporation, many were 
the homes of mourning. Surgeons were in demand, and 
undertakers busy. 

The .exact number of the dead and wounded, it is natural 
to suppose, was never known, and never will be known, 
so many of the rioters were privately removed and secreted 
by their fellow-rioters. No police, or other inspectors, could 
hunt all of these up, so well were they hidden. Of those 
who were slightly hurt in the mob no account was taken. 

The loss to the property of the railway company was con- 
siderable, in cars, track, buildings, etc. Two engines were 
made for the time entirely useless. 

That night Governor Carroll, who had previously for- 
warded a request to the President, at "Washington, for troo/,8 
to protect the city and the railroad, sent word that all was 
quiet, and the soldiers would not be needed. The last- 
named message left Baltimore at 3 A.M., July 21st. In spite 
of the withdrawal of the demand, the President instructed 
the Adjutant-General to send five hundred U. S. Marines 
from Norfolk, and four companies of infantry, then sta- 
tioned at Fortress Monroe, to Washington and Baltimore, 
about one-half to stop in "Washington and the other half in 
Baltimore and at such points in Maryland as might seem to 
demand their presence. Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, 
was named as one place of rendezvous. A light battery 
was also transported to the fort for immediate use. 

Meantime passenger trains continued to run, as usual, 
arriving and departing with their accustomed regularity, 
unmolested by the Trainmen's Union. But freight was 
still at a standstill, and remained so for nearly two weeks, 
until the embargo was removed along the entire line. 




THE Trainmen's Union was a power in the land. At 
Baltimore and Martinsburg, and in other places on the line 
of the Baltimore and Ohio road, it had managed its plans in 
such exceeding bad taste as to lead to business prostration, 
riot, and bloodshed, and now it transferred the theater of 
operations to Keyser, Cumberland, Sir John's Run, Graf ton, 
Wheeling, and Newark. 

Six weeks anterior to the outbreak at Martinsburg, men 
from Pittsburg under the direction of Ammon's Train- 
men's Union were found making themselves busy with the 
employees of the road. They stopped at Keyser, a small 
place some two hundred miles from Baltimore, where a 
lodge was instituted. Applications from small merchants, 
tradesmen, and outsiders of every kind and character, as 
long as they were known opponents to the Baltimore and 
Ohio road, were received. 

When trouble came at Martinsburg, the signal agreed 
upon in the society calling for a strike was telegraphed to 
all points where unions existed, and the men were quickly 
instructed. If they refused obedience they knew it would 
be at the risk of subjecting themselves to the severest penal- 
ties. The majority were not in the humor to fail in this 
way. On the contrary, they were quite prepared for the 
emergency which had been expected to occur some months 
later in the year and ready to say, or do, anything to dam- 
age the business or property of the common enemy. 

The embittered trainmen and their associates at Keyser, 


upon hearing that United States troops were in Martins- 
bnrg, and reading the florid dispatches describing the 
shooting of one of their number by a private of Colonel 
Faulkner's command, but, above all, after hearing that 
their companions at Baltimore had been defeated with ter- 
rible loss of life, and that Federal soldiers were guarding 
passenger cars, even preparing to perform the same service 
for freight trains soon to be started, grew exceedingly nerv- 
ous, put on their revolvers, pocketed their knives, and per- 
ambulated the streets, determined to resent such an un- 
heard-of intrusion upon their usually conceded preroga- 
tives j and not only this, but they sent to Cumberland on 
one side of them, and to Grafton on the other, due notice 
of their intentions, and the work they expected the union, 
under the circumstances, to perform. Among other things 
calculated upon, the leading trainmen were firmly resolved 
that neither State nor Federal soldiery should come to or 
leave that station in safety. Nevertheless, troops were 
started, by special train, on the 20th of July, destined for 
Keyser, from Martinsburg. 

They departed late in the evening, with the coaches, 
locomotive, tender, passenger platforms, and baggage car, 
protected by well-armed troops, all commanded by an able 
and experienced regular officer, for whom even the strikers 
held more than usaal regard. A small body of regulars, 
under Lieutenant E. S. Curtis, had already arrived at Key- 
ser, and these reinforcements were hourly expected. About 
this time the disaffected in Grafton held a meeting, two or 
three hundred strong, and it was promptly decided to send 
immediate assistance to the brethren in Keyser. The 
Sheriff of the county could do absolutely nothing with the 
Trainmen's Union. It formed a local law unto itself a 
law of violence and brute force, with which only violence 
and brute force could compete. 


A train from Marti nsbnrg, laden with freight and 
guarded by a few soldiers, reached Keyser, but found it 
necessary to come to a pause at that place. This was the 
morning of the 20th of July. The cars could get no fur- 
ther, and the officer in charge learned that help for the 
strikers was coming from Grafton. Besides this, between 
Martinsburg and Wheeling the telegraph wires had been 
cut, closing that avenue of communication. While this was 
the fact, experienced operatives were sending cipher mes- 
sages to men connected with the union, to points eastward, 
as the strikers certainly had some experienced telegraphers 
in the society, capable of tapping the line, reading the mes- 
sages of the authorities, and then preparing and dispatching 
reports in a secret alphabet which only their comrades 
would be able to decipher. To prevent this, the company 
caused the officials of the telegraph along the line to refuse 
all cipher dispatches. Not to be outdone, the news was 
then circulated by special couriers, who traveled on pas- 
senger trains from point to point, and who were compara- 
tive strangers in that part of the State, 

The situation beyond Cumberland, and to the eastward, 
was very precarious, and the danger at Martinsburg hourly 
increased. Rioters collected at Keyser over one hundred 
strong, well armed witli pistols, knives and shot-guns, and 
prepared to prevent the starting of freight trains, troops or 
no troops. At this the small squad of Federal troops under 
charge of Lieutenant Curtis entered their box cars, and 
made ready to defend themselves to the last, meanwhile 
anxiously awaiting the arrival of reinforcements. 

The soldiers to aid the little band were on the way. 
After leaving Martinsburg and reaching Sir John's Run, 
one hundred and twenty-eight miles from Baltimore, the 
fireman of the train, named Zepp, w T as struck with a stone 
thrown by one of the canal-men, who were also on a strike, 


and severely though not fatally wounded. Still Zepp held 
his position on the footboard, with a handkerchief bound 
over his head, and the train proceeded without any further 
mishap until it reached a point about half a mile from 
Keyser. Here a startling difficulty was presented. In the 
darkness of night, while moving carefully along, the engi- 
neer was startled, and the officers and men considerably 
shaken, by a succession of loud explosions, apparently com- 
ing from beneath their feet, and the concussion of which 
lifted many violently from off their seats, some even being 
hurled to the floor. Zepp and the engineer bravely kept 
their places, but brought the train to a standstill as soon as 
possible. It was discovered that a number of torpedoes 
had been placed upon the rails, and the car-wheels had ex- 
ploded them. A careful examination was made by the 
crew of' the train, but no damage had occurred, the torpe- 
does having failed in their deadly mission, merely produc- 
ing many sizzling and hissing sounds, and destroying noth- 
ing. The powder must have been wet, or these engines of 
destruction unskilfully prepared. The cars and all in them 
were safe. But the officer in command sent ahead a file of 
men with lanterns, to see that no more similarly dangerous 
obstructions were in the way of the locomotive. None were 
found, and the soldiers and cars arrived at Keyser in safety 
about seven o'clock in the morning, giving Lieutenant 
Curtis and his company needed relief. _, 

Following this last detachment of military came a loaded 
freight train. It was met not far from the depot grounds 
by over two hundred rioters, who took the engine in hand, 
captured the engineer, Jerry Gibson, and then ran the cars 
into Keyser, where the train was abandoned. This train 
was sent out from Martinsburg, from pure maliciousness, by 
the strikers, who endeavored to cause a collision. United 
States troops immediately recaptured it, put the crew 


aboard, and sent it on its way, despite the efforts of the 
strikers, but with the ultimate results stated. 

Even passenger trains from the West, at this early day 
of the strike were interrupted. At Keyser one was 
stopped by a blockade of hand-cars and railroad iron, which 
had been piled upon the track, and similar barricades were 
encountered at other points. But passengers jumped out 
and assisted the trainmen to remove the obstructions, and 
the train proceeded. 

After this when a bridge was about to be crossed 
men were sent ahead to make careful inspection of the 
timbers and supports, thus guarding against what might 
otherwise have precipitated a horrible disaster. Traveling 
under such circumstances revived many incidents connected 
with railroading in the enemy's country during the late war. 

When the several hundred men gathered at Keyser 
beheld the two companies of troops in fatigue uniform of 
the United States regulars leave the cars, and quietly but 
mechanically form in line, their courage left them altogether, 
and they beat a precipitate retreat. 

At Grafton a few days earlier, while the militia were en 
route for the scene of actual warfare at Martinsburg, 
Governor Matthews, having taken a run out as far as Graf- 
ton, was rudely assaulted. The circumstances of the affair 
were these : The Governor had left the cars and repaired 
to the hotel, where he made a short address to the mob, 
being followed by Yice-President Keyser, who was pres- 
ent, and who addressed the rioters, explaining the neces- 
sity, on the part of the company, for the reduction, and 
requesting the men to remain at their duties. To those 
who would do so he promised protection. Those who 
would not, should be discharged and settled with the fol- 
lowing day. 

These efforts had no good effect, and the excitement wa8 


increased rather than diminished. At a later hour, however, 
when three of the mob had been placed under arrest by the 
military and conveyed to an upper room of the depot build- 
ing until they could be taken to Pruntytown the next 
morning, for trial, and when Mr. Keyser and the militia 
were -off toward Martinsburg, the crowd began to disperse. 
Finally, the locality was almost deserted. 

It will be remembered that these events happened dur- 
ing the first troubles at Martinsburg, while the State troops 
were being rapidly moved in that direction to the support 
of Colonel Faulkner. 

Governor Matthews, who had accompanied the Wheeling 
Guards as far as Grafton, had at a late hour retired to his 
apartment, in the second story of the hotel building, and, 
after partly disrobing, and leaving the window open, the 
night being uncomfortably warm, he threw himself upon 
his couch, where, worn out by lack of sleep and constant 
watchfulness for many hours, he was soon lost in an uneasy 
slumber. Presently his senses were shocked and mind 
rudely awakened. There was an irruption into his bed 
room of some whizzing, hurtling, heavy body, which first 
smashed the upper sash of the casement, sending the shat- 
tered glass in all directions. Quickly rising and enveloping 
his person in a dressing-gown, the Governor turned up the 
gas, and discovered that a huge rock had been thrown, evi- 
dently with the intention of striking him in the head while 
asleep. Calling in his aid, he explained the circumstances, 
but no one could be seen upon the railway track outside, 
and not a shadow moved in the dark roadway or near the 
steep viaduct. Some of the Governor's friends thought 
that a change of room would thereafter be desirable, and one 
was secured having no street exposure, where Governor 
Matthews passed the next few hours in quietude. But only 
a few hours. 


Soon a message was brought informing the Governor that 
the strikers were rallying in strong force, declaring it 
their intention to release the prisoners or die in the attempt. 
Immediately dressing himself, he repaired to the spot, and 
once more used every possible personal and official influence 
to prevent the railroaders and their backers from breaking 
the law. He finally secured a pledge from them that they 
would return to their homes. They kept their word, offer- 
ing no more violence up to the hour in the morning witness- 
ing the departure of the Governor for Wheeling. 

The inland navigators were now in difficulty. Railroads 
had met their trials, and the canals also came in for a share. 
Among them was the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The 
first actual rupture was among the owners of shipping and 
the larger shippers, and originated from a refusal on the 
part of one to pay the rates of freightage demanded by the 
others. Near the middle of July a proposition was made 
to have all the large companies submit a bid to the boat- 
men to pay for carriage to Georgetown and Alexandria at a 
uniform rate of ninety and ninety-five cents, or eighty-five 
and ninety cents, per ton, respectively, and also to unite in 
a request to the Canal Company to concede a reduction in 
tolls of five or ten cents. 

A little later there occurred an outbreak among the 
canalers at Sir John's Run, and the men began stoning the 
passenger trains as they went by. But the boatmen en- 
gaged in the strike, as a general thing, were quiet, orderly, 
and peaceable, only a few, who were repudiated by the 
remainder, taking the offensive against the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railway. Still troops were sent there. As with the 
railroad strikers, most of the violence was done by out 
siders, tramps, and communists, who had no other incentives 
to action than their own brutal instincts and a desire to 
secure a share of the common plunder. Before the troops 


reached the place a blockade was formed and all boats 
stopped. Meantime the canal-boats remained tied up, 
operations at a standstill, and the mining works idle, the 
miners having joined in the strike, hoping for better wages 
as a result. It was not until the llth of the following 
month that troops were able to remove the embargo and 
put the canal fleet once more in motion. The laborers in 
the mines, even at that late date, held out for the increase. 
The boatmen had not long been active, however, when the 
miners began to work for such proprietors as offered fifty 
cents a ton. The Hampshire, Franklin, George's Creek, 
Potomac, and Piedmont coal companies were by this time 
busily engaged bringing the coal to the surface, and all 
paying fifty-five cents. By that date, and a little later, not a 
dozen canal-boats held to the strike and tried to keep up the 
embargo. Even these few contumacious ones were prepared 
to set out for their destinations at a moment's warning. 

In Frostburg everything was remarkably quiet. There 
was a prospect of a dearth of bread, as but about thirty bar- 
rels of flour could be mustered in the town, and it was 
feared that, if troops were not left in Cumberland and 
freight soon moved, the miners, mostly Irish, Welsh, Scotch, 
and German, might get together and make trouble. In a 
few days coal and freight trains were regularly run, guarded 
by United States soldiers, and provisions could be as easily 
and cheaply procured as before the strike occurred. 

Lonaconing, a mining place of some importance, had fur- 
nished many of the men forming the riotous assemblage at 
Keyser. Barton had a meeting of miners on the last day 
of July, reported to have numbered eight hundred strong. 
Piedmont was not devoid of strikers, and all the miners in 
Allegheny County met, a day or two later, in Kaneft'a 
Meadow, near Lonaconing, but no violence occurred at any 
of these places. 


On the 24th of July, while the troubles in Western Penn- 
sylvania were at their height, when the train for Pittsburg 
was ready to leave Cumberland, thirty or forty men, com- 
prising well-known residents of the county and city, boarded 
the cars, without making any very decided stir or demon- 
stration it was before the advent there of Federal soldiers 
and, despite the earnest protests of the conductor and 
trainmen, swore they would go to Pittsburg, fare or no fare. 
They desired to take a hand in the operations of the strikers 
then going on in Pittsburg and that part of the State. The 
conductor said nothing, after their fares had been demand- 
ed and refused, but continued on his route. He forwarded 
a private dispatch, however, from Connellsville, to the Chief 
of Police of Pittsburg, notifying him of his living cargo, 
and requesting him to be sure and have a party ready when 
he should arrive to take forty or fifty armed men in charge. 
This request was promptly attended to, and when the turbu- 
lent fellows reached Pittsburg, they found themselves quickly 
surrounded by policemen and were marched off to jail. 

No particular violence was entered upon at Cumberland, 
the preparations, military and civic, having been too com- 
plete to give the strikers the coveted opportunity. But the 
bloodshed at Baltimore had greatly. exasperated the train- 
men at Grafton. 

On the Sunday preceding the serious troubles just de- 
scribed, at Baltimore, a train of cars loaded with perishable 
property was brought to Grafton, en route for the East, and 
the master of transportation was very anxious to move it, in 
order that the railway might not suffer loss. The strikers 
would not permit it, and the military had not yet arrived 
On Sunday the officers of the road secured a volunteer 
anti-union engineer and fireman, and quietly making other 
preparations, suddenly started the cars, just as the morning 
service was about to begin in the Catholic Church of the 


town, where many of the railway strikers had assembled, 
through the recommendation of a man named Spencer, who 
had for some time been Chief of Grafton Branch of the 
Trainmen's Union. The engine steamed out with the pork 
laden freight train coupled to it. But the trainmen were 
on the alert, word was sent to the church of what was go- 
ing on, and in a moment more hundreds of excited fellows 
were rushing down from the church. Pell-mell, one after 
another, ran the crowd of angry and disappointed railroad 
men. These efforts to catch and stop the train by running 
after it were useless ; but a locomotive used in switching 
work was fired up. They mounted it, ordered the engineer 
to pull the throttle, he obeyed under compulsion, and they 
started in pursuit. The strikers were in the oab, on the 
footboard, on the pilot, on the coal in the tender, and cling- 
ing to the locomotive in every conceivable place, armed 
with revolvers, rocks, and clubs, the latter hastily picked 
up before starting, running rapidly in the wake of the train 
trying to escape from their clutches. On, with reckless 
speed, shot the engine, black with its human burden. For- 
ward sped the train, far ahead of them. After turning a 
sudden, sharp curve in the road, the smoke from the truant 
locomotive could be discerned through openings in the 
trees. The stillness of the clear Sabbath morning was 
rudely broken by the excited cheerings and hurrahs of the 
pursuers, which were answered to the echo by the shrill 
whistle of the leading engine, which continued to puff, and 
blow, and labor, over a bit of steep grade, and, having sur- 
mounted it quickly, showed a clean pair of heels in the 
dim and dusty distance as it rolled gracefully and rapidly 
down a gradual descent, and then passed out of view over a 
level piece of ground into the windings, turnings, and twist- 
ings of another of those abrupt horse -shoe bends for which 
the Baltimore and Ohio road, in this locality, is celebrated. 


The strikers turned to their involuntary engineer, and, 
with many oaths ordered, " More steam ! " " More speed ! " 
Then their eyes were strained to their utmost to penetrate 
the distance, and see if their prize was actually gaining and 
widening the space between them. More haste was made. 
More fuel was thrown into the fire-pan of the furnace, and 
the flames roared again as the door was closed. The iron 
horse ran like a thing of life. The noise of the wheels, and 
the escaping steam, and the whistle, scared people in their 
houses beside the track. Men and women rushed out from 
their houses, and looked on in amazement at sight of the novel 
race. One old lady, living in a log-cabin, surrounded by he 
group of ragged children, stood on her narrow gallery, and 
was so enthusiastic over the contest that she wildly swung 
her faded calico sun-bonnet in the air by its strings, lost her 
balance, fell off the platform before the door, screaming, 
"Murder! murder! "as she descended. The strikers had 
time to catch a glimpse of the scene, and gave the woman 
three hearty cheers as they clattered by, which the children 
and neighbors returned with all their lungs. 

Presently the pursuing engine arrived at another curve. 
Around it they swept at lightning speed. Suddenly before 
them appeared, in plain sight, the stationary rear end of the 
train they were so recklessly flying after. 

There was little chance for thought, less for action, but 
the faces of the rioters turned white as they understood the 
situation. The locomotive they were on covering it as 
swarming bees upon the limb of a tree they very well 
knew must inevitably run into that dark barrier, that im- 
movable obstacle of solid wood and iron. Too well they 
knew the danger. But all were paralyzed. None even 
thought to jump. A collision was unavoidable. Scarcely 
had the strikers' engineer a second in which to sound 
" down brakes," before the thundering crash came. A fly- 


ing shower of destruction, splintered timbers and sills, an 
explosion of iron flues, the jarring of the train, the tearing 
up of rails and ties, the telescoping of cars a shriek a 
series of shrieks and groans and the crisis had arrived and 

At Wheeling, the capital of "West Virginia, and the 
largest city in that State, the strike did not at any time 
assume a riotous nature, which fact is hard to account for, 
as its manufacturing interests are but little less important 
than those of Pittsburg, and its population is largely com- 
posed of that class of workingmen who are quick to become 
tilled with the striking and riotous spirit. But, though the 
striking trainmen did not resort to the shameful exhibitions 
of brute force which disgraced other cities, they stood out 
to the very last, and seemed to be really the firmest and 
most cool-headed strikers along the line of the Baltimore 
and Ohio road. As a consequence, manufacturing and 
business interests of Wheeling were completely paralyzed. 
Supplies could not be secured, and goods could not be 
shipped ; the factories were compelled to close, and busi- 
ness men of the city shut up their stores, placed guards 
upon them, and started for the mountains with their guns 
and fishing-tackle. The result was that Wheeling experi- 
enced two weeks of Sundays, and great destitution and 
suffering began to prevail. All wages in all grades of 
employment had been extremely low, and mechanics not 
only had no means saved for such an emergency, but were 
in most cases in debt. These conditions, fortunately for 
Wheeling, brought about a strong public pressure against 
the continuance of the strike, and served to eventually 
bring to terms the trainmen, who, with other influences such 
as surrounded railroad strikers in Pittsburg, would have 
precipitated trouble and bloodshed. As it was, however, 
the strike at Wheeling came, existed firmly and determin- 


edly, but passed away, leaving no other misfortunes than 
the great loss from a continued suspension of business, and 
the keen suffering endured by the majority of workingtnen 
and their families on account of the cruel persistency of a 
few, as is invariably the result from that most foolish of all 
labor movements, the strike. 

At the thriving city of Newark, Ohio, the strike attracted 
considerable attention, and that city was frequently visited 
by Governor Young during its continuance. One peculiar- 
ity of the excitement there is worth relating. Nearly every 
female in the place was an earnest champion of the strik- 
ers. Grandmothers, mothers, wives and sweethearts seemed 
to vie with each other in encouraging the strikers to hold 
out until the Baltimore and Ohio Company had been com- 
pelled to restore the wages paid before the reduction. As 
a large number of trainmen resided at Newark, many of 
them being related to the best families of the city, this 
element proved a most powerful one, for fifty women are 
more to be feared, from any stand-point, than five hundred 
men. These ladies forgot everything else save the strike, 
and worked without ceasing for its success. They collected 
money, food, and fuel for the sustenance of strikers and 
strikers' families. They circulated among the ofticials of 
the city, and banteringly told them that if they attempted 
to make arrests of these railroad men, who were their fa- 
thers, husbands, and lovers, and who were making a brave 
light for their very lives, they would certainly have to over- 
power and arrest them first. Think of overpowering and 
arresting half the ladies of a city. Nor did they stop here. 
They visited the State militia, and ingratiated themselves 
into the regard of these bold soldiers of an hour with that 
irresistible way which determined women have ; and then, 
after they had won them, informed them that if they shot 
any of the strikers, they would have to do it over their dead 


bodies. What brave soldiers could be even driven into a 
fight with unarmed workingmen, when they would first 
have to force the attack over the dead bodies of several 
hundred handsome women ? Nor did Governor Young him- 
self escape this irresistible and even ludicrously powerful 
influence. Some would weep, others wheedle, some charm, 
and many denounce with such sharp tongues and savage 
manner, that the doughty successor of President Hayes in 
his governorship of Ohio was repeatedly forced to change 
his headquarters to escape this avalanche of women, who 
would give the ill-fated Governor no rest. It may be pos- 
sible that this very fact prevented riot and bloodshed at 

All such movements, however wide-spread and powerful 
they may be, from their very nature are bound to wear 
themselves out. The action of the ladies of Newark cer- 
tainly prevented the use of the military, and the strikers, 
meeting no opposition, soon wearied of their belligerent 
attitude, and the strike at that place fell to pieces of its 
own weight. 

One instance also occurred at Newark illustrative of the 
duplicity of P. M. Arthur and the Brotherhood of Locomo- 
tive Engineers. Both fraudulently received great credit 
for their supposed action in behalf of resuming operations 
on the road. 

Mr. Arthur gave to one of my operatives the following 
version of his own and the Brotherhood's action at that 
place, and in precisely the following language : 

"I will say this, we heartily sympathized with these men, 
just as millions of people did. But no action by myself, 
by the General Grievance Committee, or by any of the dif- 
ferent divisions, tending in any way to support or assist, or 
even express resolutions of sympathy, was taken. The 
public may not believe this. I tell you it is God's truth. 


" When the strike was at its height on the Baltimore and 
Ohio road, they sent for me to come down to Newark. I 
arrived there the night of Saturday, July 21st. The 
engineers of Division 36 were all gathered in their hall, 
and having caught the general infection, were enthusiastic 
for a strike. I opposed it from first to last; insisted that 
they had no cause for any such course, and secured from 
them a pledge that they would remain true to the company. 

"W. C. Quincey, General Manager of the Ohio and 
Chicago Divisions of the road, who was working nobly to 
raise the strike, was surprised beyond measure with the re- 
sult of my labors, and praised us without stint. 

" I told him the men were at his disposal, and that they 
would risk their lives to run his engines. Fourteen were 
drawn, by lot, to take out trains, and responded to a man 
like men, when Manager Quincey, like a man himself, told 
them that they need not go until the troubles were settled. 
Even Governor Young took_pains to compliment the Broth- 
hood and myself in the highest terms, when he had learned 
through me that our order considered it a cowardly policy 
to even take so powerful an advantage as such dishonorable 
action would give ! " 

Now, the simple facts are and they take from this rath- 
er shrewd man his cloak of honesty and magnanimity com- 
pletely that, although this action was taken, the engineers 
were drawn, Mr. Arthur did pompously offer to risk their 
lives, the same as Artemus Ward offered to sacrifice all his 
wife's relations on the altar of liberty, the Brotherhood and 
Mr. Arthur were praised and complimented by Manager 
Quincey, Governor Young, and the public press generally, 
this very Arthur and this very division of Brotherhood En- 
gineers secretly sent their agents among the brakemen and 
firemen, with orders to make such dastardly public threats 
against any engineer who should volunteer to take out au 


engine, that the officers of the road became aghast at the 
prospects of violence, and at once rescinded their orders for 
the movement of trains. 

Mr. Arthur's visit to Newark, had j list the effect he intend- 
ed it to have. It prolonged the strike at that point, just as 
his visits to every other railroad center had precisely the 
same result. 



WHILE yet that important section of the country tribu- 
tary to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was just beginning 
to feel the dire effects of the outlawry and terrorism which 
any violent interruption of the great channels of commerce 
and an utter defiance of the law always compel, the omi- 
nous mutterings of a deeper discontent began to be heard at 
various points along the different divisions of that still more 
far-reaching, almost national, thoroughfare, the Pennsylva- 
nia Railroad. 

Particularly at Pittsburg had the fitful fever caught that 
ever-turbulent class of employees who, whether laboring in 
the most obscure, or the most prominent, positions, are con- 
stantly in that condition of dissatisfaction with themselves 
and with what honest labor they may have in hand, that, on 
the slightest provocation, they corne to the surface with a 
" grievance." These assumed grievances are most handy 
things to have when men desire to bring about insubordina- 
tion, and coerce great corporations, and especially railroad 
companies, into adopting a policy which the best experience 


of the years, or the most argent of present necessities, show 
beyond a question to be financially disastrous. In fact, a 
grievance, real or assumed, was necessary to fan their 
chronic discontent into a healthy hate ; it was necessary to 
establish a common bond of union to draw other malcontents 
to their cause ; and above all else, it was necessary so that 
these disaffected men might gradually bring about a eondi-. 
tion of public sentiment which would give force to their 
foolish demands and support to their reckless acts, were 
these insulting demands not complied' with. 

These men one and all and I wish to be understood as 
referring to every man employed by this road and its con- 
trolled lines who was an instigator of the strike, or who be- 
came equally criminal in supporting it seemed to have 
been blinded by the intensest inconsistency and reckless- 
ness. They forgot that all over this broad land, wherever 
there was a collection" of, people a large percentage were 
idle ; they forgot that the workshop was deserted ; the 
once busy mill all silent ; the great, groaning factory only 
tenanted by the solitary watchman and the spiders #,11 that 
were left to spin. They forgot that through causes we all 
may feel sure of understanding, but which no man has yet 
fully explained, nearly every great industry was lying pal- 
sied. They forgot that through the populous cities and 
thickly-settled districts there were hundreds of thousands of 
laborers just as worthy and deserving as themselves, but in 
an incomparably worse condition than they ; that their 
families were not alone in their deprivation and sacrifices, 
and that they were then securing what thousands agonizedly 
prayed for steady work and certain pay even if the labor 
was trying and the remuneration small, and for which, in 
the condition their own intelligence should have told them 
the entire country was in, they, as men owing loyal duty to 
themselves, to their families, to their employers, and, be- 


yond all else, to their citizenship, should have been for the 
time manfully content, patiently and faithfully biding the 
better days when a restored public confidence should have 
pulsed a new and helpful life through all the stagnant 
arteries of trade. 

, The grievance that these men professed to have, finally 
gave them the assurance and bravado necessary to reorgan- 
ize the Trainmen's Union mentioned elsewhere. This re- 
organization was effected for the purpose of waging war 
against the Pennsylvania and other railroad companies, and 
for that purpose only. The least reliable, the most worth- 
less, the least capable, and the most reckless trainmen run- 
ning into Pittsburg were its organizers and reorganizers. 
The well known fact that to-day every one of the founders 
of the order are confirmed tramps, disgusting drunkards, 
miserable communistic outcasts, or, through the skill of my 
operatives, are occupying the gloomy cell of some jail or 
prison, is sufficient proof of this statement. 

But, as I have said, it was necessary to any measure of 
success that they have a " grievance." The Pennsylvania 
Railroad, like other great trunk lines, had sorely felt the 
iron hand of the general stagnation of business and the con- 
stant diminution of receipts both from that cause and from 
a very great reduction of rates necessary to the retention of 
a large percentage of that class of through business which 
invariably seeks the cheapest transit to and from the sea- 
board. To partially meet this great reduction in receipts 
the management of the road was compelled to lessen the 
running expenses on the same principle, and for precisely 
the same reason, that a railroad employee, or any other 
workingman, who discovers his income reduced by circum- 
stances over which he has no possible control, finds it an 
absolute necessity to lessen his living expenses. 

And right here let me say, that in all justice the butcher 


and the grocer have just as good a right to " strike" against 
the forced contraction of this workingman's expenses, and 
with bludgeons and revolvers compel him, even by burning 
his house and murdering members of his family, to con- 
tinue the usual amount of custom at the usual rates of pay- 
ment, or intimidate other butchers and grocers to prevent 
their furnishing him meat and provisions at a cheaper rate, 
as any set of railroad employees have to inaugurate and 
protract the disgraceful scenes which have recently cursed 
our country, for the avowed purpose of compelling railroad 
corporations to yield to ruinous demands. 

After ascertaining that such action was of extreme neces- 
sity, in June, '77, the Pennsylvania Kailroad Company 
announced a reduction of ten per cent, upon the wages of 
all officers and employees receiving more than one dollar 
a day, the same to tal^e effect on and after the first of July 
following. This order and the subsequent introduction of 
what is known as the " double-headers," or freight trains 
composed of a larger number of cars than the single train, 
and drawn by two engines, which economized labor, and 
consequently displaced a few employees, constituted the 
" grievances " which resulted in the reorganization of the 
Trainmen's Union, and eventually the strike and its terribly 
disastrous results. 

JSTo sooner had these measures for economy in the com- 
pany's management gone into effect, than the class, and only 
the class these utterly worthless employees referred to, 
began their secret meetings and their seditious efforts. But 
it is an established fact that the great body of employees ac- 
cepted the reduction with good grace ; and the charge made 
against Col. Scott and other officers of the road, that they 
were inaccessible and treated all employees with cruel in- 
difference, however respectfully they might offer a petition 
or remonstrance, is found to be false when it is known that 


a joint committee from the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers and Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, in 
June, and just subsequent to the proposed reduction, 
waited upon Col. Scott and were most courteously received 
by that gentleman, who took the trouble to explain the most 
minute details of the company's business. He fully demon- 
strated not only the justice of, but the extreme necessity for, 
the reduction ; which so impressed the committee that they 
gave in writing an unqualified indorsement to this impera- 
tive policy, and pledged, also in writing, for themselves and 
the important classes which they represented, a most hearty 
co-operation and loyalty. 

In fact, more than three-fourths of the employees of the 
road, and immeasurably the most deserving, capable, and 
valuable class of its employees, had received the reduction in 
an appreciative and manly way ; and the management had 
every reason to believe that the most harmonious relations 
still existed. But all this time factious and unruly elements 
were plotting schemes of revenge. They had not the' can- 
dor to utter a manly protest or approach the president of 
the company which gave them and their families the means 
of support, in a respectful and decorous manner ; but, trai- 
torous to their own and their employer's interests, they drank 
in the accursed communistic spirit of the times, and drew 
together a desperate body of men \v\\\\professed principles 
of reciprocal help and brotherhood ministrations, but really 
for riot and revenge. So marked was this endeavor to gain 
the necessary power of numbers that any person, no matter 
how low and vile, to find easy admission had only to 
roundty express bitterness and hate against the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad Company in particular and all railroads in 
general. It was in- this way that my operatives, with pre- 
tensions unnecessary to relate, became members, and en- 
abled me to speak with the greatest certainty of the perni- 


eions order which soon extended to the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad, with the results that have been previously men- 
tioned. From Pittsburg it pushed its slimy length back 
over the Fort Wayne road towards Chicago ; it crept along 
the sinuous windings of the Allegheny Valley ; and to the 
East it trailed over the grand mountains and beautiful val- 
leys along the Pennsylvania road, spreading every where the 
seeds of disaffection and riot. 

But the officers of the latter road could not, and did not, 
credit these hints of disturbance. They had every reason 
to believe, thej^ thought, that there was no real cause of 
difference between them and their men. Even after the sad 
scenes at Martinsburg they felt certain of the loyalty of 
their employees, and looked upon the trouble along the 
Baltimore and ^)hio road as merely a local agitation which 
could by no possibility extend to their lines. Besides the 
faith based Qj^the earnest assurance of iidelity given by the 
committee from the Brotherhoods, no petition, protest, or 
warning by other trainmen had been offered ; so that when 
the blow was struck, this great corporation was utterly un- 
prepared to meet it, and what was at first a handful of 
reckless desperadoes, had brow-beaten and intimidated right 
and left, promising and wheedling here, threatening and 
forcing there, until this disaffection and its influence had 
swept like a flash of flame from this central point to the 
utmost limit of the company's main and controlled lines, 
and what had been the best organized and finest equipped 
commercial highway in the world, was in a pitiable con- 
dition of chaotic helplessness. 




AT noon of Thursday, July 19th, the unexpected blow was 
struck; and, illustrative of the powerlessness of our State 
laws and imbecile inefficiency of local authorities, a*hand- 
ful of men, who might have been subdued by a determined 
corporal's guard, were permitted to precipitate what led to 
the most deplorable riots in history. Freight conductor 
Ryan's train was nearly ready for starting out. The " crew " 
had been assigned and the engineers were only waiting for 
the signal to unloose their iron steeds, when, after a short 
conference among the brakemen, the conductor was informed 
that they would not go out with the train. He, as was his 
duty, promptl) passed the dreaded word to the dispatcher. 
Two yard crews of brakemen were then asked to take the 
train, but the intimidation had begun, and they refused. 
They were very properly discharged, but very improperly 
permitted to remain and help swell the rapidly-increasing 
crowd of strikers, for now the strike had begun. 

So swiftly did this striking fever run through the worst 
element of the trainmen lingering about, that scarcely an 
hour had elapsed before a crowd of fully five hundred 
employees had gathered, and all efforts at starting trains 
proved ineffectual. The first brute force used by the 
strikers was near Twenty-eighth Street, about one o'clock 
in the afternoon, when D. M. "Watt, Superintendent Pit- 
cairn's chief clerk, ordered an employee to descend from a 
shifting engine and change the switch so as to permit of the 


passage of a freight train. The employee refused, fearing 
he would be killed. Thereupon Mr. Watt sprang from the 
engine, and as he attempted to change the switch, the entire 
crowd rushed upon him, some of the leaders shouting in an 
extremely heroic way : " Boys, we'll die right here 1 " 
" Bread or blood ! " and the like. One brute, a yardman 
named Thomas McCall, struck Mr. Watt a terrific blow, 
felling him to the earth. This action dismayed the strikers 
somewhat, and enabled the inefficient police to arrest a few 
of the most harmless, as usual. But the crowd soon rallied, 
and, with increased numbers, moved up and down the tracks, 
beating and stoning loyal employees from their work, and 
re-enacting that old and savage labor tragedy which, for the 
last century, has cursed both continents. In the meantime, 
notices signed by the " President " of the Trainmen's Union 
had been posted along the line from the Union Depot to 
East Liberty, a distance of nearly six miles, calling on all 
the members of that organization to meet at Phoenix Hall, 
on Eleventh Street, at seven o'clock in the evening ; and 
around these, excited groups were constantly gathering to 
discuss the all-absorbing topic, while hundreds of others, 
comprising the more daring of the men, carrying all before 
them like a storm, moved out to East Liberty stock-yards, 
compelling the train and yard men there to join with them. 
Quick work was now made, and a sudden end put to all 
order and authority. Trains were run upon side-tracks and 
left there. Then matters on the main tracks were taken in 
hand, and all trains east or west were stopped. Those 
coming from the east were allowed to proceed into the city 
after the situation had been explained and their crews so 
thoroughly threatened and otherwise frightened that they 
sacredly promised to " go out," or join the strikers, as soon 
as Pittsburg proper had been reached, which under the cir- 
cumstances they invariably did. It was necessary that 


some of the stock-trains be pulled up to the sidings to be 
unloaded ; but the strikers would in no instance permit of 
the use of the company's engines, that work being done 
only by engines from the Pan Handle road, and though no 
detention was suffered by passenger trains. Thus the work 
went on for the day, and the numberless tracks and sidings 
grew black with closely-packed cars, which were destined, 
many of them, never to be put to use again. 

At night a strong guard of strikers patroled the tracks, 
and complete possession had been taken of the Western Di- 
vision of the road, while at Phoenix Hall, on Eleventh 
Street, there were gathered four times the number that 
could gain admission. Up to this time the movement had 
been almost entirely controlled by such brakemen and 
yardmen as had been inveigled into the Trainmen's Union ; 
but now, notwithstanding Chief Arthur's statement to the 
contrary, such of the engineers and firemen of the Western 
Division as happened to be in Pittsburg, came in a body to 
Phoenix Hall, determined to join in the fight against the re- 
duction of wao-es and the doublino- of freight trains, 

O -O CJ / 

although the latter in nowise affected them ; showing a clear 
breach of faith which can neither be excused nor palliated. 
This meeting was unusually orderly and quiet. But it 
was the ominous quiet that surely tells of the coming storm. 
The result of the meeting was the following ultimatum to 
the company : 

First We, the undersigned committee, appointed by the Western Di- 
vision of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, do hereby demand from 
said company, through its proper officers, the wages as per department of , 
engineers, firemen, conductors, and brakemen received prior to June 1, 

Second That each and every employee who has been dismissed for 
taking part in the present strike or meetings held prior to or during said 
strike be restored to their position, as held prior to the strike. 

Third That the classification of each of said departments be abolished 


now and forever, and that hereafter engineers and conductors receive the 
same wages as received by engineers and conductors of the highest class 
prior to June 1, 1877. 

Fourth That the running of double trains be abolished, except coa 

Fjfth That each and every engine, whether road or shifting, shall 
have its own fireman. 

At nine o'clock the same evening the strikers at the outer 


depot decided to stop the arrival of Pan Handle trains. 
One was heard coining thundering along, when fully five 
hundred men quickly formed on either side and across the 
track, but as it approached they discovered that it was an 
express train, , and it was allowed to pass, amid jeers and 
yells. A half hour later another train was heard, and the 
line was formed again, as promptly and solidly as with a 
battalion of soldiers. It was really an interesting sight 
almost a study for a picture. Nearly every man had un- 
consciously assumed an attitude of defiance, and they stood 
there like grim and silent statues. But the moment it was 
made certain that the coming train was of freight, a deafen- 
ing yell went up from the crowd, which was answered by 
signal shrieks from the engine like a series of shrill echoes 

Cj Cj 

screamed back from some bold mountain side. In vain 
did the engineer excitedly sound the whistle and ring the 
bell. The strikers stood there like a wall. It was of no 
avail. The train slackened, and finally came to a halt after 
about fifty of the men had boarded it. Then they climbed 
upon the engine and tender in every conceivable spot where 
a foothold could be secured, brandishing clubs and shaking 

7 O <T7 

their fists at the poor fellows in the cab, while the engineer, 
utterly nonplussed and aghast, stammered out: "Why, 
boys, God knows this's the first I've seen of all this ! " 
With this the Pan Handle road became helpless with the 
other lines. This event and another fruitless though do- 


termined attempt to move trains, which occurred within 
the city at ten o'clock, and the weak efforts of Sheriff Fife 
to disperse the strikers at Twenty-eighth Street, closed the 
exciting day. But I cannot pass the latter subject without 
referring to the criminal weakness of the officers in and for 
the city of Pittsburg and the County of Allegheny, flight 
here were lost the opportunities to prevent the Pittsburg 

After the attack upon Chief Clerk Watt in the earlier 
part of the day, that gentleman drove to Mayor McCarthy's 
office and begged his presence at the scene of disturbance, 
or at least for the detail of a sufficient force of police to 
keep away from the company's property and premises such 
of the cowardly scoundrels as would not permit honest and 
loyal employees to work. This model Mayor was conve- 
niently " ill," and no assistance was rendered. In the light 
of subsequent events, it would almost seem that this man, 
rather .than Major-General Pearson, should have been in- 
dicted for murder by the grand jury of Allegheny CoTmty. 
But this source failing, the Sheriff was appealed to. His 
duty there and then was simply to summon a posse strong 
enough to have preserved order, on his discovery of the 
imbecility of the city authorities ; and preserving order 
under the circumstances would have been to protect men 
willing to work. 

It is an established fact that ninety per cent, of the com- 
pany's employees were not only willing but anxious to work. 
They had an undeniable right to protection in their labor ; 
and the shame of this whole matter is not so much in the 
fact that a few hot-headed malcontents discontinued work 
and endeavored to force others to do the same, as in the far 
more disgraceful fact that the Mayor of a large city like 
Pittsburg would not see that complete protection was 
given to respectable workingmen within its limits; and, 


he failing to do so, that the Sheriff of so important a county 
as Allegheny should prove equally as derelict in his duty. 
All Sheriff Fife did, however, was to go to Twenty-eighth 
Street and solemnly order the strikers to disperse. No one 
could blame these rough fellows for laughing and jeering 
at him. Almost any other person would have considered 
so impotent an action really laughable. Bat he "remained 
on the ground until nearly three o'clock in the morning!" 
as the dispatches told the public. It would have been pleas- 
anter for him to have remained in bed, and quite as ser- 
viceable. While " remaining on the ground " lie forwarded 
a message to Governor Hartranft, explaining how he had 
strenuously labored to put down the riot ; that he had 
not the " means at command : " and ur<mi the Governor to 

' O O 

exercise his authority in calling out the militia to suppress 
the lawlessness. So that it must be borne in mind that the 
two officials at Pittsburg who, above all others, had the oppor- 
tunity and power for crushing out this trouble in its incipi- 
ency, shirked their duty altogether, and are really responsi- 
ble for the terrible scenes which followed. 

But Governor Hartranft was absent. He was not exactly 
shirking his duty like the rest, but he was unfortunately a 
good distance from the place where his position made it 
truly a duty for him to be, summering with his friends in 
the mountains of the far West. Neither was Lieutenant- 
Governor Latta to be found at Harrisburg. In fact, the 
government of the great commonwealth of Pennsylvania 
was without a head. But, straggling along about three 
o'clock in the morning of Friday, came a message from the 
Adjutant-General of the State, who was found at Lancaster, 
Pa., informing Sheriff Fife that he had ordered Major-Gen- 
eral A. L. Pearson to place a regiment of militia at his 
disposal. The General was found, and he immediately 
ordered the Duquesne Greys, the Eighteenth Regiment, to 


report for duty at seven o'clock. But the strikers proved 
far the earlier risers, and long before that hour were on 
the ground, largely reinforced, and in full possession of the 
tracks and the company's property. 

Shortly after eight o'clock written copies of the Gover- 
nor's proclamation were posted up along the tracks, but were 
treated with the utmost contempt. These men knew that 
the Governor was absent on a pleasure tour, and they 
doubted, or pretended to doubt, its genuineness. Many 
insisted that it was concocted in the company's office. In 
any event, the proclamation had only the effect of making 
the men more bitter, increasing the crowds, and creating an 
intenser excitement. 

On the arrival, during the morning, from Philadelphia, 
of A. J. Cassatt, Third Vice-President of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad, a consultation was held between that gentleman, 
General Pearson, Sheriff Fife, Colonel Guthrie, and Superin- 
tendent Robert Pitcairn, and at about twelve o'clock the Du- 
qnesne Greys, under Colonel Guthrie, and headed by Briga- 
dier-General Joseph Brown, started for the scene of trouble 
at East Liberty ; while the Fourteenth Regiment, supported 
by a portion of Captain Brock's Ilutchinson. Battery, were 
ordered to the outer depot. These soldiers reached their 
destination without mishap, though they were hissed and 
insulted along the entire route. 

During the forenoon a call was made by General Pear- 
son for more militia, which was responded to by additional 
companies of the Fourteenth and Nineteenth Regiments, 
with the remaining section of the Ilutchinson Battery ; and 
these troops took up positions at Liberty and Twenty-eighth 
Streets, about one o'clock. Shortly previous, Company F, 
of the Eighteenth, under command of Captain Aull, arrived 
at Torrens Station, a little distance beyond East Liberty ; 
and a few minutes later Sheriff Fife, General Pearson, and 


Superintendent Pitcairn arrived on a special train. The 
military itself caused considerable commotion, bat the arri 
val of these gentlemen created great excitement. 

As soon as the train had halted, Sheriff Fife mounted the 
engine tender, and read the Governor's proclamation amid 
the wildest excitement of the crowd. The matter had gone 
too far. All this mock ceremony only served to exasperate 
the men, and they hooted and indulged in the wildest dem- 
onstrations less than actual riot. Then General Pearson, 
a man of most commanding and soldierly bearing, stepped 
forward, and, while speaking, was listened to with profound 
attention. The substance of his remarks, which were de- 
livered with great emphasis and deliberation, was, that the 
strikers were resisting the law, which would be enforced if 
the entire power of the State were needed. He sympathized 
with the men in any real grievance they might have ; but 
they must remember, he said, that he was a soldier ; had 
been ordered by his superiors to protect the company's 
property ; and a soldier had no right to consider sympathies 
before duty. lie also said that trains should be put through 
on that day, and that he himself should be on hand to see 
that they were not obstructed. 

All this was received in sullen silence. The mob had 
been permitted to attain almost the respectability of an in- 
surrection by the civil authorities, and were not to be cowed 
into submission by what they were pleased to term " holi- 
day soldiers." In response to General Pearson's inquiry 
whether they intended to submit to the law, and peaceably 
permit the running of trains, a yell of " No, no ! " burst 
from a thousand voices so wild, impetuous, and determined 
that it was heard miles away, convincing the officials that fur- 
ther parley was useless, which conviction was further strength- 
ened, as they moved away, by a parting yell of defiance and 
a still more forcible accompaniment of clubs and stones. 


After this signal failure, a consultation was had as to the 
advisability of attempting to force trains through by a vig- 
orous use of the militia ; but this course was strongly op- 
posed by General Pearson, who did not wish to assume so 
grave a responsibility in the absence of definite orders from 
his superiors and with so small a number of troops, as his 
available force numbered but a few hundred men all told. 
His advice was taken, and he thereupon telegraphed Adju- 
tant-General Latta full particulars of the situation, receiv- 
ing intelligence from that official that he would arrive in 
Pittsburg over the Fast Line about midnight. 

To further complicate matters, at three o'clock in the 
afternoon the Pittsburg, Fort Wavne and Chicago road also 

O' ti cj 

fell a victim to the extending turbulence. " Number Fif- 
teen " through Chicago freight train was about to depart 
for the West, when a gang of yardmen comprising about a 
dozen firemen and brakemen, led by a man named " Billy " 
Bowman, a yard conductor on the night transfer runs, 
boarded the engine, and quietly told the engineer and fire- 
man that they had better " get down out of that ! " No 
force was used ; but there would have been, had it been 
necessary. In less than half an hour the crews of at least 
iwt ity freight trains had joined the movement, and as fast 
as l<-ains arrived their crews were compelled to leave them. 
By five o'clock there were fully three thousand people upon 
the scene, and after eight o'clock the company abandoned 
all attempts to run freight trains; while hundreds of iron- 
workers from the railroad shops, laborers from the yards, 
and shopmen and mechanics from Allegheny City had 
swelled the throng until it numbered fully five thousand. 
The utmost good nature prevailed, but there was never a 
more determined set of men got together. 

During the day the Philadelphia and Erie road was 
blockaded, and the Pittsburg Division of the Baltimore and 


Ohio ceased operating, so far as freight trains were con- 
cerned, a mob of nearly a thousand ruffians not one of 
them a railroad employee having taken complete posses- 
sion of the tracks near the upper Birmingham bridge. 

And so passed the night. Through the long hours, at no 
time were the crowds composed of the mob and striking 
elements perceptibly lessened. In the streets of Pittsburg 
and Allegheny City people came and went, and at last 
quiet settled down upon the towns ; but along the tracks, 
in every direction, there was always to be seen an excited 
mass of men moving among the shadows and before the hun- 
dreds of watch-tires which had been kindled, like some des- 
perate army of revolutionists nerving themselves for what- 
ever of success, defeat, or horror the coming day had in 



THE morning of Saturday, July 21, 1877, opened bright 
and beautiful. To have stood upon the grand hills which 
skirt the cities of Pittsburg and Allegheny, and looked 
past the rivers, like threads of silver, into these hives of in- 
dustry at early dawn, one uninformed of the ominous situa- 
tion could scarcely have realized that they contained the 
dormant elements which, before another twenty-four hours 
should elapse, would precipitate scenes to rival those of the 
Paris Commune. But the close observer would have 
noticed along the sinuous lines of railway which come 
creeping in through all the valleys, the same masses of d.e- 


terrained men that guarded the roads by the light of the 
previous night's watch-tires. More than this he would have 
seen. Along every wagon road trailing down from the up- 
lands came new and grotesque groups, whose numbers 
seemed moved by some unusual animation. It is said of 
certain carnivorous birds, that they possess some wonderful 
foreknowledge of such coming disaster as may provide for 
them a horrible feast, and that, long before death has 
closed the sufferings of some wounded animal or lost human 
in the forests or mountains, they hover about, giving vent 
to shrill and joyous exclamations of satisfaction at the cer- 
tain knowledge that their ferocious cravings are to be satis- 
fied in the hideous way intimated. With something of the 
same vulture-like prescience of coming opportunities for 
prey and pillage, these straggling bodies of human vultures 
came down upon Pittsburg. River pirates of the lowest 
and most savage order came creeping up the Ohio, or float- 
ing down both the Allegheny and Monongahela, to be in 
at the death for their share of the picking; greasy and 
ragged outlaws from the coal regions left their dark haunts 
in the groggeries, gorges and glens, and turned their brutish 
faces towards the spot where the accursed communistic 
spirit had made law and right contemptible, and force and 
injustice triumphant; from fifty miles to the west, north 
and south, every little community along the railroads lost its 
roughs and desperadoes, who set out for the scene of trouble 
as fast as ever their legs could carry their worthless bodies ; 
those fearful pests, the Mollie Maguires, from the near col- 
lieries came flocking in, ready to give vent in any way that 
might quickest offer an excuse to their murderous antagon- 
ism against capital and authority ; while the tramps those 
veritable guerillas forever bushwhacking on the outskirts of 
civilization seemed to suddenly spring from every con- 
ceivable spot like some magical yet dangerous growth of 


the night. Tramps from the mines, with dull, sodden faces ; 
tramps from the villages, with a slinking, shamefaced am- 
ble ; tramps from the oil regions, with smut) grease, and 
brutish ways about them ; tramps from among the outlying 
farms, with traces of the barns and the stacks in their hair 
and upon their clothing, and with the air of petty chicken- 
thievery very marked about them ; tramps from the moun- 
tains, looking hunted and wolfish tramps of every kind 
and from every known and unknown nook and corner ; but 
all, on this bright July morning, stepping out with a 
sprightly, elastic gait, and every one of the God-forsaken 
crew with their hungry faces set towards this spot, where 
arson, pillage, and plunder, were so soon to rule and ruin. 

No violence occurred during the early part of the day, 
but the situation had become alarmingly threatening. It 
had begun to take on a communistic air. This curse of the 
two continents, which we of America had lightly ignored 
as too little a thing to demand attention, but which to-day 
is recognized as a subject of the gravest import, and which 
calls for as prompt an extermination as we would give a 
deadly reptile, began shaking its beastly head and raising 
its red hand, that its power might be known and felt. 

The foolish men who had inaugurated the strike, as well 
as the cowardly officials who had permitted it to grow into 
these alarming proportions, now helplessly saw that they 
had unlocked the floodgates of anarchy and riot. From 
ever}' quarter of the two cities men with hate in their des- 
perate faces gathered in groups, and in low tones plotted 
and threatened. The slums and alleys turned out their 
miserable inhabitants men with faces of brutes, women 
with faces of demons. Every fresh accession of communis- 
tic laborers and communistic loafers was welcomed with an 
intelligence only begot of murderous hate in one common 
purpose ; every addition to the seditious crowds of still more 


seditions tramps from the meadows, mountains, and mines 
was received with some sign of vile fellowship that igno- 
rant envy always gives to insolent outlawry ; and every 
sentiment of defiant turbulence was received with such a 
vile and devilish relish that soon each brutish lip only 
moved to give birth to viler cursings and deeper threats of 

The streets filled up with surging masses, the morning 
lengthened, and an ominous dread came down upon the 
city. Business men who had been loud in their denuncia- 
tion of the Pennsylvania Railroad now shrank within their 
offices and stores, regretting the criminal " sympathy " they 
had extended to a handful of law-breakers, out of a sickly, 
mawkish sentimentality, but all too late realized that the 
coming carnival of riot could not be checked. Miserable 


officials, who had played into the hands of these strikers and 
truckled to these lawless elements out of pure demagog- 
ism, saw that the sullen calm of midday only preceded by 
a few hours, at most, the time when all their power would 
be as naught, and the very terror they were responsible for 
would sweep everything before it ; while all classes of 
citizens felt in some wild, unexplainable way that, the lim- 
its of restraint were being passed, and that scenes of horror 
were about to be enacted. And in this state of apprehen- 
sion, more painful than actual terrors, the hours of that 
fateful day wore on. 

At eight o'clock on the previous evening, Major-General 
R,. M. Brinton, of Philadelphia, commanding the First 
Division, N. G. P., received telegraphic orders from Ad- 
jutant-General Latta, who had then been in Pittsburg a few 
hours,. to move his entire division, cavalry and artillery dis- 
mounted, to the scene of trouble, where he should report tc 
General Pearson. Nearly one thousand men were gathered 
together, and this little command, having no thought of the 


bloody work before them, and doubtless looking upon the 
event as nothing more or less than a delightful holiday 
excursion, left Philadelphia in the early morning of the 
21st, and, after receiving ammunition at Harrisbnrg, reached 
Pittsburg at about one o'clock, having been subjected to a 
very few interruptions and annoyances from the strikers, who 
gathered, with tramps and communists, in threatening num- 
bers at the different stations along the route. 

It was noticeable, however, that after reaching the out- 
skirts of Pittsburg the holiday feature of the excursion was 
suddenly changed by the jeers and howlings of the mobs 
gathered at Torrens, East Liberty, and Twenty -eighth Street, 
which were given more point and force by numberless 
missiles that came crashing through the car-windows. The 
troops were taken to the Union Depot direct, where they 
were all served with a hearty dinner, and the various State, 
military, and railroad officers took the opportunity to hold a 
long consultation, the result of which was a determination 
to attempt the moving of trains when the troops should have 
been got in readiness. 

Tliis decision was based on the confidence the officials 
felt in the moral effect that would be produced by so large 
a reinforcement to the Pittsburg troops and the salutary 
impression which would be made in the minds of the strik- 
ers by the prompt use of so large, finely-disciplined, and 
well equipped a body of soldiers. In any event, at promptly 
three o'clock the line of march was taken up, and, as the 
soldiers had been greatly refreshed by their timely dinner, 
they stepped off briskly down Liberty Street, never heeding 
the scowls and ribaldry of the insolent crowds, but looking 
straight before them, keeping true time, and every man 
appearing to be just what he was a soldier ready to obey 
orders, wherever they might lead him. 

As they neared the shops it. was an imposing sight to 


witness these handsome troops pushing up towards the 
black masses of people who sullenly confronted, them. 
They came in columns of fours, heavy marching order, 
drummers on the right flank, and all so true and perfect in 
step, motion, and carriage that one could have easily imag- 
ined they were some bright and perfect piece of machinery 
which could not err in what was expected of it, and which 
gleamed from every part with the excellence of the metal 
of which it was composed. The command comprised por- 
tions of the First Regiment, Second Regiment, Sixth Regi- 
ment, Wecacoe Legion, State Fencible?, Washington Greys, 
and a portion of the Keystone Battery, with two Gatling 
guns. Colonel R. Dale Benson was the ranking colonel, 
Major-General R. M. Brinton was in immediate command, 
and all were under the command of Major-General A. L. 

As this small though splendid body of troops reached 
their destination, and executed the preliminary evolutions 
necessary to taking up their positions with the skill, exact- 
ness, and ease of veterans, even this mob, confronting them 
with murder in their hearts and murderous weapons in 
their hands, could not but respond to that element in us all 
which gives some spontaneous evidence of admiration for 
that which compels us to admire, and, forgetting themselves 
and their animosity for a moment, broke into a ringing 
cheer ; but in an instant more, as if ashamed of this hon- 
est tribute to gallant men, changed it to a taunting jeer, 
and then into a yell of defiance. 

Five hundred feet from Twenty-eighth Street, and nearly 
opposite the lower Round-house, the temporary halt was 
made. .In front of the command were Sheriff Fife, High 
Sheriff of Allegheny County ; General Pearson and his 
Adjutant, Col. Moore; General Brinton, Generals Laud and 
Matthews, Mr. Cassatt, Third Yice- President, and Super- 


intendent Robert Pitcairn of the Western Division of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad. 

At this juncture Sheriff Fife stepped forward, and in a 
loud tone of voice began to read the Riot Act. He had 
scarcely begun, when the ridiculousness of the situation 
seemed to force itself upon the minds of the mob, and they 
hooted and jeered like a pack of Bacchanalian imps. And 
it was a ridiculous situation. Here stood several hundred 
troops, well disciplined, armed, and equipped, backed by 
the whole constituted authority of the State. On the brow 
of the hill was drawn up the Nineteenth Regiment, and 
beyond Twenty-eighth Street stood the Fourteenth, while 
to the right, so that its guns could sweep both Liberty 
and Twenty-eighth Streets, was stationed a section of the 
Hutchinson Battery, under the command of Captain E. Y. 
Breck. To oppose these forces were perhaps, at that time, 
five thousand men, women, and children a low, misera- 
ble mob, which, from the indecision and leniency of the 
representative of the law, Sheriff Fife, could not restrain 
contempt for such pusillanimous action. Under such 
circumstances any riotous assemblage gathers strength 
and fury from the very scorn for whatever so weakly 

Sheriff Fife was compelled to discontinue his reading. 
His voice could not be heard twenty feet away. With a 
look of despair, he put his ponderous Riot Act into his pocket, 
and slunk away from the spot where all of his authority 
did not count as even a breath of air. Yice-President Cas- 
satt and Superintendent Pitcairn also left, returning to the 
Union Depot in disgust. All these things were quickly no- 
ticed, and taken up and carried from tongue to tongue with 
the greatest derision as the surging crowd increased. Soon 
an engine moved down into the mass of rebels, and at last 
came to a dead stop from the very density of the throng 


which opposed it ; and now everything was left to the riot 
ers and the militia. 

The militia again advanced in column of fours, but 
slowly and steadily, like well-trained troops, and the multi- 
tude gave way as they came forward, keeping a respectful 
distance both in front and on the right flank, up against 
the hillside. When the column had nearly reached Twenty- 
eighth Street, the First Regiment was suddenly wheeled 
into line at the left, facing the Round-house, between which 
and the troops were collected a dense mass of the rioters, 
who were partially sheltered by a long line of flat cars laden 
with coal. This movement had the effect of partially clear- 
ing that locality, though large numbers of the mob still hid 
between and beneath the cars, and held their positions upon 
and behind them. When this much had been effected, a 
portion of the battalion faced about, and the ranks which 
now fronted the hillside marched rapidly across the tracks 
in that direction, and came to a halt just at the edge of 
a hill. In the meantime the crowd, which had swiftly 
grown into alarming proportions, pushed down the hill and 
along the tracks across ' Twenty-eighth Street, and began 
insulting the troops in every manner conceivable. They 
spat in their faces, hustled against them, flung dirt and 
gravel at them, and constantly became more and more 
threatening and exasperating. And let it be said for these 
brave men who were doing their duty, and their duty only, 
that they bore all this like men, hard as it was to bear, with 
patience and forbearance. No one but a person of the 
most despicable mind will attempt to take from them one 
iota of the just praise due them, which can only be equaled 
by the disgraceful stigma which must rest upon the people 
of Pittsburg for their ingratitude and inhumanity so long 
as the memory of that terrible time shall remain. 

Back among the Fourteenth and Nineteenth Regiments 


more disgraceful scenes were being enacted. These troops, 
who were in every sense of the word armed representa- 
tives of outraged law, and could not, by any bonds of rela- 
tionship with or sympathy for these rioters, be relieved in 
the slightest degree from their duty as soldiers, permitted 
members of the mob to crowd in among them and hob-nob 
with them until their ranks were broken and scattered and 
their commands completely disorganized. Some were 
brave and true, but these were the few. who were so far 
outnumbered that they were utterly powerless ; and in less 
than an hour from the time when Sheriff Fife pocketed his 
Riot Act and official nonentity, and crept away from the 
conflict he had permitted to become inevitable, these regi- 
4 ments had not only become utterly demoralized, but num- 
bers of the mob had secured possession of their arms, and 
were quite ready for assault or defense. 

Through the open lines formed by the position taken by 
the members of the First Regiment, a company was brought 
from the rear and thrown along the open space to the west 
of Twenty-eighth 'Street. At this point General Brinton 
stepped to the front and personally implored the strikers to 
disperse, stating in the most earnest and solemn manner 
that they were where they were to perform an unpleasant 
duty, but still a duty, and that if they were attacked blood- 
shed would certainly ensue. This was received with sullen 
silence, and the crowd pressed closer down upon the drawn 
lines. The troops were then ordered to clear the grounds, 
and they advanced witli guns crossed, pushing the mob 
before them. 

A determined set of men had met a desperate set cf men. 
For fully five minutes the soldiers slowly advanced, making 
but little progress in their work. The thousands of rioters 
behind, with yells and jeers, pushed and jammed those in 
front down upon the troops, who stood like a wall for a 


time, never uttering a word in response to the diabolical 
threats. of their opponents, but. using all their force to keep 
the fiends at bay. Gradually they gained an advantage, 
and quietly and like veterans forced the force before them. 
Along this fierce double wall for a few moments not a 
word was uttered. Soldiers who participated assert that it 
was a thousand times more trying than the midst of battle. 
But now a striker here and a ruffian there began to grasp 
the guns and lay hold of the troops roughly. This was the 
signal for like action all along the mob's front. At this 
the troops were compelled to gather back, bring their arms ' 
to a charge, and use their bayonets, when a few of the 
rioters were wounded. In another instant, over to the left 
from between the cars, a pistol-shot was heard. This was 
followed like a flash by the discharge of other pistol-shots 
and showers of stones and pieces of coal from the now 
infuriated mob. 

No order for the troops to fire upon the mob was given. 

Right and left the wounded soldiers began to fall, and 
some one poor fellow, goaded beyond forbearance, discharged 
his musket. In a moment more the firing became general. 
The mob as hotly replied with pistols, muskets taken from 
the Pittsburg regiments on the hill, and every manner of 
missile that could be lifted or hurled. But the Philadel- 
phia troops knew how to shoot as well as to drill. The 
effect of their repeated volleys was terrible. The mob re- 
treated aghast, rallied, retreated, rallied again, and through 
and through their numbers the deadly bullets mowed 
wrinkled and crumpled swaths, until upon the hill and 
along the tracks the wild and frenzied rioters precipitately 
withdrew, carrying their dead and wounded, whose number 
God alone may know. Bat they left only to return in the 
blackness of the night with fury and forces increased, to 
bring with them arson and flame, destruction and ruin, 


until the city of Pittsburg should for a time be like some 
doubly accursed spot to undergo the scourge of myriads of 

demons from the regions infernal. 



No sooner had the attack on the Philadelphia troops been 
made, compelling them to fire with such deadly effect upon 
the rioters, than the members of the two Pittsburg regi- 
ments, the Fourteenth and Nineteenth, immediately threw 
down their arms and refused to serve further. They then 
freely mingled with the rioters, and by their revolutionary 
action certainly assisted greatly in creating the general 
desire for revenge upon the Quaker City militia. A few of 
the more patriotic, seeing that the dissolution of their com- 
mands was complete, hastily snatched up such muskets as 
they could secure, and put them in possession of General 
Brinton's force. This praiseworthy course undoubtedly 
prevented much bloodshed ; for had the infuriated strikers 
been able to thoroughly arm themselves at that time, a 
pitched battle, in which a large number of lives would have 
been lost, could not but have resulted. 

Having no available means of assault, and being considera- 
bly cowed by the soldierly qualities of the Philadelphia 
troops, the mob remained at a respectful distance after the 
first rapid retreat. But some strange fascination drew them 
again close to the men who had so effectually scattered them ; 
and though nothing more serious came of it than a repeti- 
tion on a more exasperating scale of their previous threats 


and insults, they grew in numbers so rapidly, and became 
in so short a time such a fierce assemblage, that at about 
seven o'clock General Pearson ordered the brigade to retire 
within the yard which protected the machine-shops and 
Hound -house grounds. 

It is thought by many who witnessed this encounter be- 
tween the troops and the rioters, and by many who have 
since given the matter thorough consideration, that had the 
troops been properly handled at this point in the trouble 
the terrors of the night and ensuing day, as well as the 
great loss of property, might have been prevented ; and that 
a vigorous and determined use of the troops in following 
np their signal victory would have put an end to the entire 
disturbance. In any event, the mob had acquired a thor- 
ough respect for the force of the bullet argument. 

A little incident which occurred shortly before the militia 
retired will illustrate the rioters' fear, although they were still 
insolent and threatening. In carelessly handling a musket, 
a soldier discharged it. Instantly the crowd broke and 
fled in the wildest confusion, and, in their great haste to get 
out of danger, tumbled the weaker ones about, and in some 
cases knocked down and trampled upon women and chil- 
dren. In fact, this single unintentional shot created a reg- 
ular panic; and it may be possible that if these Philadelphia 
soldiers had been supported as they should have been by 
the demoralized Pittsburg militia, and had, with the artillery 
at command, taken possession of some- near eminence com- 
manding the scene of trouble, the effect of such advantage 
would have been to discourage the strikers and mob from 
further disgraceful action. 

But the very best thing to be done does not always pre- 
sent itself at exactly the right time. General Pearson, from 
his two days' experience with this Pittsburg mob, felt that 
it was still dangerous. He saw that General Brinton's 


command had been utterly deserted by the Pittsbnrg regi- 
ments. His thought, then, was that possibly by retiring 
within the machine-shop yards he might not only offer a 
thorough protection to the company's property, but remove 
the troops to a spot where their being almost entirely hid 
from view would greatly lessen occasion for assault and 

On the retreat of the soldiers from their position at 
Twenty-eighth Street, the only Pittsburgers brave or gene- 
rous enough to cast their lot with the Philadelphia troops 
were Captain Murphy and a small command of dismounted 
cavalrymen, and Captain Breck, in command of a section 
of the Hutchinson Battery. After dragging one gun into the 
yards, the Captain and his men returned for the other, but 
it was found in the possession of the mob ; and it required 
the use of a large reinforcement to effect its capture. 

At last the militia had all retired into the yards, and the 
gates were closed. Sentries were immediately stationed; 
the Gatling guns were charged and put in position ; Cap- 
tain Breck's guns were loaded with canister, and manned ; 
and in a short time the place began to take on quite the 
appearance of a garrison in a state of siege. But it was a 
garrison that certainly needed revictualing, for the rioters 
had captured the supplies under the very eyes of the troops 
at about six o'clock. 

A description of this place, suddenly transformed into a 
fortress for the protection of troops against a howling mob, 
will not be out of place, and will serve to give some idea of 
the character of a portion of the property subsequently 
wantonly destroyed. 

Nearly all the extensive buildings were constructed of 

brick. The repair-shops on Liberty Street were thirteen 

hundred feet long, and one hundred and seventy feet wide. 

The round-houses were both two hundred and seventy-four 



feet in diameter, with forty tracks in one and forty -fotn 
tracks in the other, and contained one hundred and twenty- 
five of the finest engines in use on any road in America. 
The car-shops consisted of a large main building, sixty-nine 
feet wide, with two wings, the whole being three hundred 
feet long. There were also a blacksmith's shop, eighty feet 
long and forty feet wide; a lumber-house, one hundred by 
fifty feet; the locomotive repair-shops, one hundred and 
eighty by sixty-nine feet ; and the blacksmith's shop, one 
hundred and ten feet long. Besides these buildings, there 
were numberless smaller ones, used as sand-houses, oil- 
houses, and lumber-sheds. Every one of these buildings 
was filled with costly material and the accumulated conven- 
iences of years. 

But it can be imagined that the place offered welcome 
shelter to its hunted occupants, though they were supper- 
less, and though, as it seemed, the hand of every man was 
raised against them. 

Although hundreds and even thousands of the mob re- 
mained about the locality, hurling stones and shouting out 
vile imprecations at the pent-up troops, their determined 
leaders hastened into the city and fired the spirits of all 
their class with revenge. Every saloon in the city contained 
a howling mob, who drank and cursed and swore revenge. 
Even the dead bodies of those that had been killed at 
Twenty- eighth Street were shown to the excited populace 
as the bodies of their comrades wantonly butchered by the 
Philadelphia soldiery. In many well established instances 
these wild orators, crazed with liquor and excitement, actu- 
ally gave vent to impassioned harangues over the dead, and 
vehemently called upon their relatives, as well as the sur- 
rounding lawless crowds, to assist in the extermination of 
the corraled strangers. Everybody caught the infection. 
Everybody denounced and threatened. There is no doubt 


that these men, coinh.g back into the city with their violent 
ntteiances, really caused the citizens of Pittsburg to believe 
for the time that many of their people many of them'inof- 
fensive women and little children had been murdered in 
cold blood. 

Never before was there such a condition of blunder, inef- 
ficiency, and unreasoning frenzy. One word in defense of 
the Philadelphians would have cost the utterer, whoever 
he might have been or however high he might have stood 
in authority, his life on that night. There was no excep- 
tion ; and it is no wonder that riot and pillage should play 
carnival throughout the city when all its inhabitants, good 
and bad, were possessed of a common desire for the massa- 
cre of the besieged soldiers. 

It was a wild night in Pittsburg. During the supper 
hour there was a slight lull in the excitement, but after that 
time the mob had everything its own way. Not a hand 
was raised nor a word spoken in opposition. These hun- 
dreds of tramps arid outlaws that had come down upon the 
city, vulture-like scenting pillage and prey, now reaped a 
rich harvest, and in the general fear and all absence of pro- 
tection, practised their robberies and outrages with utter 
impunity. Great crowds surged through the streets like 
resistless waves, increasing as they passed from point to 
point, senseless and frenzied like brutes, and blinded with 
a common fury. Back and forth, np and down, they went 
and came, infusing all with the savage lawlessness, and 
carrying all classes before them. 

It is stated on good authority that, for the forty-eight 
hours previous, every passenger train which came into the 
city brought from fifteen to fifty professional thieves. Cer- 
tainly hundreds from other cities were here in herds, and 
the moment the fury of the mob had attained so high a 
pitch that its menbers began a search for arms to use 


against the soldiery there was sufficient excuse given foi 
robbery and pillage. Dozens of stores were entered on this 
pretext, and everything desirable carried off. The pawn- 
brokers were visited early, and everything that had not been 
removed or secreted was taken. The gnu-stores were broken 
open and completely gutted. The mob, seemingly not satis- 
fied with robbery, took particular pains to utterly destroy 
what could not be removed. 

This disgraceful plundering was continued for hours, 
until the rioters, filled with liquor and made more daring 
from their successful defiance of all law and authority, 
formed in line, and headed by a brass band and carrying 
stolen flags, went yelling and hooting like madmen, as they 
really were for the time, out to wreak vengeance upon the 
already besieged soldiers. 

Back at the shops the situation had a gloomy outlook. 
Here was a small body of men hemmed in on every side 
by ten times their number of desperate men. Scarcely one 
within the place knew a street of the city. They were utter 
strangers. They were also completely isolated. No help 
which could be summoned would respond. All telegrams 
sent from the spot to the officials at the Union Depot awak- 
ened no answer. There was 110 power which could aid 
them, for all power and authority were trampled underfoot. 
Never were men in a more desperate strait, and never in 
the history of our country was there such need of brave, 
resolute officials, ready to shoulder the entire responsibility 
for prompt action, daring to do whatever was necessary to 
be done, even if that action should endanger their lives. 
All throuorli this miserable affair were needed men of brains 


and personal bravery and honor ; for this kind of men at 
the right time and in the right place are worth regiments 
of men after disorder and turbulence have gained the as- 


It was soon seen that to escape from the piace would 
entail great loss of life both among the troops and the mob ; 
and it was decided to hold the position until a convenient 
opportunity should present itself to permit a departure with- 
out collision ; and it was hoped that this could be effected 
some time during the night, when the rioters from sheer 
exhaustion would doubtless retire from the attack to their 

For the time, however, the crowd without became more 
persistent and reckless, and every window in any of the 
buildings which had been lighted was completely riddled 
by stones and bullets. This became almost unbearable, and 
General Brinton endeavored to secure General Pearson's 
permission to use the Gatling guns against the mob ; but 
this was refused. And, in justice to all concerned, it is my 
duty to state, what has been fully demonstrated as true, that 
neither were these terrible engines of destruction used at 
this time, during the attack of the mob at Twenty-eighth 
Street, nor at any other time and place during this day and 
night of peril. 

The necessity for ammunition and provisions becoming 
more and more apparent, at about ten o'clock General 
Pearson volunteered to go in person in search of some 
source of assistance, and, accompanied by two of his staff 
officers, sallied forth from the shops in full uniform. It 
would seem almost miraculous that the trio were not discov- 
ered and killed. They walked along boldly and openly 
between the long lines of freight cars, where hundreds of 
the mob were approaching or retreating from the scene of 
excitement, and where already scores of thieves were initia- 
ting their work of plunder. But no man said aught to them 
nor did any one appear to notice them. Not until the Gen- 
eral had reached the Union Depot, and found Adjutant-Gen- 
eral Latta in his apartment, did he understand the great 


danger through which he had passed. General Latta then 
told him that every room in the hotel had been searched by 
the mob, who were determined on lynching him if they 
could find him, and then insisted that he should depart from 
the hotel immediately. General Pearson did so, leaving 
his two aids with the Adjutant-General, and telling him 
where he could be found should he be wanted. 

So ended General Pearson's connection with this deplora- 
ble affair. lie had the misfortune to be placed in a posi- 
tion where he was certain to fall between double censure. 
The Philadelphia troops hated him because they felt that 
lie favored the mob and shirked his duty. Pittsburg peo- 
ple can never forgive him for leading the troops against 
their ruffians. 

Between eleven and twelve o'clock the motley army of 
rioters, with flags flying and drums beating, reinforced the 
besiegers of the Philadelphia soldiery. To those within the 
doomed buildings the sight was anything but reassuring. 
They were already beset on every hand, and the light from 
the burning cars which had been fired nearly an hour pre- 
vious along the track, both above and below them, cast such 
a lurid glare on the attacking forces in the streets, in the 
gorges, and upon the hillsides that, in the lights and shadow, 
their number seemed to be increased until not only every 
point from which assault could be made, but every shado\vy 
lurking-place, appeared to hold innumerable furies. 

The drunken rioters seemed beside themselves with rage, 
and shouted themselves hoarse with threats and impreca- 
tions. The chief fury seemed aimed at General Pearson, 
and from one far point to another within the circle of at- 
tack there would burst forth the threatening song to the 
tune of that immortal melody of " John Brown : " 

We'll hang General Pearson on a sour-apple tree 
As we go marching on ! 


Again and again was this repeated in all possible variety 
that might indicate the hate of the rioters and give empha- 
sis to their determination to utterly exterminate their soldier 

But the mob did not stop at singing. They began a 
regular fusilade from every available point, and though 
they kept up a rapid firing for some time, they were at a 
disadvantage. The troops were protected and were far the 
better marksmen. They did not wantonly fire upon their 
assaulters, but they compelled respect for the " dead-line " 
which they established, and it was fatal for a rioter, however 
daring, to cross that. But no man was fired upon until 
after due warning had been given. A stern voice would 


shout " Go away from there ! " when, if the order was not 
heeded, there would follow the ominous words, " One ! " 
" Two !"- " Three! " the sharp report of a gun, and the 
ringing " Ping ! " of a bullet. 

The attempt to dislodge the troops by musketry fire was 
fruitless, and strategy of a more desperate nature was now 
resorted to. The rioters could not scare the troops out, and 
they now proposed to burn them out ! 

No time was lost in putting this diabolical plan into exe- 
cution. Suddenly a wild yell, that could be heard for miles, 
fell upon the ears of the dismayed soldiers, and in a few 
moments more, rushing down the track came a great cloud 
of flame and smoke. But the burning oil-car had gained 
such momentum that it swept by like some fearful fiery mon- 
ster. This seemed to rouse the rioters to fiercer exertions, 
and with another unearthly yell, another burning car was 
shot out on its mission of destruction. Generals Brinton and 
Laud had broken into the cellar underneath the Superin- 
tendent's building, and procured a heavy beam, which they 
caused to be thrown across the track. The first burning 
car pushed this aside. Then, headed by General Laud, a 


detachment of soldiers threw open the gates, and, in the 
face of a hot musketry-fire, rolled several car-wheels upon 
the tracks to prevent the passage of the cars. The second 
car was in this way thrown from the track. In rapid suc- 
cession the rioters now sent burning cars whirling down the 
tracks until a regular blockade of raging flames was form- 
ed. From this the fire spread to the " sand-house," a large 
building near the Round-house. 

It was a question now of fighting fire as well as the mob. 
Large numbers of the rioters had ensconsed themselves in 
the upper rooms of the houses at the corner of Twenty- 
sixth Street, and among the piles of lumber in that vicinity, 
and were pouring in a steady fire of bullets from every 
available point. The flames were fast spreading. Some- 
thing must, be done. In response to a call for volunteers 
to fight the flames, a member of the Philadelphia regiment, 
a fireman, and Orderly Wigmor, attached to General Brin- 
ton's staff, stepped forward and fixed a hose to a hydrant. 
They then fought the flames nobly, although exposed to the 
rioters' musketry, until the conflagration had been nearly 
subdued in that quarter. But the work of destruction went 
on, and soon the shops were on fire at the upper end, from 
contact with the burning cars, but burned slowly from being 
held in check by the strenuous efforts of the soldiers. 

All these savage endeavors to dislodge the Philadelphians 
proving unavailing, a still more desperate measure was re- 
sorted to. A number of the mob were sent back into the 
city to sack the arsenal of the Hutchinson Battery, on Du- 
quesne Way, and two guns, with a large amount of ammu- 
nition, were secured. Another detachment captured three 
cannon in Allegheny City; but the latter were abandoned, 
as the improvised force could not handle them. One gun 
captured on Duquesne Way was also abandoned; so that 
but one was left for use. But this one was dragged to a 


convenient point on the hillside, loaded to the muzzle with 
spikes and car-links, and a desperate effort was made to use 
this new and formidable weapon against the troops, who had 
by this, time about three o'clock in the morning been 
driven by the flames into the lower part of the shops and 
the Round-house. 

General Brinton now saw that the situation demanded a 
use of the most extreme means at command. It was a 
question of life or death to himself and his men ; and he 
immediately ordered a detachment of sixty-live of his troops 
to open fire upon these wild cannoneers. As every soldier 
aimed to kill, the first volley brought down several of the 
rioters, who fell across the trail of the gun, upon the wheels, 
and in every direction upon the earth about the grim cannon. 
With a yell of baffled rage, the mob retreated slowly, carry- 
ing away a number of their dead and wounded. An omi- 
nous silence followed, but, like some venomous reptiles out 
of the darkness, soon there were seen creeping on their bel- 
lies along the ground towards the gun several of these 
furies, who seemed determined at any cost to compass the 
destruction of the Hound-house and its inmates. But these 
brave fellows were treated to a like reception by the mili- 
tia, who were now quite as desperate as their assailants. 
And yet another and a more reckless attempt was made, 
with a heroism worthy of a better cause a heroism and 
bravery whose like has rarely been seen. But the only re- 
sult of repeated attack was repeated defeat, and the dead 
bodies piled about the frowning gun as a dreadful monu- 
ment to the valiant and heroic attempts of the rioters in an 
utterly murderous cause. 




lm JLr.Uf.Ki -lii-in. 1 

From the hour of the slaughter around the cannon which 
'was never discharged by that mob until the day came to 
reveal the extent of the sickening incendiarism and destruc- 
tion already done, no marked incident occurred to change the 
aspect of affairs at the besieged Round-house. Scattering 
volleys were kept up from attacking parties, who began to 
realize that these men who were penned up like a herd of 
sheep were quite as determined as themselves. Their 
movements were therefore conducted with greater caution. 
They began to see that there was no special glory in tiring 
away for hours with no results, besides quite often losing 
one of their own number, who fell from the more experi- 
enced aim of the fortified and well protected soldiers. 

A mob is only successful in a grand rush. Its members 
are only animated by a savage excitement, and when that 
excitement passes away, or for any reason the mob becomes 
scattered, all its force and power are gone. It is but the 
growth of a moment. It is disrupted quite as quickly. 

As soon as it was ascertained that no wild, savage thing 
could be done which would have the effect of dislodging 
the soldiers, the crowd began to dwindle, and by inoining 
had become comparatively insignificant. In fact, the be- 
siegers had become exhausted and defeated, and had re- 
tired to concoct other diabolical schemes, not only against 
the troops, but the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, who 


were charged with all the misfortunes their own foolishness 
had brought upon them. 

Within the Round-house the scene was a peculiar one. 
The lights had been put out, and, although from the out- 
side the building looked silent, gloomy, and untenanted, 
save where an occasional musket-flash shot from some dark 
window, the flames from the flaming cars and burning shops 
caused a ruddy glow to penetrate the entire interior, and 
gave to the troops quite a picturesque aspect. 

Here were artillerymen leaning upon their loaded guns, 
and, without a word and scarcely a motion, waiting in 
breathless expectancy for some occurrence which would for 
the first time try their metal. There, were sentries steadily 
pacing their tiresome beats, soldierly and patient in every- 
thing save an occasional look of anxious inquiry as they 
met and separated. At another point were companies in 
line at parade rest, ready at a moment's notice for conflict 
if it should come, tired and exhausted, but all wearing an 
air of apprehension. Over at the windows, but carefully 
availing themselves of the protection of the huge walls, and 
never exposing themselves to needless danger, were details 
of men guarding all approaches so that no sudden assault 
could be successfully effected, and with watchful, wary eyes 
looking out for any movement which might indicate the 
inauguration of some new and still more daring plan of 
attack. In another place a small hospital had been impro- 
vised, and two slightly wounded men the only two soldiers 
that were hurt during the entire Round-house siege were 
having their injuries attended to. Here and there little 
parties, off duty for the time being, were munching scraps of 
food lingering at the bottoms of their haversacks, and in sub- 
dued tones, almost as if in the presence of death, speaking with 
grave thoughtfulness of the sad scenes which had so start- 
lingly been presented in that previous fateful twenty-foui 


hours since they had left their homes and friends in Phila- 
delphia. Apart from their commands, and with less nerv- 
ousness but more real gravity and anxiety, were gath- 
ered little knots of officers, who were looking very manfully, 
as if they held the situation lightly and easily, but really by 
their noticeable efforts showing truly the desperateness of 
the besieged command's condition ; while in the Shop- 
Superintendent's building the more important staff and field 
officers were holding a final consultation. 

It became apparent about half-past six o'clock that the 
position could be held no longer. Already the flames had 
crept and crowded down along the buildings, destroying 
one by one the splendid shops in their progress, and had now 
reached so near a point that their proximity was rapidly 
becoming dangerous. Besides this grave danger another, 
still more grave and terrible, was imminent. As the morn- 
ing advanced the return of the persistent and fiendish be- 
siegers of the night, their forces largely increased by those 
who had not participated in the night attack, could be at 
any time expected. 

Soon the word was quietly passed for the troops to pre- 
pare for the evacuation of the now burning Round-house. 
And officers of the different commands have since related 
that the eyes of these hunted men lighted up with new fire 
at this welcome intelligence, which promised something, 
however dangerous it might be, different from being trapped 
like so many rats, to perish by hunger and stray bullets on 
the one hand, or by the flames on the other. 

As before stated, the entire command were strangers to 
Pittsburg and vicinity, save Captain Breck and his men, 
who were ordered to return to the Union Depot; and Gen- 
eral Brinton was obliged to avail himself of the first volun- 
teer who seemed to have a knowledge of the streets and 
localities. This happened to be Captain Murphy, though, 


ill justice to these men, it should be said that any one of 
them would have shown the same bravery if he had had 
the same information. General Brinton's object now was 
as every other means of succor had failed, to reach the 
Government Arsenal, where, he felt certain, such assistance 
for self, if not other, protection would be granted as would 
enable his men to escape extermination at the hands of a 
people who were so crazed with senseless rage and excite- 
ment that authority was trampled under foot by unbridled 

By this time the troops were literally surrounded by fire. 
The burning cars were piled thick on both sides of the 
yards, the buildings in the yards were all a mass of flames, 
and the fire was already blazing and crackling above their 
heads in the Round-house roof, occasionally sending down 
among them rosy showers of sparks and cinders as a warn- 
ing that departure must be immediate. An effort to get 
Captain Breck's two cannon out of the place proved fruit- 
less, and they were accordingly spiked. Then the troops 
endeavored to get the Gatling guns out under the burning 
cars on Liberty Street, but found this impossible ; and they 
were taken back and removed through the Twenty -fourth 
Street gate. 

Everything being in readiness, the order for the advance 
was given, and by columns of four, like veterans on drill, 
the retreat was begun. There never was a finer instance 
of soldierly bearing under disheartening circumstances ; and 
it is said of these men, by many who saw them sally forth 
from the doomed building, that their appearance was sim- 
ply superb. There was not a laggard or a coward among 

In the exit some delay was necessary; during the same, 
there were formed some interesting and picturesque situ- 
ations. One is especially worthy of mention. The Phil- 


adelphia First Regiment was the last body of importance 
to leave the burning Round-house, though Nicholas Meyers, 
" No. 2," one of Captain Breck's gunnel's, was really the 
last man in the place, and he in a sort of daring bravado 
had run the gauntlet of the flames to procure a canteen 
dropped by one of the soldiers in advance. 

But the Philadelphia First stood there, with the handsome 
and gallant Colonel Benson at their head, a most beautiful 
picture to look upon. There they stood at a parade rest, 
but with never a motion or a word. Colonel Benson, at 
their head, with arms folded and one hand twirling his 
huge mustache, looked down along the lines with a face 
beaming with pride and gratification at the nerve, disci- 
pline, and superb bearing of his men. The flames raged 
above their heads, and the soldiers were constantly being 
struck by burning cinders, while the heat from above, 
either side, and behind was becoming more and more in- 
tense. It almost seemed that the regiment's leader knew 
that it was an unusually trying spot for his men, and that 
he held them there, even longer than necessary, to try their 
nerve and grit. But they were as self-possessed and quiet 
as at a dress parade or in a ball-room. Finally the pas- 
sage-way to and through the gates was clear, and the order 
for moving came. 

" Battalion, shoulder arms ! " 

A series of muffled clickings, the gleaming of the mus- 
kets, the quick flutter of the hands and arms ; and then 
silence again. Colonel Benson's keen eye scanned the 
whole line for a moment, while every man's face seemed to 
speak back a quick recognition to good leadership while pro- 
mising manful, soldierly obedience. Then came the order: 

" Forward ! double quick, march ! " 

Out like a flash they shot from the Round-house and its 
terrors into the gleam of the morning sunlight 


Tramp, tramp, trarnp ! as regular and true as the swing 
of a pendulum, and the quick time of this human ma- 
chinery was kept up until it had overtaken and linked it- 
self to the line of troops like a blue ribbon streaming on 

But a few blocks brought them into Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Into this street the column turned as prettily and as true 
as if the officers in command were merely giving their men 
a little airing between reveille and breakfast. On they 
went, unmolested, and like phantom soldiery in some silent 
city, for not a half hundred people were met, or were vis- 
ible, during the first half-mile's march. 

It was Sunday morning in Pittsburg. The hills were as 
grand, the rivers as bright, the city as populous as ever. 
To have been with these troops for this first half-mile, one 
would have imagined that the quiet which seemed to rest 
upon the town at every hand was the usual quiet of the 
Sabbath. But it was a quiet and stillness of more deadly 

Soon along the line of march soldiers noticed that win- 
dows began to be raised. Late sleepers pushed their frowsy 
heads out into the open air, and either looked on the mov- 
ing lines of soldiery with a manner of half-awake and 
curious inquiry, or suddenly darted back into the house and 
slammed down the sash with a crash that betokened some 
newly-formed determination. Little groups of half-dressed 
men and women women with looks of hate in their faces, 
and men with the certain manner of having been suddenly 
awakened from a drunken stupor began to gather at cor- 
ners, troop out of alleys and courts, or to rush down from 
side streets, and then quickly separate to return to their 
dens with some determined purpose, or remain and help 
swell the increasing numbers that began to fall into line 
and follow the retreating soldiers. 


The crowd increased and increased. The same faces 
that had glared and spat upon the soldiers at Twenty-eighth 
Street ; the same voices which, the evening before, had been 
heard crying for revenge over the dead bodies of the rioters ; 
the same grim forms and faces that nearly everywhere ap- 
peared around the Round-house for nearly all that long 
night, and who crept like serpents out of the darkness in 
their desperate attempts to fire the cannon, could be seen 
and heard. The same thieves and thugs, loafers and gar- 
roters, tramps and communists not all of them, but very 
many of them were there, and began to gain upon the 
soldiers, as well as swiftly increase in numbers ; while the 
same oaths, and threats, and jeers began to be heard. It 
was the same fiendish crowd, and they had come together 
like a swift breath of pestilence to do over and over again 
their same fiendish work. 

Suddenly a little puff of smoke shot out from a second- 
story window, followed by a ringing report and a quick 
cry from a soldier who had been struck, but not danger- 
ously wounded. 

Back along the column came the officers, exhorting the 
men to be patient and not return the fire. 

The speed of the troops increased. The energy of the 
mob redoubled. The pistol-shot from the window seemed 
almost a signal, for instantly afterwards, from along the 
crowd's front, several more shots were fired, and but a few 
minutes more had elapsed, until from behind every lamp- 
post, over every hydrant-head, and from out every door and 
window, shot the flame, shot the smoke, the flame and the 

Soldiers fell ; and now their comrades returned the fire, 
while, as in every other instance, the disorganized, howling 
mob received far the worst punishment. Some of the 
wounded soldiers would escape with their lives through the 


devices, and at the personal risk, of humane people along 
the street who gave them help and shelter. Others, not 
so fortunate, were heartlessly murdered when too helpless 
for defense. 

On and on the soldiers fled, for now the street had be- 
come a defile of death. Soon a street-car was overtaken, 
the horses unhitched, and dozens of strongmen gathered 
behind and pushed it on up the track, while armed mem- 
bers of the mob, accompanied by armed policemen, entered 
the car and fired upon the troops through the windows. 
Many hand-to-hand conflicts took place, in which the 
troops, as a rule, were beaten back in greater precipitancy 
upon the column, adding fresh impetus of flight to the 
panic-stricken soldiers and fresh vigor and fury to the 

In this way the rout went on the crowd behind receiv- 
ing additions at every cross-street, court, and alley, the sol- 
diers harder pressed and in a more de.-perate, pitiable con- 

At last the Arsenal came in view. 

What a cheer went up from these hunted men as the 
bright folds of that grand American flag were seen opening 
and closing with the lazy morning breeze. 

On they sped, now more hopefully, for here would be 
found protection, or at least opportunity beneath that flag 
for self-protection, but the murderous mob pushed on, and 
pressed upon the soldiers more sorely and savagely. 

Reaching the Arsenal, General Brinton halted his faint- 
ing, half-starved troops, and begged of Major Bufflngton, 
the commandant, for their admission, protection, and for 

But the red tape that seems to be wound tightly around 
the throats of all governments, republican as well as mon- 
archical, shut the strong gates in the faces of these men who 


had been sent into danger by the highest authority of the 
State and had simply done their duty. 

The continued retreat from this, the most disgraceful of 
scenes during the Pittsburg riot, was simply one grand rush 
for some place of safety. 

Each soldier ran on his own account, but they all kept a 
general direction, the mob, having spent its fury, falling 
back, and in time returning to the city with shouts of vic- 
tory, not forgetting to cheer the generous and gallant 
United States troops at the Arsenal for their brave rebuff 
of the hunted and dismayed militia. 

The latter made no halt until the shady grounds at Clare- 
mont nearly twelve miles away were reached, when the 
Philadelphians sank upon the ground, nearly famished, and 
utterly exhausted, where they slept the rest of the day and 
away into the night. 



I HARDLY believe that the vast destruction which followed 
the bloodshed at Pittsburg was due to a preconcerted plan 
by any number of the rioters. Nor do I believe that many 
of the trainmen were in any way connected with this incen 
diarism. My own investigations have convinced me of this. 
All the vicious elements conceivable were gathered in Pitts- 
burg, and all that was wanted by these hundreds of outlaws 
and villains was the occasion for pillage. The occasion 
came in the persistency of the strikers, the malignity of 
Pittsburg citizens towards the Pennsylvania Railroad Com- 


pany, the weakness of the officials of the law, the disloyalty 
of the Pittsburg militia, and, finally, the unfortunate manner 
in which the Philadelphia soldiers were handled. 

The cars were first fired, not for the purpose of plunder, 
but simply for the purpose of burning out the troops. The 
hundreds of .thieves, communists, and tramps, too cowardly 
to fight, but just shrewd enough to be on hand for prey, 
were ready to take advantage of any opportunity, and were 
soon among the mob, urging its members to greater excesses. 
This pillaging really began when the gun-stores were broken 
into, and the cars were fired, Saturday evening. 

The thieving elements used their opportunities to excel- 
lent advantage when the mob was surging through the busi- 
ness part of the city, but as soon as the crowd rushed out 
to the night attack upon the militia the excitement w r as 
transferred, and the thieves were obliged to follow in the 
wake of the rioters. When the latter began the work of 
destruction in the vicinity of the Round-house a still better 
and more profitable field of operations was offered. 

Here were several lines of freight-cars extending for 
miles in either direction. Nearly every car was laden with 
freight. These cars contained goods of every conceivable 
description, and many classes were very valuable. The 
desperate and drunken crew that sent these flaming cars 
crushing down against the doomed machine-shops, with only 
the one fiendish purpose of roasting out their enemies like 
so many rats, had no thought, at least not at that time, of 
demeaning their desperate valor by despicable thieving; 
but no sooner had the destruction of railroad property 
begun than not only professional thieves, but that large 
class which remain honest only through fear that their dis- 
honesty may be exposed and punished, gave unbridled 
license to themselves, and vied with more hardened villains 
in their efforts to secure plundjr. 


During the night the pillaging was continued, but with 
some caution, as in the vicinity of the Round-house, although 
abundant opportunity was presented, the utter recklessness 
with which bullets flew about made such work very danger- 
ous. But from the time the besiegers of the Round-house 
were driven away from the cannon with such slaughter that 
the attack was really from that time abandoned, the robbory 
of private dwellings in the city, and the plundering of 
freight-cars by professional thieves was carried on quietly, 
but with great energy. 

When the mob returned from its victorious expulsion 
from Pittsburg of the panic-stricken militia, the work of 
destruction and pillage was set on foot in earnest. This 
season of outlawry had no shadow of excuse. The scenes of 
the previous night might possibly be slightly palliated when 
the terrible punishment given the rioters by the troops is 
taken into consideration ; but the arson, pillage, and debauch 
of Sunday, July 22d, was heartlessly wanton and cruel. 

By nine o'clock it seemed that the entire population of 
the city had turned out to participate in the wild orgies. 
The work of firing cars, which had never been entirely dis- 
continued from the moment it was begun, was resumed 
with greater vigor than ever. Those bent on destruction 
merely were entirely in accord with those who sought pi tin 
der. Reputable citizens of the city had no word of reprooi 
for the outrages, and, in many instances, heartily joined in 
denunciations of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, gave 
expressions to regret that the slaughter of the Philadelphia 
troops had not been complete, and by word, manner, and 
act gave countenance and favor to the half crazed mob. 
and, consequently, its almost unequaled diabolical proceed- 
ings. Every street seemed filled with all manner of people 
who had utterly lost their senses, or conscience, in the great 
wave of wretched turbulence which swept over the city. 


Law officers were ignored. The police were despised. 
If occasionally a man of consideration and thought for the 
future was met with, his exhortations were utterly unheed 
ed, or he was instantly set upon by ruffians and compelled 
to subside, generally with some mark of brute force upon 
him for his pains. If Pittsburg had any government dur- 
ing these thirty-six hours of bloodshed and villainy, it was 
as dead to all appeals of outraged decency, all local pride 
or honor, and all consideration of future disgrace and respon- 
sibility, as though it never had had an existence. 

During the entire forenoon the incendiarism went on 
without interruption, and at the entire pleasure of the mob. 
At least thirty thousand people were crowded along Liberty 
Street, and upon the hillsides, watching the disgraceful 
proceedings with the utmost indifference or complacency. 
Although at first the rougher elements controlled this work, 
but a short time had elapsed before the cupidity of others 
was so aroused that it required no urging for them to join 
in the thievery, and soon nearly all classes of citizens were 
engaged in securing and carrying away every article of 
value that could be laid hold of, even if they did not com-, 
mit any overt acts of incendiarism and destruction. 

In fact, the worst feature of the Pittsburg riots was not 
in the insane fury of the mobs for it is true of all riots that 
they increase in violence in proportion to the opportunities 
for license and lawlessness nor was the most shameful 
part of the matter in the want of judgment shown by the 
troops and their leaders. It is the miserable failure of the 
authorities to make, for a period of twenty-four hours, the 
slightest effort against the mob, and the utter carelessness of 
thousands of citizens who stood by and looked on all this 
wanton destruction in open-mouthed listlessness, or down- 
right sympathy with it, rather glorying than otherwise in 
the slaughter of both innocent and guilty, absolutely regard- 


less of the degradation of their city, and throughout exer 
cising so complete an indifference to the terrible scenes 
which were enacted, that it is hard to realize how such 
action is consistent with even the least degree of personal 
pride or good citizenship. 

To the credit of the Pittsburg fire department it must 
be said that all through this trouble its members were 
prompt to respond to calls upon them. If the police force, 
headed by a mayor of determination, nerve, and personal 
bravery, had sustained these men, au incalculable amount 
of property would have been saved. But at every point 
where they endeavored to be of service the mob beat them 
away with threats and violence. In many instances cocked 
revolvers were presented at their heads, and they were com- 
pelled to discontinue all efforts to stay the conflagration 
nnder pain of instant death. The rioters coolly informed 
the firemen that they would be allowed to save all private 
property, but that they had determined to destroy all prop- 
erty of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, and should 
persevere in this determination until not one vestige re- 
mained. In several localities where the firemen made 
strenuous efforts to subdue the flames they were beaten 
back by the rioters, and then were provided with a detail 
from the mob, whose duties were to see that no further aid 
came to the railroad company from this direction. 

In this way the entire forenoon was passed with no abate- 
ment to the fury and savageness of the destroyers. The 
long lines of cars extending east from the already destroyed 
shops were opened, robbed, and burned at the leisure of the 
mob, which now comprised nearly every man, woman, or 
child in that rather squalid section of the city ; while 
further west, above the smoking ruins of the shop, hundreds 
and even thousands were engaged in applying the torch, 
rifling the cars, or scrambling back and forth for booty. 


It is not exaggeration to say that hundreds, who never 
before in all their lives had appropriated a pin's worth of 
property not their own, were now turned thieves. It is a 
fact which transpired in subsequent necessary investigations 
pursued by me through my operatives, that many families 
who would in ordinary circumstances scorn the thought of 
such acts, were engaged to the last member in this nefarious 

"Why, it will burn if we don't take it!" they would 
reason, and after this easy method of satisfying their con- 
sciences, all their energies would be bent on plunder. 

Enough instances of the ferociousness, as well as the 
absurdity and ridiculousness of these half-mad people could 
be related to fill a book. Greed, avarice, fiend ishness, were 
all displayed. 

The worst passions that can give humans the action and 
expression of demons seemed to possess all. 

During the terrible experiences of the overwhelming ca- 
lamity which overtook Chicago, nothing occurred which could 
approach the horrible display of the vilest of human passions 
as shown at Pittsburg. At Chicago there was an appalling 
sublimity in the very vastness of the disaster. At Pittsburg 
there were lurid fiames and mad destruction, and half the 
populace turned brutish criminals. At Chicago there were 
a hundred thousand iiame-scourged people madly escaping 
with their bare lives from an all-consuming conflagration, 
of whose cause they were utterly innocent. At Pittsburg, 
thousands upon thousands goaded on the flames, and, quite 
as remorseless in their greed for plunder, became for the 
time being like demons. 

Save where a few innocent persons were killed at the dif- 
ferent attacks upon the troops, there was no pathetic side 
to this Pittsburg business ; and when half the inhabitants 
of a populous city turn plunderers, because they fancy they 


have some dim sort of grievance against a railway company 
there is quite as little opportunity for romance. 

But there was much that was grotesque beyond descrip-- 
tion ; much that had a grim and horrible sort of humor in 
it ; and much that illustrates the utter absurdity of human 
nature when it has been transformed, in some swift and 
reckless way, into most inhuman nature. 

From one end of the miles of cars to the other, these 
scenes of robbery and arson went on. Many who were not 
professional thieves were found able to open cars quite as 
expertly. All manner of artisans from the great factories 
and mills were foremost in this work, and great bars of iron 
or sledge-hammers that an ordinary man could not wield 
were brought into requisition, and the car-doors crushed 
from their fastenings as readily as if they had been made 
of paper. Often, when these implements were not at hand, 
a huge piece of timber, or even a car- rail taken from the 
track with the dexterity which showed the plunderers to be 
extremely familiar with railway construction, or destruc- 
tion, were brought into requisition, and with a " Heave-ho!" 
was sent crashing against a car-door, and in a moment after 
a dozen men would be inside, breaking open packages, and 
throwing their contents out into the waiting throngs, who 
fought over them like hungry animals over bits of food, 
and then bore them away. 

The faces of these tramps who had stepped out so briskly 
from anywhere and everywhere, and had come down upon 
Pittsburg like vultures scenting prey, were easily recogniz- 
able here, and they now wore a very joyous, happy expres- 
sion, for those vagabonds were in their element. In some 
places they could be seen carefully looking over goods to 
secure the choicest and most valuable, and then, after what 
pleased them most had been found, making up snug, tidy 
bundles for the better enjoyment of the summer and autumu 


experiences among the highways and byways. They never 
did anything with undue haste, for tramps never hurry. 
Some were seen in cars, coolly divesting themselves of the 
tattered garments which they had slept in under hedge and 
in barns and stacks for the whole summer, and leisurely 
arraying themselves with complete outfits, so that when 
they emerged from cover, the tramps in them had almost 
entirely disappeared, and they were transformed into real 
Gypsy gentlemen. 

Professional thieves from a distance, and professional 
Pittsbnrg thieves, kept steadily at the work of spoliation 
as coolly and quietly as an honest man would pursue his 
accustomed daily labor ; peering into boxes here, searching 
through packages there ; '.nit almost ignoring the more 
bulky and less valuable articles, and going straight into 
the things which would pay best to handle, with that keen, 
natural, and acquired intelligent habit, that would almost 
give one ignorant of their character the impression that 
they were some skilled railroad employees who had been 
given orders to save for the company what was most desira- 
ble to be saved. 

But the great mass of the rioters, and respectable people 
suddenly turned frantic with greed and the common excite- 
ment, went at the work in a fierce and bungling manner. 
It was a mad scramble for everything and anything which 
could be carried away. As usual in such cases, the least 
valuable was lost and the most useless secured. The scenes 
which occurred amongst this class of plunderers beggar 

At one point near where a .good deal of killing had 
been done the previous day, and where a building at the 
aorner of the streets not only was completely riddled with 
bullets, but bore evidence of the earnest efforts in behalf of 
religion by the Young Men's Christian Association in the 


shape of a poster upon which was placarded the startling 
warning : 




was noticed a characteristic sight. 

Across the street stood long lines of freight-cars, some 
already pillaged and burning, and others being robbed by 
the mob, and still others being broken open by sledge-ham- 
mers and any other means that came to hand. Between 
these and the shops opposite was a dense crush of wagons 
loaded down with spoils, their drivers cursing and the 
horses plunging about madly; hucksters' carts, filled with 
every imaginable kind of goods; and every describable 
kind of a' vehicle, even to buggies and carriages, all packed 
with stolen goods, and everybody crazy with the common 
excitement, some pushing one way, some crowding another 
way ; and all knocking down and trampling under foot any 
weaker one who might obstruct them. On the corner, and 
immediately beneath the solemn warning about preparing 
to meet one's God, had been rolled two barrels of whisky 
that had been removed from the burning cars. 

Around these were crowded all manner of men, women, 
and children ; one man was lying drank across a barrel, 
while others were catching the liquor which spurted from 
the bunghole either in bottles or in their hands, while hags 
of women with ribald oaths and drunken leers wiped their 
mouths with apparent relish after draughts of the fiery 
liquid, and shouted to others near them or far away in 
drunken, noisy hilarity. Not four feet away stood another 
barrel of whisky with the head burst in, from which the 
rioters scooped up the liquor in their hats, in cups, or in any 
vessel which could be captured from any source, while just 


above it there stood a ruffian on a hydrant-head with hia 
arm about a lamp-post whooping and hallooing under the 
broken lamp in a kind of satanic glee. One poor devil 
who had lost his hat, and could not procure a cup or other 
article with which to get a drink, endeavored to reach down 
into the barrel with his head and drink the tempting 
whisky as from a spring, when one of the mob, in a kind 
of desperate spirit of deviltry, caught him up bodily and 
dashed him head foremost into the fiery stuff, which splashed 
right and left in all directions. The party suffering this 
kind of spiritual baptism for once in his life got enough 
liquor and laid senseless in the gutter next to the curbing 
nearly all day. All about this spot, where people could get 
their fill of whisky for the asking or the taking, most 
wretched scenes of violence and ruffianism took place. 
Tearing along the street would come a knot of fellows 
hitting and striking everybody that opposed them. Another 
squad of the same sort from another direction would meet 
them, and then the progress of either party depended on 
the time it required to defeat the other. Men driving 
wagons loaded with plunder would be knocked off of their 
loads, when some daring fellow would take possession, drive 
the load of stuff to his own premises, or sell it at auction to 
respectable people for anything from five dollars to twenty. 

Irish and Americans, negroes and Jews all classes, and 
all nationalities commingled, and were equally guilty and 
equally ferocious. 

It was a common sight to see a knot of women fighting 
like furies over the slightest thing of value. One loaded 
down with muslins, shoes, hoop-skirts, everything that she 
could grab and hold, would meet another returning for 
more plunder, when the latter, probably thinking that it 
would pay better to take part of this woman's load than to 
waste time in procuring a supply from the cars, would in- 


stantly assault her for that purpose. A regular hand-to- 
hand fight would then occur, which usually would result in 
drawing several bystanders into the melee, when a third 
party, watching a good opportunity, would make way with 
the easily gained booty. There seemed no exception to 
this wild desire to plunder and destroy, and the least possi- 
ble look, word, or act precipitated a brawl ; while in hun- 
dreds of instances, where after hours of herculean labor had 
been expended in securing and hiding the goods, those too 
timid to participate in the wild scenes along the track, but 
who had their cupidity aroused by the general thiev- 
ery, would watch the stowing away of articles until a fine 
store had been secured, when they would steal them and 
secrete them, and others would in turn appropriate them. 
There are authenticated instances where goods pillaged 
from the railroad company in this way changed hands from 
three to seven times. 



THESE incidents seemed also to illustrate every form of 
human inconsistency. 

To notice how wildly desperate these people were, with- 
out any imaginable occasion for it, was laughable in the 
extreme. There was no opposition to the plunder by the 
authorities. Any person could take whatever best suited 
him or her. And yet every soul seemed wild with a desire 
to secure all, and more, than they could carry away, or 
secrete, after they had secured it. Again, the most utter 
foolishness was shown in selection of plunder. 


A shoemaker in Virgin Alley expended all his ready 
money in having hauled to his little shop load after load of 
rolling-pins. Every nook and cranny was filled with these 
articles useful to housewives, but so useless to shoemakers, 
and days after, when stolen goods were being hunted up, 
this valiant knight of St. Crispin was found pegging away 
for dear life, with an innocent look on his face, and seated 
on a brand-new bench constructed out of a commodious dry- 
goods box solidly packed with rolling-pins. What purpose 
this industrious shoemaker could ever have with a half 
thousand rolling-pins would require more than a detective 
to discover. 

A persistent Irish woman distinguished herself and did 
honor to the physical prowess of her sex, which always 
asserts itself strongly on great occasions, in the following 
manner. She was laboring along under a load of plunder, 
when she was set upon by a gang of rowdies, who out of 
pure mischief deprived her of her treasure and flung the 
different articles in every direction. They were all, of 
course, instantly appropriated by others. But a string of 
shoes which the old lady had evidently set her heart upon 
retaining had been tossed high in the air by one of her tor- 
mentors, and in falling had caught upon the wires within a 
foot or two of a telegraph pole. This Hibernian lady's 
disappointment and rage knew no bounds ; but after reliev- 
ing herself of a string of epithets which would have put a 
flshwornan to shame, she sprang forward, climbed the tele- 
graph pole with the dexterity of a monkey, secured the 
shoes, slid down the pole as carelessly as a sailor, and bore 
her trophy victoriously away amid the laughter and yells of 
the mob. 

One honest citizen, not so spiritually as spirituously in- 
clined, by dint of splendid industry secured three barrels of 
whisky and rolled them all tc his house, over two miles 


from the place where they were taken. The en tire Sunday 
was thus consumed ; but the most important feature of the 
enterprise was, how to hide the treasure. After various 
expedients had been unsuccessfully tried, the well was 
thought of, and one whole barrel was lowered into it. But 
it was found that this was impracticable, when the entire 
family hunted up a carload of crockery, and sixty jugs were 
filled with whisky and lowered into the well. What liquor 
could not thus be disposed of was used to enliven the hearts 
of neighbors ; the barrel-staves were burned ; but some tell- 
tale hoops remained, which led to the recovery of this, under 
the circumstances, most valuable well. 

Four negroes, who, if they had rightly directed their en- 
ergies, might have stowed away enough of the necessities 
of life to have permitted them to quietly toast their heels at 
some sable washerwoman's fireside all winter, found what 
they felt certain was a great prize. It was nicely boxed, 
was heavy, and a hasty investigation showed them that there 
was considerable gilt and glitter about it. That was enough 
for the darkies. They worked like heroes through the burn- 
ing cars ; struggling along across the tracks with great beads 
of perspiration streaming from their sooty faces. Through 
the uproar, losing and recapturing their heavy load a dozen 
times, they crossed the tracks and valiantly began the ascent 
of the hill. This herculean feat was finally accomplished, 
and the prize shoved, rolled, and carried to the cabin of one 
of the party. On opening the box these four negroes 
\vere plunged in despair. 

They had stolen a small church organ, and had forgot to 
bring along a church ! 

One burly female, who had been an honest sewing-woman 

all her life perhaps up to this time, became crazed with the 

common fever for plundering, and seeking through and 

through the different jams of cars which were being pillaged, 



she finally pounced upon the things she sought. When 
this much was done there was an exhibition of strength 
worthy of record. At one effort she shouldered what 
seemed to be a very heavy sewing-machine, and staggered 
through the throngs, sustaining all manner of buffeting and 
ill-usage, until she had reached her rooms on Penri Avenue, 
where she stored her treasure away with the manner of hav 
ing gained the object of her life. Back and forth she came 
and went, and every time she came it was with this weight 
across her neck and shoulders. Thus she struggled and 
worked, with almost a savage ferocity and superhuman 
strength, through the entire day, only to find when the next 
morning came and the excitement had gone she had secured 
half a dozen type-writers. 

This wild, half-crazed and impetuous rushing for the 
thing most desired, but always securing something, in itself 
valuable, but utterly worthless to the one capturing it, was 
one of the most marked features of the terrible day. Here 
a person who had never been further into the country from 
Pittsburg than the hills surrounding the city, would be 
seen excitedly dragging a plow through the streets, as 
though he were the last man, would be obliged to till the 
soil until the day of judgment, and this was the last plow. 
There the keeper of a boarding-house, who in all consis- 
tency if he were bound to steal, would probably wish some- 
thing in the grocery line, would be seen in a crazy kind of 
glee disappearing with a churn, a baby-carriage, or a stack 
of whips. 

A peddler would secure hoes, brooms, or furniture ; while 
a small dealer in the green-grocer line would capture hard- 
ware. The shoemaker would scramble for stationery ; the 
stationer would quite as likely lay in a stock of boots and 
shoes solely designed for the Texas cow-boy trade. Huck- 
sters, who never had an ambition above cabbage and carrots, 


were seen with loads of silks, laces, and velvets ; milkmen, 
whose minds ran in the direction of distillery slops and 
river water, had loads of tobacco and groceries. Men in 
buggies were seen hastening away with their vehicles cov- 
ered with dress goods, rolls of cloth, and every conceivable 
article which could be secured, tied to the seats and hung 
to the axles, like an artillery caisson during a forced march. 
Women, with a babe on one arm and a churn on the other; 
others with the skirts of their dresses gathered up about 
them, and filled with plunder until they had the appearance 
of an inverted and collapsed balloon ; and still others loaded 
down and bending almost to the ground from great bulging 
blankets stuffed with perhaps a roll of muslin, a half dozen 
hams, a mess of potatoes, mirrors, mugs, and merchandise in 
general ; but all fighting their way with genuine valor and 
persistency. One woman was noticed who, aside from hav- 
ing several chairs strapped to her back, held on to a string 
of shoes with her teeth, and with her two hands clung to an 
apronful of lard, that, from the heat of the mid -day sun, 
was melting and running through the apron in streams upon 
her legs, feet, and the ground. 

Two Irish women toiled long and well up the steep hills,- 
fighting to retain possession of their booty, until they had 
lugged two extremely heavy barrels in safety to their respec- 
tive shanties, which stood side by side upon the edge of a 
deep gulch. 

" An' phat is your floour ? " queried one, as she seated 
herself upon her prized barrel, and fanned herself with her 

"Faith, an' its 'White I^iver,' the swatest and best uv 

"By the same token, so's mine ! 'Twas a great day for 
the poor ! " 

" Ah yis, a blissed Sunday 1 " 


But it was not a blessed Monday ; for on that day these 
deluded beings each found that they had a beautiful " bak- 
ing" of plaster-Paris, which turned out from the oven in 
half a dozen elegant white bricks. 

The grotesque features of the wild day were quite equaled 
by the tragic incidents. They were all born of the unrea- 
soning, uncontrollable, brutal frenzy of the mob. The large 
amounts of liquor which had been stolen, and which all who 
wished could secure for the taking or asking, largely added 
to this fearful condition of things. One instance will serve 
to illustrate them all. 

A squad of drunken negroes went rushing down Liberty 
Street, grabbing right and left whatever they could. They 
came to a corner where a lot of whisky was being opened 
and carried away, or drank promiscuously by the wild crowd 
gathered around it. One negro, in a fit of bravado, rushed 
up to a barrel of whisky, the head of which had been re- 
moved, and, pushing aside one or two who were getting 
liquor from it, shoved his black face into the whisky, and 
began drinking greedily, when one of the rioters, in a dare- 
devil spirit, sprang to a burning car, secured a blazing brand, 
and plunged it into the barrel of whisky. In an instant the 
vile stuff burst into a great flame, enveloping the negro and 
burning him so terribly that he died early the next day. 

And so the day wore on fire, plunder, drunkenness, de- 
bauch ! 

The Mayor was on the ground with his carriage before 
noon, but the rioters had lost all respect for him, and his 
efforts were utterly useless. Gradually the flames from the 
burning cars neared the Union Depot, and at about three 
o'clock the rioters run a burning car under the fine sheds 
which adjoined it on the east, and which were used for the 
protection of outgoing and incoming passengers. Up to this 
time it was hoped that the splendid building would in some 


way escape destruction, but in a few moments the sheds were 
a mass of flames. While this was progressing the mob pil- 
laged the depot of the Pittsbnrg, Chicago and St. Louis 
Railroad ; and, in quick succession, the Pan Handle Depot, 
the Adams Express Company's Depot, the Union Depot 
building, and the Pennsylvania Company's general offices, 
as well as the great Elevator building, were totally con- 

At the burning of all these buildings indescribable scenes 
occurred; and in this particular section, the fears of the 
citizens for the destruction of the entire city first became 
powerful enough to effect something of an awakening from 
the criminal insensibility which had rendered action against 
the mob impossible. The Fire Department from Allegheny 
City was summoned to assist in preventing the spread of the 
flames, and from this point it may be said that the Pittsbnrg 
riot was ended ; not that wild orgies that would have dis- 
graced a pandemonium were entirely discontinued, but that 
the shame and disgrace of this most disgraceful affair in 
history began to force itself in some dim way upon the con- 
sciousness of a people whose permission of so terrible a 
series of outrages is nearly inexplicable. 

Such scenes have never before been witnessed in Ameri- 
ca. May they never be witnessed again. It would only 
seem in this instance that they were discontinued simply 
from the fact that this crazy rabble found no more property 
of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company that could be de- 
stroyed. The greater and deeper is the shadow resting 
upon this community for that reason. 

As the night came down upon the citj', the flames from 
miles of burning ruins lit up thousands of faces which now 
seemed appalled at the great disaster that had been accom- 
plished. Thieves, tramps, and communists crept away in 
the shadows, and in their hiding-places gloated over the 


rnin, but gradually settled into their eld habit of waiting 
and watching for future opportunities, and, like wild beasts, 
filled with horrible prey, in a dazed, stupid gluttony, slept 
off their terrible debauch, while law and order and common 
decency too long lost gradually but surely came back to 
the great masses of citizens, who were now able to take 
some action to secure a common safety. 



IT would almost seem that peace again reigned in Pitts- 
burg rather from the returned good nature of the mobs 
than from any capable action on the part of the authorities, 
or display of local patriotism on the part of the better classes 
of citizens. The excitement died out something as the fires 
died out. It was not put out. Gradually shopmen took 
down their shutters and furtively began the resumption 
of business. The streets were still filled with vast throngs 
of people, but curiosity more than fear was in their faces, 
Strangers hastened to the city and, all along the track 
of the flames and the general destruction, mingled with 
the strikers, expressing a common wonder and horror 
at the wild frenzy that should have left such traces of 
ruin. The very members of the mobs were out in full 
force, and looked on the work they had accomplished with 
real admiration, indulging in merry witticisms over various 
incidents of the reign of terror with evident manifesta- 
tions of delight. The majority of persons met seemed to 


look on the whole matter as a huge joke, too vast to be ap- 
preciated in silence, and must necessarily pass into public 
enjoyment ; while the city government, which had been as 
completely ignored as though it had never existed, quietly 
came into existence again, only because there was nothing 
left to oppose it. In other words, barbarism was lifted 
from Pittsburg simply because a city of barbarians had got 
tired of bein: such, and not because there was anv inherent 

O ' v 

force or dignity in the authority which its supposed civili- 
zation had provided for its regulation and government. 

But before passing from these hours of unprecedented 
terror, I must mention a few representative incidents illus- 
trative of the fact that, however much any community may 
be given over to the mob spirit, there still exists those who 
are brave and true enough to do all in their individual 
power for the law and the right. 

A bright instance of this character was found in the un- 
solicited action of the Catholic Bishop Tuigg. When the 
wretched turbulence, madness, and destruction of Sunday 
was at its height, this good man hastened from his safe 
episcopal residence, and, plunging into the thickest of the 
mob, begged and pleaded in the name of his sacred calling 
that its members should desist from their lawless acts. 
Showers of stones and bits of iron were the only response. 
The mob treated him with utter disrespect, but, undaunted, 
he passed from place to place, endeavoring with all his 
power to effect some good and quell the devilish spirit con- 
trolling the frenzied people. The Rev. Alexander Clark, 
editor of the Methodist Recorder, who also used his influ- 
ence to its fullest extent among the rioters, was not only 
brave enough to risk his life among the villains, but was 
also sufficiently manful to testify through his paper to the 
good Bishop's fearless labors. Mr. Clark stated that he 
several times stood within a few feet of the former, and 


that it seemed almost a miracle that he was not killed out- 
right. " There was certainly no religion in that mob," aa 
Mr. Clark tersely says. 

Another instance quite as worthy of record, though of a 
different nature, occurred in the burning offices of the 
Pennsylvania Railroad. A youth named August Doudel, a 
telegraph operator, was shut up in the telegraph office on 
Saturday night, surrounded by a howling mob. Its num- 
bers could not frighten or bully him from his work. So 
long as the wires responded to his hand he proposed keep- 
ing that hand to its labor, and, hour after hour, this brave 
fellow sat at his instrument and sent flashes of intelligence 
from the disgraced city, never flinching in his duty, and 
never heeding thousands of insults heaped upon him. 
Finally the cowardly rabble found that he was not to be 
driven from his post save at the loss of his life, when they 
fired the building. The little fellow saw that this would 
eventually relieve him from duty, but he still worked away 
until he was scorched by the heat, half suffocated with the 
smoke, and literally forced from the instrument by the 
flames, but not even then until he had left a record of his 
bravery in his last message : 

" Fire's too hot. Good night ! " 

Monuments to brave men after death are all well enough. 
They serve to assist the marble interests and improve the 
appearance of the country. But in my mind it is this fine 
valor wedded to good judgment and fidelity that deserves 
immediate recognition. Though a boy, he had learned the 
great lesson of discipline ; he was man enough to be brave ; 
and then he had the very good sense to leave the place when 
the had done his whole duty and no less. 

The great stock-grower, Mr. Alexander, of Kentucky, 
had a car-load of valuable Southdown sheep and fine horses, 


which were en route from Scotland to Kentucky, in charge 
of a negro. The stock were caught in the general blockade 
at Pittsburg, and the poor darkey in charge was almost dis- 
tracted at the prospect of the great loss to his employer, as 
no forage could be secured. In this dire strait the negro, 
through dint of wonderful pleading and the use of a little 
money, got the car transferred to the West Penn. .Railway 
tracks. He then never released his efforts until he had 
found a gentleman who went security for the freight, when 
he removed the animals to the latter's barn, and there 
watched by them during the entire night. Never relaxing 
his energy and faithfulness, he worked away until he even- 
tually got the stock all on board a little packet, which, when 
it finally went steaming down the Ohio River, left Pittsburg 
in flames and in the hands of a ferocious mob. 

These are small matters, perhaps, but if there had been 
more of Bishop Tuigg's fearlessness and devotion to his sacred 
calling ; more of August Doudel's pluck, dutiful labor, and 
good sense ; and more of the energy and fidelity of Mr. 
Alexander's faithful negro, from the beginning to the end 
of these troubles, Pittsburg would have been spared much 
of her present shame and disgrace. 

There is but little more concerning the record of Pitts- 
burg's disaster. The riots had ended for the reasons pre- 
viously given. It may be possible that, had no farther de- 
mands been made upon the military, order would have been 
as quickly brought out of chaos by the local authorities and 
the citizens who were finally organized to some extent for 
that purpose. But this is very doubtful. Even after the 
terrible lessons of the riot the railway strikers seemed aa 
strong and determined as ever. 

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, with its usual 
promptness and energy, at once began clearing away the 
ruins ; and one of the best possible illustrations of the great 


wrong workingrnen had brought upon themselves is in 
the fact that scores of men who had been employed in the 
immense machine-shops, where they had for years received 
steady work and certain pay. and which they had them- 
selves assisted in destroying, were now compelled, by the 
necessity for some kind of employment, to accept the 
most menial labor of assisting in removing the debris, and 
clearing away the ruins. Within five days from the break- 
ing out of the riot, Governor Hartranft, who arrived from 
the West on Tuesday evening, had brought together nearly 
six thousand troops that were admirably located at dif- 
ferent points within the city and along the line of the 
Pennsylvania road, in commanding positions upon the hills, 
and at points where the lawless elements would be most 
likely to gather. But their use in any way was not re- 

For a week the city of Pittsburg resembled a military 
post during the early days of the war. Amateur soldiers, 
in all the glory of brand-new uniforms, were drilled, maneu- 
vered, and moved from one camp to another, without the 
slightest possible visible reason. At no time abuld a civil- 
ian pass through the streets without seeing a squad of 
troops, which had been marched somewhere for something, 
and were being marched back again without the something 
having been got. Bold generals upon prancing steeds, 
prancing orderlies upon bold steeds, camp-followers, and 
all the paraphernalia and accessories of a newly marshaled 
army, were here. But when the troops were removed for 
use among the more disturbed coal regions, as they shortly 
were, the excitement, cheap glory, and glitter passed away, 
and Pittsburg began to assume a lonesome, regretful air ; 
and the realities of her position her shame, her disgrace, 
and her accountability slowly settled down upon her. 

The strike really ended Sunday, July 29th, when the 


first freight train, after the abandonment of work by the 
trainmen, was moved. This train was put in motion on the 
Pennsylvania Central road, and successfully sent to its des- 
tination. No person would have imagined a strike had ex- 
isted, save for the murmurs of a few disaffected men. The 
" crew " had been sent to Pittsburg from the East. As 
soon as this train had been successfully started, others soon 
followed ; and all day long the tracks, from the ruins of the 
Union Depot away out to East Liberty, presented a most 
animated appearance, and away into the night the long- 
delayed trains were being made up and despatched. 

So ended the strike at Pittsburg. What had seemed a 
revolution resulted in a most imbecile fiasco. All the 
striking trainmen on roads centering at this city, as soon as 
the first train began moving, made a precipitate rush for 
their old places, and as much excitement was developed 
through the fear of losing them as had been shown during 
the first days of the strike in. defying the roads and tramp- 
ling upon all authority. 

But Pittsburg is paying dearly for her holiday of hate 
against the Pennsylvania Railroad. That corporation, 
which justly refused to yield one single point to its em- 
ployees, when such yielding must be the result of unlawful 
force, backed by the deadly hatred of a large community, 
pursues the even tenor of its way, in the end the winner of 
every point in the fight. The action of the hot-headed 
trainmen eventually debarred them from public sympathy ; 
the shameful course of the Pittsburg authorities and thou- 
sands of her citizens has made her an object of national 
scorn. Every expression by her citizens, every editorial in 
her newspapers, every act of her authorities, and nearly 
every judgment of her judiciary, have carried her farther 
and farther from public sympathy and consideration, or 
commercial regard. The people of the country, through 


her disastrous course, have come to dread her ; business 
men have gradually determined to avoid her ; public justice 
and public judgment have come to pass a lasting condem- 
nation upon her. 

I am, then, justified by the universal verdict of the press 
of the United States in summarizing the matter as follows : 


The truckling to the strikers atthebeginningof the troubles 
was contemptible ; the universal hatred of the Pennsylvania 
Central Railroad by the citizens of Pittsburg, which city had 
been made nearly everything she was by that corporation, 
was a species of unreasoning and contemptible ingratitude, 
or at least an incomprehensibly foolish disregard of recip- 
rocal business interests; the treatment of the Philadelphia 
soldiery, who had come to a sister city to protect it from its 
own unmanageable mobs, was peculiarly treacherous and 
barbarous ; the herculean efforts made by her officials and 
citizens to shield her criminals, after the railroad companies' 
and my own efforts to bring them to justice had placed 
scores of ruffians in a position to receive the punishment 
they so richly merited, is an exhibition of public policy so 
dangerous to their own and all public interests, that it can 
hardly be explained save on the theory that this community 
has been taken by the throat by a set of officials so thor- 
oughly imbued with the mob spirit, and so completely allied 
to the ruffianly elements, that it cannot rise from its bondage 
and shake them off ; while the presentment of its special 
grand jury of investigation, which remarkable effort is still 
in the interest of the mob and commune element, is one 
of the most remarkably unjust and disreputable documents 
ever flung in the face of an indignant public. 

This report in the first place attacks the Pennsylvania 
Railroad Company for endeavoring to protect its own prop- 
erty, and plaintively adds that its officers were begged to 
not use harsh measures. The public is very well aware 


that this corporation had an indefeasible right, first, to the 
management of its business, and second, when that is pre- 
vented by a mob, to make any possible endeavor to protect 
its property from arson and pillage. But this jury, accord- 
ing to its logic, would have individuals be very tender with 
outlaws. It would have you welcome a robber with the 
most polite attention and the utmost courtesy. It would 
have you hand him your purse, your silverware and your 
jewelry, and mildly apologize that you have not more to 
give him. It would have you give the incendiary^, can of 
kerosene, or a bundle of kindlings, and conduct him to the 
most available spot for a successful burning of your house. 
It would have you greet the murderer as a most intimate 
friend, furnish him with a pistol or a knife, show him where 
and how he could dispatch your wife or your children in 
the neatest manner, and then, after begging his pardon for 
the trouble he had taken, bare your own breast to him. 

This shameful document further states that all the 
trouble arose from " the meddlesome and insolent course 
of the military ! " These grand jury commune and tramp 
sympathizers also censured the sheriff and the Governor, 
and, from beginning to end, show their immediate collusion 
and sympathy with and for the overwhelming red-handed 
elements which made the Pittsburg arson and the Pittsburg 
butchery possible. 

Too strong a public condemnation cannot be stamped 
upon an action by a supposed intelligent body of men, 
which is so at variance with facts, and so terribly repugnant 
to "all sense of public justice. 

There will be but one result to all this. Pittsburg must 
mend her ways and yield to the inevitable. She must show 
the whole country that she will not continue in this self-de- 
structive course. She has already lost largely by her suici- 
dal frenzy. She had one of the finest union depots in the 


world. To-day she has but a railway station-house. Before 
the riot she iiad a series of the most extensive machine- 
shops in America, which brought, through their employees, 
hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to her tradesmen. 
To-day she has a little repair-shop that will perhaps support 
a score of families ; and who can blame a vast business in- 
terest like the Pennsylvania Railway Company for removing 
everything possible of value beyond the reach of so ruffianly 
a people ? Through her acts Allegheny County must pay 
the losses, which will amount to nearly four million dollars 
at the lowest estimate, and no vindictive reports of special 
grand juries can shift this just responsibility. 

A prompt, honorable response to the requirements of the 
case must be given. The shameful disgrace of these Pitts- 
burg riots is in the past, if a clean record for the future can 
be given. But if the people of this city persist in their 
insolent attempts to defy public justice, commercial ruin 
cannot but be inevitable. 



A MOST remarkable feature of the troubles at Pittsburg 
and vicinity was the exceptional good behavior of the strik- 
ing trainmen in Allegheny City if that qualification may 
be applied to any body of men who recklesslj 7 take posses- 
sion of their employers' property, and, in violation of all law 
and propriety, insolently assume complete dictation of theii 
business to illegally enforce an equally insolent demand. 


I wish to be plainly understood as unyielding in my oppo- 
sition to any such 00111*80. The best experience from all 
periods of disorder and violence arising from labor troubles, 
at all times and in all countries, sets a seal of complete con- 
demnation upon it. It is unjust; it is criminal ; it is disas- 
trous. But while condemning it, in justice to this particular 
body of men, I must say that after having taken the unjus- 
tifiable action which their crazy and irresponsible leaders 
precipitated, they were certainly deserving of much praise 
for completely refraining from all violence, and for taking 
stern and decisive measures for preventing the slightest ex- 
pression of that savage communism which so disgraced the 
city of Pittsburg. 

All regular travelers over the Pennsylvania Central and 
Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne and Chicago Railroads will remember 
that trains usually stop for a moment at a point called the 
outer depot, in the suburbs of Allegheny City. There is 
scarcely anything to distinguish this point as a railway sta- 
tion, and passengers, not knowing that it is one, when trains 
halt here quite commonly inquire: "Well, what are we 
waiting for now?" There is nothing but a quiet street, a 
few common boarding-houses, a little wooden building where 
an old-time railroad man dispenses lunch, cider, and villain- 
ous tobacco and cigars to working trainmen, and a lonesome 
brick building in the William Penn style, once a dwelling- 
house, now used as a telegraph and dispatcher's office. 
Between this lonely building that might be taken for a 
boarding-house which had traveled around the city for cus- 
tom and got irretrievably lost in its wanderings the street 
and the tracks, there are several fine trees that furnish wel- 
come shade to tired trainmen on hot summer days. 

This is all there is to the place, save its nearness to the 
extensive machine-shops of the road, which are located along 
the tracks a little further into the city ; but as a strategic 


point its value was quickly seen by the strikers, who took 
immediate possession of the locality, and during the contin- 
uance of the strike remained in undisturbed possession. 

As I have said, the orderly behavior of these men was 
commendable, but it was remarkable, when the near and 
general turbulence is considered. Although the strikers 
had more complete possession of this road, and more thor- 
oughly dictated its management for the time the striking 
element ruled the country than was the case with any other 
railway, i^s a fact that from the time the strike began until 
it was ended, not one drop of blood was shed, nor was a 
dollar's worth of property destroyed by force, or lost through 

^. good humor and even temper seemed to prevail, and 
while the men were resolute and unyielding in resisting all 
appeals tending to a resumption of business, they were quite 
as resolute in permitting no interference from the riotous 
classes who wished an occasion for plunder. At the very 
inception of the strike here the trainmen organized commit- 
tees with power to detail men, who yielded a prompt obedi- 
ence. The work of saving, or rather protecting, property 
at once began. Tramps were handled so roughly that they 
sought more congenial quarters in Pittsburg ; communists 
were given the cold shoulder ; thieves were attacked and 
driven away. All the engines not in use, and those con- 
stantly arriving, were carefully housed and cleaned ; passen- 
ger coaches which were not needed on account of the light- 
ness of travel were side-tracked neatly ; everything about the 
round-house and machine-shops was left snug and orderly, 
and a guard placed upon them that nothing might be mo 
lested ; and on Sunday, when the fearful destruction was 
progressing in Pittsburg, these strikers worked like beavers 
to get the property of the road in such shape that the scenes 
transpiring there should not be re-enacted. All day Sun- 


day, Sunday night, and Monday, while Allegheny City was 
emptying itself to join in the overwhelming excitement 
across the river, engines were steaming back and forth, 
shifting cars and putting things to rights. All the skill 
and energy of these five hundred men were used to arrange 
matters so that no harm should come either to railroad prop- 
erty or to the vast amount of freight which was constantly 
accumulating from the capture of eastern-bound trains and 
the joining in the strike by their "crews." 

In this way the inner track, or the track nearest the bluffs, 
was jammed full of engines, passenger and baggage coaches, 
Pullman sleepers, and empty and loaded freight cars, away 
back to .Rochester, twenty-two miles from the outer depot 
in Allegheny, and, to a traveler, the sight of such an im- 
mense collection of railroad property was not only imposing, 
but it served to give one a faint idea of the vastuess of the 
interests dependent upon the untrammeled and uninterrupted 
operation of the railway lines of the country. 

The strikers organized regular patrols, and instructed the 
members that any interference on the part of tramps or 
other outlaws should be met with prompt and summary 
treatment ; and instances occurred where persistent vaga- 
bonds, who made repeated attempts to break open cars and 
rob them, were taken bodily by the strikers and flung into 
the Ohio River, where a protracted bath greatly subdued 
their pillaging propensities. Until the resumption of traffic, 
this surveillance over public and railroad property was con- 
tinued; and when it is remembered that scores of these 
strikers, though so badly injured by their own unjust and 
ill-considered action, were sorely in need of the commonest 
necessities of life, had it in their power to levy upon what- 
ever best suited their needs or their fancy, and yet never 
touched a penny's worth, they must be regarded as an 
exceptionally worthy body of men. 


The city of Allegheny itself undoubtedly escaped a simi- 
lar terrorism to that which ruled Pittsburg through this 
very cause. Its government for a time was quite as para- 
lyzed as that of Pittsburg. It found itself entirely inade- 
quate to cope with the emergency, could not bring enough 
dignity or power to bear upon the situation to compel any 
manner of respect or obedience, and was eventually forced 
to submit to a solution of the difficulties at other hands and 
through other agencies. Had there been an outbreak of 
. the lawless elements, and had pillage and incendiarism 
begun, its cessation would have only come about, as it did 
in Pittsburg, through the utter exhaustion of the savage 
rabble, or it would have been quelled by the strikers them- 
selves. There is no question but that Mayor Phillips, who 
is above demagogism, did all in his power to prevent vio- 
lence, and that his kind and earnest advice had a good 
effect in suppressing turbulence ; but it is almost wholly 
due to the conservatism and caution of the strikers them- 
selves that no repetition of Pittsburgh disgrace followed 
their other unlawful acts. 

I cannot pass this subject without expressing the certain 
conviction that the temperate action of the strikers, not only 
at Allegheny City, but along the entire length of this rail- 
way, was almost wholly due to the universal respect on the 
part of its employees for its General Manager, J. D. Layng, 
Esq. In this time of great excitement he was as utterly 
powerless as other railway officers ; but it is a well-known 
fact that thorough discipline, coupled with universal kind- 
ness, is a marked feature in the management of this road, 
and the remembrance of the same by those who had for 
years come under its influence fortunately possessed a won- 
derful power of consideration and restraint. 

Aside from this exceptional temperate action by so large 
a body of persistent revolutionists, nothing of a remarkable 


nature occurred among the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and 
Chicago Railway strikers at this point, save the bringing to 
the surface, and into short-lived popularity, of one of the 
most thorough frauds and braggarts of those troublous 

Justus Schwab, of New York City, was a communist 
from education, association, and principle ; P. M. Arthur, 
Grand Chief Engineer of the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers, has at least the merit of brains, a good record as 
a working engineer, and executive ability : while Donahue, 
the Hornellsville mock hero, had the standing among his 
fellows which sympathy for a cripple and a great many 
years of hard work as a capable railroad employee would 
give ; but this man, or rather boy, this Robert A. Aimnon, 
was clearly a mushroom growth of a night, and though a 
great hero for a little time, fell to pieces like a mushroom 
still, when his qualities came to be tested. 

It came within my province, through necessary subse- 
quent investigations, to become most thoroughly acquainted 
with this fellow's history and antecedents ; and for the ben- 
fit of sincere and intelligent railroad employees throughout 
the country, who have by various newspaper reports gained 
the impression that he was a person of fine ability and real 
heroism that had been ground down by the despotism of 
tyrannical railway management, I consider it my duty to 
disabuse their minds by stating a few plain facts concerning 
him and his meteoric connection with the great strike. 

He is of a most estimable Pittsburg family, and his 
father, who has held many positions of trust, and is at this 
writing the president of a reputable insurance company in 
that city, is highly respected by all. The son, Robert, has 
long been regarded by the family as an irreclaimable youth. 
He has had every advantage and encouragement which pa- 
rental affection coupled with large means could bestow, but 


has, in every instance, abused both confidence and care. 
His college experiences at Columbus, Ohio, in company 
with the son of a prominent railway official, were simply a 
series of disgraces to himself and family, and of such un- 
bearable annoyance to the faculty that his absence from the 
institution was finally required. From this time his reck- 
less, aimless career seemed to grow more marked. At 
home or away from home, he was constantly in trouble. 
Finally, through the influence of his friends, he established 
an agency for several insurance companies in Chicago, but 
this venture terminated abruptly, and he left that city, as 
well as every other place he visited, under a cloud. The next 
effort at labor and this was only assumed through the as- 
sistance of his friends was hotel-keeping in Cleveland. The 
mysterious destruction by fire of the hotel over which he 
presided brought this scheme to a close. He was next 
heard from, away out towards the Pacific slope, on some 
objectless, if not criminal expedition, and then for months 
and months he was but little else than a respectable tramp 
about Pittsburg and Allegheny City, dreaded by acquain- 
tances, shunned by. strangers, feared by friends. In 
this way he became exceedingly impecunious, and, as he 
had for years abused the confidence of every friend he had 
gained, making it impossible for him to either secure repu- 
table employment agreeable to his fastidious tastes, or any- 
thing in the way of pecuniary assistance more than mere 
charity, he was eventually forced into a labor which he ut- 
terly despised, and became a freight brakeman under con- 
ductor M. D. Huey, on what is called the " East End Run," 
between Pittsburg and Alliance. 

From the moment he entered the service of the road he 
was a conspirator and a rebel. Here was just the right 
kind of an employee to make trouble. A person who has 
been too little of a man to retain a standing among those of 


his class may always be counted on as a malcontent when 
he is obliged to associate with a less important class. Be- 
cause the labor was severe, a something millions of work- 
ingmen are accustomed to, he was loud-mouthed about rail- 
road men being ground down into white slaves ; because 
the wages paid did not enable him to satisfy his elegant 
tastes and vile habits, he harangued the men about their 
being robbed ; and because he was everything and anything 
but a good employee, faithful to the company which had 
given him employment, that had perhaps kept him out of 
the poor-house or penitentiary, he was a ranting, turbulent, 
trouble-provoking vagabond, with just enough assumption 
to give him a certain influence, and just enough brains to 
make him dangerous. 

He had been but seven months in the employ of the 
company when he became so much an agitator, and had so 
thoroughly tilled every one with whom he came in contact 
with sedition and discontent, that he was discharged. He 
was one of the foremost movers in the organization of the 
Trainmen's Union, and was unceasing in his efforts in 
bringing about the conditions for a strike. The sole ob- 
ject in this was a desire on the part of Robert A. Arn- 
mon to hold in his hands a certain power which a vain 
mind unceasingly longs for, and to so manipulate the em- 
ployees of this road, that between his control of the former 
an-d the constant annoyance he would be to the latter, he 
could fill his pockets with his companions' money in the 
shape of the fees and dues these organizations always suc- 
ceed in wrenching from the many for the benefit of the 
few, or be bought from his purposes by a fat position 
higher up in the employ of the company. 

The management declined to submit to this sort of busi- 
ness, however, and Amrnon was relieved from duty. Here 
was an opportunity for him to play the martyr, and he did 


it to the best of his very good ability in this direction. 
" Look at me," he would say : " I who have struggled tc 
ameliorate the condition of you poor devils am persecuted 
and driven away from earning the little pittance I have 
been receiving. You must avenge such injustice or you 
will soon be powerless ! " 

He was largely responsible for the short-lived strike 
which did occur on this road in June, not only by peraonal 
efforts among the trainmen, but through the bitterest of 
articles which appeared in an insignificant inflammatory 
sheet published in Pittsburg, but after this strike suddenly 
fell through. Ammon immediately left for the oil regions, 
where for the time intervening he tarried in company with 
other outlaws, living upon the proceeds of the shame of 
vile women who were smitten by his rather fine appearance, 
his oily tongue, and his boundless impudence and assumption. 

At the outbreak of the great strikes, Ammon hastened 
back to Pittsburg, and, like an evil spirit, flitted here and 
there among his old comrades, urging them to stand fast by 
their reckless action ; and he undoubtedly infused consid- 
erable enthusiasm into the strikers by his cunning advice 
and impassioned harangues. These men, feeling a certain 
shame in their guilty acts, only too gladly welcomed any 
outside sympathy and assistance, and very few days elapsed 
before " Bob " Amrnon, as he was called about the Outer 
Depot, became the cheap hero of the hour. He imposed 
his fluency of language upon these men for the powers of a 
real orator, and his energy, with the use of his tongue, 
passed current among them for genuine ability. They 
needed a brilliant and able leader, and Amtnon easily made 
them believe he was the man for the hour. 

On Sunday, July 22d, a committee of the strikers com- 
posed of an engineer, a fireman, and a brakeman, waited 
upon the doughty adventurer and with a deal of mock cere- 


mony begged him to represent the entire employees of the 
Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne and Chicago Railway and become 
their general manager. This supreme illustration of as- 
sumption yielded an apparently reluctant consent, and was 
shortly installed at the dispatcher's office, where he at once 
assumed complete control of this important branch of the 
railway service ; issued passes over the road over his own 
name as manager ; dictated how and when trains should 
move ; and, in fact, usurped every power and authority 
possible to a man who, independent of the check which a 
board of directors generally gives to chief railway officers, 
ruled with supreme authority. 

The fame of this wonderful railway manager at once 
spread abroad throughout the land. His ability was com- 
pared to that of a Vanderbilt, a Scott, or a Garrett. 
Newspapers praised his genius while giving a faint con- 
demnation to his criminal acts, and among the great armies 
of strikers throughout the country " Boss" Arnmon, as he 
had now come to be called, was suddenly surrounded with a 
halo of glory. But all such brainless adventurers run out 
their tether very quickly. The men whom he had per- 
suaded into the very acts which had resulted in placing him 
above them very quickly saw that his tyranny, inefficiency, 
and villainous cupidity were immeasurably more aggra- 
vating and unbearable than the assumed wrongs he had led 
them to believe they had suffered. Discontent and threats 
soon followed ; but " Boss " Ammon never heeded these. 
His taste of power and notoriety was very sweet, and he 
continued to carry matters with a high hand. 

On Tuesday evening, the 24th instant, Governor Hartranft 
arrived by special train from the West. As Ammon, in 
control of the telegraph office, had been made aware of his 
coming, the fact had been bruited about among the men 
with the intimation that their leader and dictator would do 


some exceptionally brilliant thing on the Governor's arrival, 
which rumor was bound to prove true. The train was 
heard approaching about seven o'clock in the evening, and 
by Ammon's orders was promptly flagged. As it came to 
a halt, in company with several of his followers, he boarded 
the palace-car containing the Governor and his friends, and 
marching straight up to him, intimated, in a way which per- 
mitted of no denial, that the gentlemen whom he represented 
expected some remarks. 

He then conducted under the circumstances it should 
be written forced the Chief Executive of the great State of 
Pennsylvania to the platform, where amid the wild yells of 
the thousands who had by this time gathered about, he 
stammered out a few words which might be taken to mean 
very much or very little. Then the Governor was permitted 
to retire; "Boss" Amraon descended from the car; at a 
signal from his hand the train moved on ; and while the 
rabble about were loudly cheering the young scamp, he re- 
turned to the dispatcher's office with the air of an emperor. 

But this was the signal for the tyro's overthrow. The 
older, more conservative, and careful strikers saw that 
Ammon was leading them into danger, and that day's was 
the last of his power. He was summarily removed by the 
committee the same evening ; and at once became a fugi- 
tive loafer, his ordinary character, passing his time with 
women of ill-repute, in avoiding officers of the law which he 
had broken, and in giving vent to insurrectionary screeds 
in the inflammatory sheet before referred to. 

A week subsequently he was arrested and imprisoned in 
default of heavy bail. This event was Ammon's crowning 
glory, and brought him out of ignoble retirement into the 
full blaze of renewed newspaper renown. It made him 
more than ever a martyr. In the eyes of certain of his old 
railroad comrades he had now proven himself noble by 


getting into jail ! He was being terribly persecuted. The 
sympathy of a class who are nothing if not both mawkish 
and obstinate went out to the " brilliant young striker," as 
he was often termed, and many of the Pittsburg and 
Allegheny City people who had heard of his pranks from 
youth began to express an interest in him, and for a time 
he was again quite the rage. 

As stated, it was within my province to keep close com- 
pany to this man, and without giving the particulars of the 
same, I can state that while in jail, in Pittsburg, his vanity, 
want of principle, and vile life came most strongly to the 
surface. lie took upon himself the title and honors of the 
hereof the hour; like a prince in ill fortune received those 
who called upon him with the calm and almost demented 
assumption of a Don Quixote ; wrote for his newspaper 
organ vile diatribes against the officers of the Pennsylvania 
Central and Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne and Chicago Railroads; 
indited in the same hour, and sent by the same hand, most 
truckling and unmanly appeals for help from his parents, 
mercy from railroad officials, and threats of vengeance and 
breathings of utter defiance^ of law to his old comrades ; 
and with an impudence most inexplicable, endeavored to 
place himself in correspondence with the great men of the 
country, with newspapers, and particularly with lecture 
bureaus, which he certainly believed would vie with each 
other to obtain so great a sensation when he should have 
been liberated. 

Am mon had been married some three years previous ; so 
he claimed. This is disputed by many, and his own letter 
to his wife during this incarceration would seem to substan- 
tiate the theory. that he was not; for in one of these pas- 
sionate appeals he pleads that if she, his presumed wife 
will be true to him through his trouble, he will marry her 
so soon as he is liberated. Whether he is or is not married 


to the woman he calls his wife, she has been as true as steel 
to him, has borne him a child, and deserves all the fidelity a 
husband should give a wife ; but among the scores of 
women who were silly enough to assist in the glorification 
of this adventurer were some half a dozen mistresses, a 
number of them women of the most abandoned character. 
These persons were most constant and assiduous in supply- 
ing the prisoner's bodily wants, and he lived like a prince 
on their contributions, lording it over them like a Turk or 
a Mormon. A hundred other incidents occurred to illus- 
trate his natural depravity, his littleness of mind, and his 
litter want of manhood ; but these will suffice to disabuse 
the public of any incorrect notions which may have been 
formed concerning the man. 

His notoriety was the outgrowth of a moment, and as 
suddenly faded from sight. He was simply one of those 
thousands starting out in the world with bright promise, 
who, notwithstanding their brilliant devices and startling 
pretensions, in good time come to be known for just what 
they are worth ; and only because he was one of the gro- 
tesque productions of these dark days have I devoted so 
much space to him. 



PBOBABLY no point, brought into prominence by tho 
great strikes, more thoroughly illustrated the fact that their 
extent and ferocity were due almost chiefly to the cursed 
spirit of communism among the lower classes of working- 
men, than did Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It is one Cif the 


important manufacturing towns along the Pennsylvania 
Central road, is situated at the confluence of Conemausli 

' r> 

River and Stony Creek, eighty-five miles east of Pittsburg, 
and, while it bears no particular relation to railroad inter- 
ests more than that a large amount of bulky freight is 
shipped from the place, it has become a thriving little city 
merely from the really immense foundries and manufac- 
tories which have gradually clustered here, and at Cambria, 
a little distance to the west. 

There are no railroad shops, no repair houses, the town 
is no railway junction ; in fact, scarcely a rail way employee 
makes the place his home ; so that any disturbances at 
such a city could certainly not be charged to trainmen. 
But, from the beginning to the end of the strike, Johns- 
town was a small pandemonium, and the mill-men, factory 
hands, and other artisans seemed possessed of a most devil- 
ish propensity to in jure the very interests which sustained 

These mill hands possess a reputation of having very vio- 
lent tempers and very little judgment. They closed every 
factory, foundry or shop in the place at the first excite- 
ment with the most riotous demonstrations, and then turned 
their attention to the railroad, which they assumed to be the 
common enemy of all mankind. 

These reckless fellows gained the notoriety of stopping 
the very first mail and passenger train known to have been 
halted by any rioters along this great thoroughfare, at the 
very outbreak of the strike, and at every occasion there- 
after annoyed the officials of the road, insulted trainmen 
manning such trains as the railway strikers permitted to 
move, and taunted and attacked nearly every train-load of 
troops moving either west or east for the purpose of quell- 
ing the disturbances ; but these grimy rioters at last met 
their match in Colonel Hamilton, of the regular army. 


On Thursday, July 26th, seven hundred United States 
troops left Washington, D. C., for Pittsburg and other points 
in Pennsylvania. They were really sent forward to give 
moral force and support to the large numbers of Pennsyl- 
vania militia that Governor Hartranft had marshaled in 
his first business-like endeavor to end the disastrous troub- 
les in his State. This militia force comprised General 
Brinton's reorganized Philadelphia Division, General Gal- 
lagher's Division and General Harry "White's Division, be- 
sides three batteries of United States Regulars, numbering 
nearly two thousand troops all told, with the regular troops 
under Colonel Hamilton, following a few hours behind. 

As this first force passed through Johnstown it was at- 
tacked by a great mob of ruffians, armed with stones, chunks 
of coal, and pieces of metal, which were thrown at the car 
windows with savage effect. Many of the troops, as the 
cars were crowded, were standing on the platforms, and were 
badly cut and bruised, while those within the cars suffered 
quite as severely from having bits of glass crushed into their 
faces and other portions of their bodies. Train after train 
passed, each being served in like manner ; if anything the 
attacks increasing in recklessness and savage ferocity. 

At last, as the trains bearing Colonel Hamilton's com- 
mand came by, they were served with like attentions by 
these Johnstown ruffians, and those in advance were badly 
smashed and shattered. When the one containing that offi- 

O . 

cer came along, some little distance beyond Johnstown, and 
nearer Cambria, another brutal attack was made. 

Colonel Hamilton, out of all patience and full of indigna- 
tion that the troops in advance had permitted such outra- 
geous treatment, sprang from his seat with the bluff remark : 

" By God ! Ptt put a stop to this ! " 

He then grasped the bell-rope, giving it a violent and 
protracted pull. 


The engineer, who was strongly guarded by troops, in- 
stantly responded to the signal by reversing his engine; and 
Colonel Hamilton's prompt and impulsive action undoubt- 
edly saved scores of lives. 

The speed of the train was very sensibly checked, but it 
had acquired such momentum that it still moved slowly 

As events subsequently proved, after the passage of the 
first trains bearing troops, a few human devils among the 
mob had concocted a scheme to completely wreck the fol- 
lowing train and kill every soldier possible. These demons 
slightly misplaced the switch at what is known as the " Cam- 
bria Siding," and twisted the "indicator," the engineer's 
guide to determine whether or not the tracks are properly 
connected, to cover their hellish work. Then they placed a 
flat-car laden with brick near the junction of the tracks. 
The train came on at a great force, though not at a high 
rate of speed. It was after dusk, and objects were not 
plainly discernible in the twilight gloaming. The engine 
and tender passed the switch and the obstruction car safely. 
The first two baggage-cars, loaded with camp equipage and 
provisions, both jumped the track and scraped violently 
against the brick-car, which threw them still further off. 
The third and fourth cars, partaking of the movement of 
the first two, were jerked violently from one side of the 
track to the other, coming squarely in contact with the car 
on the siding, completely tearing up both ties and rails as 
they twisted from side to side, carrying with them the fifth 
car, and all piling up at last, the bottom of one car resting 
on the roof of another, three of them lying crosswise on the 
track at an angle of thirty degrees, and the brick-car topping 
all, but finally rolling off to one side. 

Several of the soldiers were badly wounded by the colli- 
sion ; and Colonel Hamilton himself had two ribs broken 


but as soon as the officers and troops could collect their 
scattered senses, effective measures were used. Pickets 
were thrown out in every direction, and a regular skirmish- 
ing for the enemy was begun. Those who had expected to 
stand by and gloat over the death and wounding of scores 
of soldiers, suddenly found themselves in the hands of the 
military, who did not take much pains to use them tenderly. 
Parties were run down and captured, dragged out from under 
buildings, and three were taken while trying to play fox and 
burrow in a hole in the side of the mountain. 

There was no playing soldier with these grim fellows 
wearing the United States regular uniform. There was no 
warning " Who comes there?" nor cry of "Halt!" but a 
springing forth of soldiers, an ominous " click ! click ! " of 
gun-locks, arid bayonets presented squarely in front. It did 
no good to beg for mercy. These disciplined soldiers gath- 
ered in the mob, and many innocent persons with it, of 
course, like herding cattle, and when about a hundred had 
been collected, just corral ed them up against the wreck, 
prodding them into submission and quiet in a very rough 
and effective way, and finally, when the wreck had been 
cleared, carrying them on to Pittsburg as prisoners, where 
they remained in jail until they were vouched for by good 
and responsible parties. 

This put a quietus upon the ferocity of Johnstown rioters. 
They lost courage by being so properly handled ; and those 
guilty of the most daring outrages among them the mis- 
placing of the switch were subsequently apprehended, 
through the use of my operatives, and punished. 

At Altoona the strike wrought great excitement, but little 
more worth recording. The special reason for this wave of 
unusual and intense excitement lies in the fact that this now 
large city illustrates almost the single exceptional instance 
in America where a great railroad corporation has built a 


place of nearly fifteen thousand inhabitants solely through 
its own patronage. Here are the great foundries, factories, 
supply-houses and repair-shops of this gigantic railroad, the 
Pennsylvania Central; and every present industry of the 
place, which twenty years ago scarcely contained a thousand 
inhabitants, has been the direct and unequivocal result of 
the steadily -increasing demands for the road's equipment, 
followed by other interests which have gradually gathered 
about so great a hive of special industries. 

Thousands of mechanics are employed here in the shops, 
and thousands of people are supported by their wages ; 
consequently when the blow was struck at Pittsbtirg, every 
soul in Altoona stood aghast at the common terror. It was 
natural that there should be great excitement, but when the 
fact is considered that nearly every individual in Altoona 
owed whatever prosperity he enjoyed to the labor furnished 
by the railroad company, the intense and vicious hatred 
which was everywhere shown was simply unaccountable. 

Large numbers of trainmen reside at Altoona, but while 
they struck as promptly as at other points along the line, 
they as a body did not prove nearly so vicious. On the 
other hand, nearly every shop-hand in Altoona, every me- 
chanic and workingman of all trades, all of whom had nc 
business to interfere in the matter, which was, primarily, 
strictly a fight between the trainmen and the company, 
took up the cudgel and the brickbat, and declared war. 

Probably no city in the. country was, for a time, so thor- 
oughly and overwhelmingly overrun by its lower classes, 
and kept in such constant fear and terror, and nothing but 
a large force of troops brought here, and held here until the 
close of the troubles, always coming and going, but still the 
force held to a' requisite number, prevented arson, blood- 
shed, and general ruin of railroad and other property. 

As it was, the only overt acts which occurred at Altoona, 


transpired on Saturday, July 21st, and on Sunday, the next 
day. Insults and threats were common at all times ; but 
the lawless elements were pretty thoroughly held in check 
by the constant exhibition of a competent force on the one 
hand, and pacific measures on the part of shop superintend- 
ents on the other. 

In this connection, it is only just to state that the cool 
judgment, careful foresight, determined bearing, but at all 
times the kind and friendly manner of the General Super- 
intendent of the road, 0. Clinton Gardner, Esq., had more 
to do with preventing wide-spread destruction and blood- 
shed than any other one cause. 

The first occurrence in question was not serious, but 
while it lasted was a shame and a disgrace to the mechanics 
of Altoona. 

During the day the strikers had been very quiet, and had 
behaved themselves admirably. There was that undercur- 
rent of great excitement everywhere exhibited as news 
from Pittsburg was awaited with breathless anxiety. But 
at five o'clock in the afternoon a train from the east ap- 
peared laden with troops. Although the rioters had per- 
mitted other trains of troops to pass on towards Pittsburg 
earlier in the day, the sight of these particular soldiers 
seemed to madden the strikers, and' immediately hundreds 
rushed about the depot grounds and attempted to prevent 
their further passage. But the train got off, and while it 
was moving out was ferociously assaulted with stones and 
other missiles, and several shots were also fired. Soldiers 
returned the fire, but no one was hurt ; and after the de- 
parture of the train the excitement seemed to as suddenly 
subside as it had been created, the strikers dispersing quietly 
to their homes for the night. 

The next day, Sunday, more serious trouble was had, 
which culminated in a substantial victory for the mobs. 


On tlie evening previous at -six o'clock, two hundred and 
fifty troops of different commands left Philadelphia to rein 
force those already at Pittsburg. Arriving at Altoona the 
next morning, the rioters in great force stopped the train 
and took the engine into the round-house, swearing that 
the troops should proceed no further. 

Colonel Peter Lysle, who was senior officer in the differ- 
ent detachments, now assumed command, and with a squad 
of soldiers and a volunteer engineer from the militia, started 
after the engine with the avowed determination to recap- 
ture it. Several thousand rioters, fully armed with all 
sorts of missiles and some weapons, now interfered, and 
the first detachment of troops were compelled to move back. 
Then the entire command inarched down upon the mob, 
but the latter had suddenly been reinforced by almost the 
entire population of Altoona, and who so violently and 
effectively assaulted the troops that they were quickly com- 
pelled to give up the field. One company, with supreme 
cowardice, threw down their arms and fraternized with the 
strikers ; many of the others bought tickets to return to 
Philadelphia ; while the balance retreated precipitately to 
a safe distance from the city. Those who attempted to 
return to Philadelphia, among whom were many of the 
City Troop, the crack Philadelphia cavalry organization, 
were ingloriouslv captured and completely humiliated and 
disgraced at Harrisburg, as will shortly appear. 

At the last-named city, the capital of the second great 
Commonwealth of the nation, many stirring incidents trans- 
pired. Because it was the capital, and the source* from 
which should emanate all authority for the eventual sup- 
pression of troubles in Pennsylvania, made it no exception 
to the ravages of the gigantic wave of communistic anarchy 
which cursed the whole land. The railroad employees and 
their sympathizers were all aware that Governor Hartranft 


was absent, summering in the West, and they had very little 
respect for any show of authority coming from any lesser 

On Saturday, the 22d of July, a meeting of fully four 
thousand strikers and other persons was held on a common, 
a few hundred yards above the depot, the leaders speaking 
from the top of box-care, and exciting the crowd to a very 
violent pitch, it being fully determined by the mob to meet 
force with equal force, and make quick work of any troops 
that might be used against them. 

From this meeting the rioters surged back to the depot, 
and at eight o'clock in the evening, when a delayed passen- 
ger train from the West appeared, detached the engine 
several times, and finally ran it triumphantly to the round- 
house, the passengers being compelled to accept the situa- 
tion and lie over. 

On the same day, the Fourth Division of Pennsylvania 
Militia was ordered out, for the purpose of assisting in the 
suppression of violence, and particularly for the purpose of 
guarding the three Susquehanna bridges. 

At midnight of the same day an attempt was made by the 
more fiendish of the mob on the Philadelphia and Reading 
road near Harrisburg, to throw from the track a train con- 
taining a company of militia, en route for Harrisburg, from 
Pine Grove in Schuylkili County, by placing several iron 
bars across the rails, but the obstruction was discovered in 
time to prevent the wanton murder and destruction which 
would otherwise have followed. 

On the evening of the next day, Monday, a most humili- 
ating spectacle was witnessed in the streets of the capital 

About four o'clock in the afternoon word was sent to the 
mob which held undisputed sway, that detachments of two 
Philadelphia regiments, among which were the City Troop 


before referred to as having disgracefully fled from Altoona 
were on the western side of the river, and prepared to sur- 
render their arms if they could be guaranteed protection. 
Soon after, a crowd of nearly fifteen hundred of the mob 
crossed the foot and wagon bridge to be present at the sur- 
render of these brave soldiers. 

When the militia saw this formidable body of men ap- 
proaching, they were possessed of the idea that they were 
to be immediately attacked, and drawn, and quartered ; and, 
becoming panic-stricken, fled in the utmost dismay up the 
Susqnehanna River. 

After a time communication was established with the 
troops, by flag of truce and other methods, and arrange- 
ments were perfected for their surrender to the mob, which 
occurred soon after. 

The strikers then hemmed in their prisoners, and amid 
the wildest cheers brought them back to the city, marched 
them triumphantly through the principal streets, and even- 
tually to a hotel, where the scared and exhausted fellows 
were fed. They were compelled to stack their arms out- 
side, and when they emerged from the hotel, they found 
that their jolly captors had taken possession of and distribu- 
ted them. Then the disgraced troops were again marched 
through and through the streets in the business portions, 
and up and down the residence portions, with the howling, 
shrieking mob at their sides, who compelled the better 
classes of citizens to hurrah and pretend to rejoice with 
them. Finally, after the mob had exhausted themselves in 
this way, the poor fellows, like captured mice that cats had 
tired of playing with, were turned loose, to get to their 
homes as best they could. 

Other straggling parties of soldiers, sent from different 
parts of the State to reinforce the command guarding the 
State arsenal, were similarly served, and their arms appro- 


priated. These were subsequently turned over to the State 
authorities in a fit of good humor on the mob's part, under 
advice of -Mayor Patterson, who seems to have acted with 
admirable judgment. 

Up to this time no plan for the protection of the city had 
been formed. The Sheriff was absent, and Mayor Patter- 
son felt doubtful about his authority extending beyond the 
use of the police, which was wholly unable to cope with the 
Hotel's. On the arrival of the Sheriff, late Monday evening, 
a conference was immediately had with the Mayor, the re- 
sult of which was to direct the police to call personally on 
several hundred reliable men of the city, who were ordered, 
at a certain signal, to assemble at the court-house. The 
same evening, at a later hour, the mob began the work of 
plundering gun and pawn shops. The preconcerted signal 
was given, when the citizens rallied in large numbers with 
such arms as they could procure. 

Headed by the Sheriff and the Mayor, they formed in 
solid ranks and marched rapidly down Market Street to the 
depot. The rioters, who were then sacking a pawn-shop, 
immediately broke and fled like sheep across the canal, 
leaving the depot and the city streets in possession of this 
very effective committee of safety. 

It is simply an illustration of what determined citizens 
can do when organized and led by cool-headed officials ; for 
this simple action utterly ended mob rule in the city of 




ON Saturday, the 21st of July, great excitement was 
caused in the city of Reading, by the dispatches constantly 
arriving from Pittsburg, Baltimore and other points. Bul- 
letins were placed in front of the Eagle building, near the 
corner of Sixth and Penn Streets, and attracted large 
crowds. As the telegrams increased in interest, the excite- 
ment increased, and in the afternoon about two o'clock a 
meeting of trainmen, called a " Union Meeting," was held 
in Columbia Hall. 

It was chiefly composed of those engineers, firemen, and 
brakemen who had cast their fortune with tho Brotherhood 
men during the April troubles on the Philadelphia and 
Reading road, and was called to order by William Strunk, 
a discharged Brotherhood engineer. There were about 
twenty of these engineers present. The remainder were 
firemen, brakemen, and rif-raff ; but the meeting was held 
with some degree of secrecy. 

It was at once suggested that they precipitate as serious 
troubles as were being experienced at Baltimore or Pitts- 
burg. One man immediately proposed that they take a 
keg of powder and blow up the Lebanon Yalley railroad 
bridge, a costly structure crossing the Schuylldll River, 
about a mile and a half above Reading, and connecting 
that city with Harrisburg. 

The plan which was further discussed, was to place the 


keg of powder just over a pier in the center of the biidge, 
attach a long fuse to it, and then, as they forcibly expressed 
it, u Blow the d n thing into hell ! " 

Besides this cheerful arrangement it was proposed to go 
down to the " JSTeversink Curve," about three miles by rail 
from Reading, and blast tons of stone from the rocky bluft 
overhanging the tracks at that point, which would greatly 
harass the company under existing circumstances. It wa? 
also proposed that they proceed to the " Sinking Spring 
Quarries," and obstruct the trains there in like manner. 
One Brotherhood engineer suggested that a portion of the 
rioters go below Heading and stop the trains as suggested, 
and others do a like service in the interests of anarchy 
above the city. 

It was finally agreed that they act at midnight ; but when 
it was attempted to secure a list of the names of those who 
would stand by the execution of the nefarious work, the 
Brotherhood engineers rose and left the hall. They had 
suggested and incited the mischief, but, seeing that these 
suggestions were likely to be carried out by the excited 
crowd, they slunk away and left the work to be done by 
bolder and braver men. Shortly after the meeting broke up, 
no definite conclusion being reached, although a general 
understanding w r as had that rough work was to be done. 

In the evening the same crowd again met in Columbia 
Hall. They sent a communication to a meeting of the 
Brotherhood engineers, in which united action was re- 
quested. It was not received, the point in this being to 
impress the public with the idea that they could not be 
drawn into any acts of violence. At the same time it was 
quietly made known to the members of the other meet- 
ing that both parties should meet at nine o'clock to tear 
up tracks and stop travel. This, however, was broken up 
by a tight which occurred among themselves during the 


evening, and which had the effect of interfering with the 
plans for general destruction for that night. 

On Sunday the excitement continued to increase, and 
culminated at about ten o'clock at night, when a large and 
riotous crowd assembled at the corner of Seventh and Penn 

Seventh Street is occupied by the railroad tracks for a 
long distance through Reading. The party mentioned was 
headed by men with tin horns, and passed up Seventh Street 
through this " Cut." The road is below grade for a dis- 
tance of about four blocks north from Penn Street, and on 
either side is a stone wall, about twenty-five feet at its 
highest point, which is crossed by viaducts at Court and 
Washington Streets. Through this cut the crowd surged, 
hooting and yelling and making the night hideous with 
their clamor. 

The train from Al lento wn on the East Penn. road was 
due about half-past ten o'clock, and arrived at the depot 
simultaneously with the crowd, which rushed upon the 
engine and threatened to kill the engineer. Two of the 
depot officers mounted the tank, and, drawing their revol- 
vers, threatened the crowd, but the engine in the meantime 
was uncoupled and run back upon a side-track, leaving the 
train at the depot. 

The mob, which was headed by two men named Greth 
and Weber, immediately began tearing up tracks and 
" wedging " switches. Two cabooses were set on fire, when 
the crowd moved on, going west on the Lebanon Valley 
road. The part of the mob in advance next set fire to a 
freight train, using the oil and "waste" taken from the 
wheel-boxes, tiring it and placing it upon the tracks beneath 
the cars. They then gathered a large quantity of " waste," 
stole a huge can of coal-oil, and then started rapidly towards 
the Lebanon Valley bridge. 


This bridge is what is termed a " truss " bridge, the 
tracks being at the top, and the sides, which are about 
twenty feet high, covered with sheet iron. The advance 
party, numbering about thirty, and led by men named 
Smith and Humphries, on reaching the bridge, crossed 
over to the western end. Here they were met by the 
watchman, whom they ordered to leave. They then raised 
a trap-door leading down into the body of the structure 
where a narrow gangway extends. Some seven or eight 
descended through the trap, carrying the oil and " waste," 
and also large armf uls of broken wood. With this material 
they built a large fire within the body of the bridge, after 
which they came np the trap singly. Three of the incendia- 
ries then went to the watch-box at the end of the bridge, 
demolished the doors and windows, and then set it on fire. 
They then passed out of sight, up the Lebanon Valley 
tracks until they reached the switches, then turned north, 
recrossed the Schuylkill at Tuckertown, and rejoined the 
crowd at the eastern end of tli3 bridge. 

While the freight-cars and cabooses were burning, the 
Reading firemen, led by their Chief, Howard Boyer, came 
upon the scene, bat were prevented by the mob from making 
any efforts to suppress the fire. The rioters held full and 
undisputed sway. Six loaded freight-cars and two cabooses 
were destroyed by this fire, which was burning while the 
Lebanon Valley bridge was being consumed by the flames. 
The structure so wantonly destroyed cost one hundred thou- 
sand dollars. Its incendiaries were Alfred Smith, Samuel 
Humphries, and a" man named Cunius. The two former 
were tried and plead guilty. They were sentenced to im- 
prisonment for five years in the Berks County jail. Cunius 
has not yet been apprehended. 

The leaders of the mob, who accompanied the bridge- 
burners as far as the eastern end of the bridge, were Hiram 


F. Xaehtrieb, Alfred Greth, and John Weber, all Brother- 
hood engineers. It was admitted by Nacihtrieb, under oath, 
that he was at the bridge at the time it was set on fire. 

These facts, taken in connection with the fact that Alfred 
Greth and John Weber, two well-known men of Reading, 
and long connected with the Brotherhood, were known to 
have given orders at the commencement of the destruction 
on Sunday night, which was one continuous riot from ten 
o'clock until early next morning, make it conclusive that 
the members of the Brotherhood engineers, in Reading, 
were alone responsible for the entire riot and its disastrous 
consequences in that city and vicinity. 

The passage through Reading of coal trains is the great 
feature of railroad business at that point. These almost 
numberless trains are made up at Palo Alto, some thirty-five 
miles to the north of the city, all the coal shipped by the 
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, and 
also by the " coal laterals," is forwarded through Reading 
to the great markets of the East beyond, and, from a local 
regulation, the trains are compelled to pass through the city 
at a slow rate of speed. 

During the forenoon following the bridge-burning, these 
trains were intercepted in their passage through the city by 
men jumping upon them, putting on the brakes, uncoupling 
the cars, and throwing car-links and pins away. When the 
train, called through that locality the " buck-rabbit" train, 
from the fact that it stops at every little station, reached 
Reading, the engineer was driven off, and the engine taken 
charge of by Levi Rogers, a Brotherhood engineer. He 
took the engine to Chestnut Street and gave it in charge of 
the foreman of the shops, ostensibly for the purpose of pre- 
venting destruction by the mob. Then the mob dumped 
coal from the loaded cars upon the tracks to obstruct the 


In the meantime arrangements were made with General 
Pleasants, Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia and Reading 
Coal and Iron Company, to call the Coal and Iron Police 
from Pottsville, by telegraph, and they were to be met at 
Reading by Captain Linden, of my force, who was to as- 
sume command. 

About four o'clock the "up" and "down" passenger 
trains meet at Reading. On the arrival of the "down" 
train it was stopped in the " cut," and the engineer, Michael 
Cassidj', was ordered off. He stated that it was a mail 
train, and protested against leaving. Soaie of the crowd 
said that the mail-car could go on, and jumped upon the 
platform, to uncouple it from the remainder of the cars. 
Cassidy, however, had so arranged the air-brakes that they 
could not be uncoupled. Alfred Greth, the Brotherhood 
engineer before referred to, told Cassidy to remain on the 
engine, that he would see that the train went through, l>ut 
he must not come back again. The train, after some delay, 
and after backing up on the side-track, so as to get past the 
coal on the tracks at Penn Street, passed on. 

The Coal and Iron Police arrived from Pottsville about 
six o'clock in the evening, and disembarked at the depot, 
but their train being taken possession of by the mob. Cap- 
tain Alderson and a party of ten of the Coal and Iron Police 
made a splendid charge, and drove the mob away from the 
platform. The train was started, but was stopped in the 
" cut " by the mob. At that point it was no longer under 
the protection of the police. 

When the express train leaving Philadelphia at about 
four o'clock in the afternoon, William Savacool engineer, 

7 c5 / 

arrived at Chestnut Street, the engineer was obliged to 
slacken speed. He saw that the track was blockaded with 
coal, and an immense crowd was congregated at Seventh 
and Penn Streets. Realizing his danger, and being a man 


of determined character, he immediately put on full steam, 
blew the whistle, and rushed at the rate of forty miles an 
hour through the obstructions, scattering the coal in all 
directions with such force that many of the rioters were 
knocked down by the flying lumps. But the mob, which 
immediately closed in after the retiring train, followed him 
to the depot, and, while oiling his engine, he was assaulted 
and terribly beaten, being compelled to fly for his life into 
the depot. 

A consultation was held about this time between Mr. 
John E. Wooten, General Manager of the Philadelphia and 
Reading Railway, George F. Baer, counsel of the company, 
and Captain Linden, of my force, who had come down from 
Philadelphia at a marvelous rate of speed on a small engine 
called the " Ariel," during which it was decided that Cap- 
tain Linden should take charge of the Coal and Iron Police, 
and make an effort to guard the car-shops those compris- 
ing the most valuable property of the company at Reading. 

When this force was about to leave the depot for that 
purpose, the Fourth Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia was 
seen coming down the East Penn. Railroad tracks towards 
the depot. They had come from Allentown, and had 
alighted from the cars at Temple, about four miles from 
Reading, marching from that point into the city. General 
Reeder, who was in command, was informed of the Coal 
and Iron Police's intention to protect the shops, whereupon 
he decided to assume protection of the depot. lie said that 
he was determined to release the train, which was still 
standing in the cut. The Coal and Iron Police then took 
possession of the car-shops, and General Reeder, with his 
command, marched down the main tracks of the Philadel- 
phia and Reading Railroad, and directly into the "cut," 
instead of pushing a portion of his command down the 
sides, and another force through the cut. 


The entire space in this cut was packed by an excited and 
angry multitude. The street on either side of the walls was 
also filled with rioters, men, women, and children. They 
actually seemed to hang over the sides of the walls, like 
bees upon the edge of a hive. The troops had no sooner 
got into this narrow defile than they were fiercely attacked 
by the crowd on either side. Bricks, stones, clubs, pieces 
of coal, and every conceivable missile that could be secured 
were hurled upon them, the women among the rioters ap- 
pearing to be more ferocious, if possible, than the men. The 
soldiers were unable to retaliate ; and after numbers of the 
troops had fallen, they suddenly fired, though without doing 
much damage, owing to the protection offered the rioters by 
the walls. 

The crowd in front, however, in the meantime, instead 
of running away, had wedged themselves more densely into 
the '" cut," in order to resist the passage of the troops, who 
by this time had become almost maddened by their helpless 
condition, and who, with a seeming sense of desperation, 
suddenly fired a heavy volley directly down Seventh Street 
into the mob. 

This had the effect of clearing the mob in front, but the 
rioters on either side continued their reckless attack upon 
them. Unfortunately, numbers of the city police had been 
stationed at the crossing of Seventh Street for the purpose 
of keeping it clear for vehicles, and a number of these 
police were struck when this volley was fired. 

The soldiers, having cleared the " cut," turned down 
Seventh Street, halted at the corner of Fifth and Peun 
Streets, re-formed, and then marched out Fifth Street to the 
depot, where they halted for the night, leaving the train 
just where it stood, and in no way affecting the condition of 
affairs in the cut, or about the delayed train, except to in- 
crease the fury of the mob. After the troops had returned 


to the depot, the mob having become maddened by the 
fruitless resistance offered, and from the large quantities of 
liquor, which it is alleged had been freely distributed to 
them during the day by members of the Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers, now rushed up Penn Street, and 
took immediate possession of the armory belonging to the 
" Reading Rifles," a local militaryorganization under Cap- 
tain Weinrich, and seized all the rifles at the armory, but 
they proved to be useless, as some members of the company, 
fearing this, had removed the ammunition. The rioters then 
made a rush for the car-shops with the intention of burning 
them, after which they were to retire, for the purpose of 
exterminating the militia, but, suddenly changing this plan 
from one of those freaks common to mobs, they tore up the 
railroad tracks south of Penn and Seventh Streets, ran 
freight-cars, loaded with leaf tobacco, off the track, de- 
stroyed the switches at Cherry Alley, and robbed the cars 
of their contents. This concluded the riotous demonstra- 
tions at Reading. 

On the next day, Tuesday, a general gloom settled over 
the jentire city and community, owing to the unfortunate 
killing of so many persons. The mob became in a measure 
demoralized, and seemingly began to consider the conse- 
quences of their rash acts. They remained about the 
depot all day, but made no decided demonstrations. Noth- 
ing was done by the company during the day, the trains 
all remaining standing as they were ; but it is a notable 
fact that this was the only day, during the entire troubles at 
Reading, when passenger traffic was suspended. It is also 
worthy of remark that none of the employees of the Phila- 
delphia and Reading Railroad were known to have partici- 
pated in these riots. They were entirely the work of dis- 
charged Brotherhood engineers, the rather large class of 
firemen and brakemen, whom they had deluded into " stand- 


ing out" during the troubles in April previous, and the 
sympathizers of both classes, of whom there were naturally 
a large number. 

On the same evening Mr. Baer, counsel for the company, 
telegraphed Capt. Linden, asking him if he would furnish 
protection to the repairmen if they could be secured to re- 
lay the track early next morning. He promptly replied 
that he would, and he at once detailed twenty-eight mem- 
bers of the Coal and Iron Police, armed with Winchester 
rifles. This organization had done such effective service in 
the coal-regions during the Molly Maguire troubles, that 
they were respected and feared, both for their bravery and 
fidelit}'. Captain Linden was accompanied by Captain 
Alderson, who had so bravely repelled the mob at the depot 
on Monday previous with but ten men. They proceeded to 
the corner of Seventh and Penn Streets, on Wednesday 
morning at five o'clock, and in a short time the tracks were 
cleared of the coal dumped there by the rioters, and the 
rails relaid without annoyance or trouble. 

This ended the delay caused by the riots in Reading, and 
the stoppage of passenger-trains was only from Monday 
night until the following Wednesday morning. 

A great amount of ill-feeling was subsequently aroused 
in Reading by the attempt to arrest and punish strikers and 
rioters, and it was a frequent occurrence to have the hands 
in the railroad-shops resist the apprehension of such per- 

The accompanying illustration will give the reader a good 
idea of such instances, and shows where a desperate man 
was taken by Chief Cullen, rescued by his comrades, but 
released and turned over to the officers on the promise 
being given the men that the person arrested should be well 




ALL through the great coal regions of Pennsylvania, the 
strikers brought trouble and dismay enough to fill a hun- 
dred volumes, were they minutely recited. At Scran ton, 
at Wilkesbarre, at Shenandoah, at Plymouth, at Hazelton, 
and at a score of other important and unimportant points, 
the wild wave of turbulence rushed upon and beat the igno- 
rant and disaffected miners and their sympathizers with 
relentless fury. 

A recital of the troubles at one or two of these points 
will suffice for all, as they were almost precisely similar 
throughout the entire section. That vast body of men em- 
ployed, and unemployed, in this grimy labor seems to be 
forever in a condition where striking and violence are looked 
upon as a welcome sort of change and diversion. With the 
troubles elsewhere for an excuse, and the growlings and 
mutterings of the trainmen nearer home to give the pro- 
vided excuse more real force and might, they went into the 
fight against what they always have assumed to be their 
oppressors, the great coal companies, with as much genuine 
fervor, and quite as much ignorance, as the crusaders went 
to the holy ware. 

Although the agitation and riots, brought about in this 
section by the great strikes of '77, were begun at a later 
period than at almost any other point so affected, it was 
also true that they continued longer, and were not at the 
beginning of 1878 yet wholly quieted. This fact illustrates 


no particular feature of the great strikes, but biings more 
forcibly to public notice the intensity of the feuds existing 
between laborers and their employers in this terribly dis- 
tracted and at all times turbulent region. 

By July 29th, the labor crisis in the entire Lackawanna 
Wiley seemed to have nearly approached. The second 
week previous, upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand 
tons of coal had been shipped to the market. The week 
previous to, and including, that date, not a tenth part of 
that quantity had been sent out, and, daring the subsequent 
two weeks hardly a train-load was dispatched. 

All the miners of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Com- 
pany discontinued work on Saturday, July. 28th, and those of 
the Pennsylvania Coal Company were thrown out of work 
the next day by the destruction of the " head-house " of 
" No. 5 plane," and a bridge, by fire. This " head-house," 
which was located in the woods, just east of Scranton, was 
burned about three o'clock in the morning by a band of 
over one hundred armed men, who took the watchman from 
his watch-house, gagged him, bound him to a tree, and then 
fired the " head-house,' 1 around which they danced and 
shouted in fiendish exultation, like a pack of demons, as the 
flames progressed. Then the bridge was taken in hand 
and served likewise. This wanton business threw the road 
idle from Hawley east as far as Pittsburg. The men at 
these mines were working on full time and shipping thirty 
thousand tons of coal each week. Neither had any demand 
been made for an increase of wages. 

By Sunday, July 29th, not a mine in this great coal-produ- 
cing valley was being worked, and all were fast filling with 
water. How much of a disaster this is to coal companies 
can be seen from the fact that in 1868 the Diamond 
Colliery was idle three days for the repair of its machinery, 
and it took eight months, and cost thirty thousand dollars, 


to pump out the water which had accumulated in that short 

On Saturday a gang of six hundred miners surprised and 
stopped a coal-train on the Delaware and Hudson road and 
forced the men to abandon it. On the next day it seemed 
that the whole section of country for a hundred miles in 
either direction from Scranton had been utterly given up 
to the lawless and fiendish elements; but on Monday there 
was a sudden collapse of the strike along the Delaware, 
Lackawanna, and Western road, after a week's siege, many 
of the men returning to work at their old wages. The same 
morning Mayor McCune, whose determination and bravery 
subsequently came near costing him his life, sent word to 
the executive committee of the railroad strikers that travel 
must be resumed over the road the next morning, even if 
the presence and use of troops were necessary to accom- 
plish that result. 

Accordingly the men called a meeting at one o'clock, 
when a decision to allow trains to run was reached by an 
almost unanimous vote, and in a few hours a passenger- 
train was dispatched for Northumberland amid the univer- 
sal rejoicing of the inhabitants. This train was greeted 
along the route by great crowds, although no violent demon- 
strations were made. 

But the end was not yet. 

In such a section of country as this, the important and 
even overwhelming element in a general strike is composed 
of the thousands upon thousands of miners. They number 
from fifteen to twenty thousand in this valley alone, and 
when they learned that the railroad employees had given 
up the strike, no language could express the bitterness and 
hatred with which they denounced them. 

All of this hatred and bitterness culminated on Wednes- 
day, August 1st, when the disaffection so long brood ing over 


the city, and the senseless and unreasoning struggle of 
labor against capital, brought forth riot and death. 

The great mass of miners and other workingmen on 
strike, dissatisfied over their defeat and chagrined at the 
fact that many of their fellows were returning stealthily to 
work, resolved on making a grand demonstration to sustain 
their waning influence and browbeat the authorities, who 
were quietly but surely getting the upper hand and com- 
pelling a return of decency and order. 

Accordingly a great mass-meeting was held on the morn- 
ing of the day mentioned in the suburbs of the city, at which 
between five and six thousand men were present. The criti- 
cal situation was discussed by half-crazy speakers. Speeches 
in the interest of order were received in sullen silence. 

Finally an anonymous letter was read which produced 
the wildest excitement. It stated that the assertion had 
been made by W. W. Scranton, Esq., General Superinten- 
dent of the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company, that he 
would soon have these thousands of miners by the throat 
and where they would be only too glad to work for thirty- 
five cents a day. No more wanton and cruel a lie was ever 
constructed, but it had the desired effect. It set these 
already excited and unreasoning fellows in a blaze of rage 
and frenzy. The wildest confusion followed. Several 
reporters who were found in the crowd were attacked, in 
some instances beaten, and all their notes were captured and 

This seemed to whet the appetite of the mob, and sud- 
denly the vast assemblage separated into two squads and 
proceeded to the machine-shops, foundries, and furnaces of 
the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company, assaulting and 
driving away a number of men and boys who were at work. 
They then rushed to the Delaware, Lackawanna and West- 
ern car-shops. The workmen there were panic-stricken 


and fled in terror, bnt not before some of them had beeij 
terribly beaten and otherwise injured. 

During the attempted settlement of the troubles at 
Scranton and vicinity, Mayor MoCune had been unceasing 
in his vigilance and efforts to bring about a restoration of 
peace, without conflict. He had even declined the use of 
the military sometime previously tendered by Governor 
Hartranft. But among the conflicting and vicious elements 
necessary to be controlled there had grown up a bitter ani- 
mosity towards him, for the reason that all criminally 
reckless men naturally hate an officer whose honesty and 
bravery compels him to oppose them. So that when he 
appeared upon the scene he was everywhere greeted with 
jeers and hisses. Every effort he could make or word he could 
utter was wasted. He was quickly driven from the ground 
in the most violent manner. Happening to meet the Rev. 
Father Dunn, of St. Vincent's Cathedral, the latter took 
him by the arm to protect him. While thus passing along, 
the priest saw the mob wildly following a man whom its 
members were stoning terribly. He stopped with the Mayor 
to beg for the protection of the poor fellow, and the two were 
immediately surrounded by the howling crowd. Soon the 
appealing words of the priest were lost in the surrounding 
din and yells of the rioters. 

The Mayor then further endeavored by all means in his 
power to quell the pandemonium, which only resulted in 
the mobs being distracted from other deadly intentions to 
wreak their vengeance upon him. Half a dozen burly 
ruffians rushed upon him. He struggled valiantly with 
them, and Father Dunn bravely sprang to his rescue. But 
the rioters, despite this, were not to be deterred from their 
murderous work. In the rush which followed, Mr. Lilly, 
a lumber boss in the employ of the Delaware, Lackawanna 
and Western shops, was brutally beaten. 


Mayor McCune was hustled about fearfully for a few 
moments, the brave and generous Father Dunn several 
times throwing himself bodily between him and upraised 
clubs which for a time were stayed by these acts of heroism ; 
but finally, Mayor McCune was struck a terrible blow on 
the head by a club in the hands of one of the ruffians. 
This was followed by another blow more stunning than the 
first. lie staggered and fell, and, with him, Father Dunn, 
who was still bravely attempting to protect him. 

Blood flowed freely from the Mayor's head and face, and 
the brutal mob continued kicking and heating him, and 
shouts soon went up from the crowd : " The Mayor is 
killed ! The Mayor is killed I " This alarmed those in the 
immediate vicinity, who fled, and the Mayor was allowed to 
escape to a near drug store where his wounds were dressed. 
A portion of the crowd then lifted Father Dunn from the 
crowd and bore him bodily away to a place of safety. 

At this moment there was seen marching down Lacka- 
wanna Avenue, from the company's store, a body of armed 
men with repeating rifles and fixed bayonets. It was a 
posse which had been some time previously organized by 
the Mayor, and they were now coming to his assistance, at 
his request. They saw him bleeding at the street corner, 
as they crossed Washington Avenue. Just as' they were 
approaching him for instructions, the mob attacked them 
furiously. A large crowd had also followed them, and 
began firing pistols upon them from behind. The company 
immediately wheeled about and fired. Some aimed over 
the crowd, and others fired with fatal effect killing four 
men and wounding others. 

The mob broke and fled in every direction ; but the com- 
pany kept on firing wherever they could see a threatening 
crowd, and these volleys completely rid the streets of 
rioters. The ghastly picture presented upon the streets as 


the mob fled was horrible. On the corner near the drug- 
store where Mayor McCune had his wounds dressed, lay a 
man with the top of his head torn off and his blood and 
brains scattered on the sidewalk. Three others in the 
middle of the street were struggling in the last agonies of 
death ; and large numbers of wounded were being carried 
into drug-stores, or to their homes, by their friends. 

This ended the bloodshed and riot at Scranton. On the 
next day, General Brinton with three thousand troops, who, 
from their experiences at Pittsburg and elsewhere, were in a 
condition of feeling which would permit of no trifling, ar- 
rived in the city, and immediate and effective measures 
were taken to put down the terrible lawlessness and dis- 
order which seemed everywhere rampant. Notwithstand- 
ing the wounds of the Mayor, his bravery never deserted 
him, and on Friday, the *29th, at the head of a posse, he 
compelled the closing of the saloons, though every manner 
of threat against his life was being continually made. The 
troubles continued at this place and vicinity for several 
weeks, breaking out with lessening degrees of intensity, 
until finally quieted as much as it seems to be possible to 
quiet this reckless class of workingmen ; but this much was 
only accomplished by the constant: menace of large bodies 
of militia that were finally followed by the regular troops, 
whose presence everywhere during these lamentable occur- 
rences commanded complete respect. 

By Saturday, July 28th, Wilkesbarre, Pa., was also com- 
paratively in a state of siege. It was surrounded by thou- 
sands of miners and railroad strikers, who hung about the 
mines and depots ready for participation in any fracas that 
might be precipitated, and varied this amusement by in- 
sulting respectable citizens and plundering any and every 
place which was left unguarded. This status of things 
continued until the Wednesday following, when all mail 


and passenger trains were stopped in a most brutal and 
riotous manner, general bloodshed only being prevented 
from the fact that the mob was permitted to wholly have 
its own way. 

In the meantime troops under Governor Hartranft had 
arrived, but they had no noticeable effect upon the vast 
crowds of miners, who went where they liked, and did as 
they pleased. Illustrative of this insolence of the mobs 
was a gigantic meeting of the miners held at Dana's Grove, 
a beautiful piece of woodland, a short distance from the 
city. On August 4th, fully six thousand of these daring, 
reckless fellows proceeded to this grove, where they held a 
general indignation meeting, aired their grievances, and 
impudently sent messengers to Mayor Loomis, and Sheriff 
Kirkindall, demanding to be informed why the military 
was at Wilkesbarre and vicinity, threatening peaceful work- 
ingmen like themselves. They then returned to the city, 
marching through the streets with bands of music, insulting 
everybody upon the streets, stoning any and every party 
that might happen to arouse their ire, and in every other 
way possible endeavoring to provoke a conflict with the 
citizens and the troops. 

But no further notable trouble occurred. Amono- the 


many interesting features of the strike in the vicinity of 
AVilkesbarre was the constant forcing of men, who were 
willing to work, from the mines. Great crowds of rufh'ans, 
hundreds of whom had never done a day's honest work in 
their lives, armed with pistols, bludgeons, and knives, 
would proceed to a shaft, and then, in Falstaffian pomposity, 
pass resolutions of condemnation upon mine-owners, rail- 
road companies, and all capitalists, when they would ap- 
point a committee to descend the shaft and order the 
laborers within the mine to discontinue work, on pain of 
stopping the pumps and fans. Those at work well knew 


how much danger lay in this threat, and all the efforts of the 
mining " bosses " to keep them at work were of no avail. 

At Plymouth, the strikers secured the reputation of 
being more persistent and vituperative than at any other 
point within the State of Pennsylvania, save at Pittsburg. 
Plymouth is situated just across the river from Wilkesbarre, 
and is the real center of the vast possessions of the Lehigh 
and Wilkesbarre Coal Company, which is itself the prop- 
erty of the New Jersey Central Railroad Company. The 
company has in the surrounding Wyoming valley about 
twenty breakers, and eight thousand miners are employed. 
These turbulent fellows give direction to public feeling on 
all questions concerning labor or other matters, and the 
result was that when the excitement concerning the general 
troubles reached this region, every miner turned out, con- 
gregated at Plymouth, and, although they made no trouble 
in the town itself, its entire inhabitants being in close sym- 
pathy with the mobs,every devilish device which ingenuity 
could suggest was brought to bear on crippling the railroad, 
and particularly brought into requisition against permitting 
the troops to pass through the place to the turbulent points 
beyond. Tiacks were torn up. torpedoes were placed under 
ties, rails were piled across tracks, switches were spiked, 
and every imaginable obstruction created. These scamps 
never made a decided stand and invited a fight, but did 
their work covertly and then dispersed ; but they met 
rather rough usage on the morning of August 2d. 

On that morning a train loaded with troops nearly one 
thousand of the soldiers sent by Governor Hurt ran ft 
from Pittsburg on his famous flank movement, which 
eventually ended the riotous troubles in Pennsylvania 
passed up the Lackawanna and Bloomsburg road on its way 
to Scranton. At both Kingston and Avondale trouble had 
occurred, and when Plymouth was readied the troops 



were in no condition to be trifled with, particularly as they 
had already learned of the vicious disposition of the rioters 
at this point ; and as rioters were found attempting to tear 
np the tracks, they halted, swiftly deployed skirmishers, sur- 
rounded the entire place, and at the point of the bayonet 
prodded and huddled the scoundrels together, quite after 
the fashion of Colonel Hamilton at Johnstown, Pa., and 
finally took nearly one hundred prisoners in box-cars, like 
so many swine, along with them. Many resisted arrest and 
were fired upon, and wounded ; but this treatment proved 
effective at Plymouth, and though the tracks were torn up 
immediately after the train passed on, the spirit and bra- 
vado of the rioters at this point had been crushed. 

And thus the spirit of mob rule surged back and forth 
over this seemingly accursed region. At Shenandoah, at 
Man oh Chunk, at Ilazelton, at Bethlehem, and at a score 
of less important places, these half hundred thousand 
miners and their sympathizers, following this fearful fancy 
which has pursued the same class from time immemorial, 
that they can only hold their own against their employers 
by periodical anarchy and riot, repeated the violence and 
tragedy which forever bind them in the chains of their own 
ignorant forging. They presented, as they have countless 
times presented, the pitiable picture of men blind with fury 
and rage of their own nursing, standing before their own 
work and taking the bitterly-needed bread from the mouths 
of their fellows and their own families. 

From over-production, and a hundred other causes which 
have affected all interests, they were certainly having " hard 
limes in the mines; " but the idleness, the destruction, the 
wanton pillage, the stoppage of investments from fear of 
the results of all enterprise, were the consequences of their 
own brutal work. While we may pity them, we cannot but 
condemn them with a touch of horror and dismay. They 


will not work themselves ; they will not permit others to 
work. They kill and plunder and butcher like demons, 
destroy the very interests which place bread into their 
mouths ; and then, because they have recklessly crippled 
their employers, strike and kill and burn again. And thus 
these rounds of terror have gone on and on, until what 
should be the fairest garden-spot of the great Common- 
wealth of Pennsylvania is swiftly becoming such a pest- 
hole of anarchy and murder that it would almost seem that 
the time is not far distant when it will become necessary 
to chase these demons, like foxes, from the fair mountains 
with fire and sword. 



IT may be fairly stated that the great strikes of '77 
brought comparatively no violence to either Philadelphia or 
New York, the largest two cities of the country. There 
was n at u rally great excitement in both places, but no active 
demonstrations by the rougher elements were permitted to 
gain either the force of terror or riot. There was every 
condition for all the terrors that reckless men, run wild, are 
capable of inspiring. There was loss to business men, gain 
to newspapers, rushing x to and fro, senseless, ludicrous, and 
pathetic incidents without number, and common apprehen- 
sion and excitement; but, tersely stated, those cities have 
the most effective police organizations in America, and that 
fact alone prevented untold loss of property and life. In 


the discussion of the troubles consequent upon the great 
strikes, this fact has been overlooked. Our great cities 
above all things need strong police forces. Then head them 
with brave and honest officers, and remove them irrevocably 
from corrupting political influences, and when riot and tur- 
bulence raise their ugly heads, honest men and decent citi- 
zens will find that they have a protection, and not a weak 
ness, in their midst. 

I do not say that the police forces of these cities have 
reached the degree of purity and independence suggested, 
but it is certain that they have been made strong in num- 
bers, very perfect in organization, ready and quick from 
most excellent discipline, and effective and powerful from 
being led by fearless and experienced officers. No other 
reason can be given why Philadelphia and New York 
escaped the disgraceful scenes enacted in almost every other 
place of any importance north of the Ohio River. 

Although great excitement had existed in Philadelphia 
from the very beginning of the troubles at Pittsburg, the 
strike proper did not reach the city until July 22d. At six 
o'clock that evening it had extended along the line from 
Pittsburg to this city, and coupled with this movement was 
the joining of the New York Division people with their 
brethren of the main line. Everything was done very 
quietly, but the men seemed determined to make the com- 
pany as much trouble as possible. A special train had 
brought Major Stokely's family from Long Branch the day 
previous, but the crew had "struck" as soon as they had 
reached West Philadelphia. 

The railroad officials were not much excited on account 
of the strike here, as it had been expected, and came quietly 
and without any turbulence on the part of the trainmen, 
who suddenly became very discreet when they learned how 
well the authorities were prepared to receive them. Aside 


from this, Colonel Scott never for one moment swerved 
from his original purpose, the foresight and wisdom of 
which no thinking business man can question, to place the 
entire responsibility of preserving the peace and operating 
the Pennsylvania Central road in safety, upon the city and 
State authorities. Lawless citizens of the State had taken 
violent possession of the road and the company's property. 
What power besides that of the State was competent, or 
should be compelled, to return it? 

From six o'clock until dark the strikers were apparently 
inactive. The vast crowds that had collected at the spacious 
depot during the da} 7 surging back and forth about the 
grounds, and rushing into and out of the nest of saloons on 
Market Street opposite had finally dispersed until but a 
few remained. It was thought that they had gone to their 
homes, and the authorities began to congratulate themselves 
that the storm would pass over the city without leaving its 
destructive trail. In this they were mistaken ; for, although 
the police had so well guarded the approaches to the depot 
and tracks that none except working employees and depot 
attaches had been permitted to pass the cordon, with the 
darkness the crowd of strikers and rif-raff began to gather 
thickly upon the bluffs, and shortly after open acts of vio- 
lence were begun. 

It was determined to stop everything upon the road, save 
through mail trains, not even shifting-engines being allowed 
to run. Engine No. 435 was attached to a train of nine oil- 
cars, with tanks filled, destined for Ilarrisburg. When the 
train was about starting, it was surrounded, and the engineer 
was told that he must not move it. At the same time the 
locomotive was uncoupled from the cars and returned to 
the round-house. At about nine o'clock the Southern Ex- 
press left the depot, but had proceeded only a short distance 
when it was also surrounded and stopped. The engineer 


stated that he only intended to take the train with his loco- 
motive, which was a shifting-engine, as far as Thirty-third 
Street, where the regular engine would be attached. The 
strikers allowed the train to pass, bnt informed the engineer 
that no more shifting-engines would be permitted to run, 
either inside or outside of the yards. This engine shortly 
returned, and its tires were raked out, which placed a final 
embargo upon matters here. 

Meanwhile, the crowd upon the high bluff above the 
tracks had become larger and more vicious and boisterous. 
There were but few policeman at this point, and they were 
powerless to control the mob. Large torpedoes were placed 
on the rails, exploding as the mail trains passed, and increas- 
ing the general excitement. 

The police several times endeavored to drive back the 
mob, but had not sufficient force at hand, and were event- 
ually compelled to retire, when Chief of Police Jones 
ordered reinforcements sent to the point. When these had 
arrived, Captain Curry, who was in command of the 
squads, called out in a loud voice : " Gentlemen, you will 
have to leave that bank! This place must be kept 
clear ! " 

The crowd, which by this time numbered about five hun- 
dred, only responded by derisive yells and jeers. Captain 
Curry told his men to stand firm, preparatory to giving 
them orders to charge on the mob, when, luckily, Lieutenant 
Schoolly, of the Seventeenth District, suddenly appeared in 
the rear of the mob. This was the signal for another chorus 
of yells, and the crowd then began stoning the police in both 

"At them with your clubs!" shouted Captain Curry. 
The policemen drew their maces and charged up the hill 
upon the rioters, handling their clubs so vigorously and 
effectively that the strikers, after a short and vigorous 


resistance, finally broke and fled over the bluff, back into 
the streets of West Philadelphia. 

No arrests were made, the 051061*8 deeming that course 
ill-advised, as it would only cause bitterness and further 
excitement among the strikers. They simply hit a head 
wherever they could find one belonging to a striker. 

Earlier in the evening, after the stopping of the shifting- 
engines, nearly two hundred of the strikers proceeded to 
the New York freight shops, at Thirty-eighth and Palmer 
Streets, where about fifty men were at work. These were 
violently driven from the buildings, and the fires put out. 
The shops lower down would have been similarly treated, 
but, as it was Sunday, there were watchmen, about. These 
scenes of disorder were followed by placing nearly three 
hundred policemen along the top of the heights, stretching 
from Callowhill Street bridge on the west side of the road. 
The grim file of policemen, with accoutrements glittering 
in the moonlight, stood along the brow of the hill, masters 
of the situation, but momentarily anticipating grave dis- 
turbances. When parties of from a half dozen to fifty were 
ordered to " move on," they would comply in such a wolfish 
way that the greatest patience and good judgment were 
required to prevent collisions. 

" Oh, we won't resist, we won't ! We ain't got no rocks in 
our pockets, we ain't ! Oh, no!" they would shout at the 
police, in a w r ay that made some of the officers tremble for 
consequences should active trouble occur. But fortunately 
the night passed without riot, and in the early morning the 
place had the appearance of a tranquil camp, for here and 
there along the tracks and at. the edge of the bluff could be 
seen police on their beats, thick as soldiers on duty, and at 
intervals relief squads stretched out on the grass or upon 
boards, as soundly snoring as though in their own beds. 

On this morning it was decided by Colonel Scott and 


Mayor Stokely to have the moving of freight begun, but 
such menacing crowds gathered at Callowbill Street bridge, 
with the evident determination to oppose it, that the execu- 
tion of this plan was abandoned until General Hancock 
should have arrived with regular troops. By ten o'clock 
tbe mob had increased until it numbered nearly a thousand 
persons, and its members began forcing their way in upon 
the bridge and upon the cordon of police in so threatening 
a manner that Chief Jones, who, with Captains Wood and 
Ileins, was upon the ground, ordered the crowd to disperse. 
This command not being obeyed, the police charged on the 
crowd and pitilessly clubbed its members until they fled in 
every direction. 

It had been something of a mystery to the authorities, 
during the morning, what had become of the main body of 
strikers, as the crowd at Callowhill Street was composed 
chiefly of vagabond boys and idle ruffians, but their move- 
ments became known between ten and eleven o'clock, when 
the clang of fire engines was heard and clouds of dense smoke 
were seen ascending from the lower end of the city. The torch 
had been applied at last. The strikers had tired an oil-train, 
part of which consisted of the cars which had been stopped 
on the previous night, but had been taken in the morning 
to a point on the Junction Road near South Street bridge, 
and just opposite the almshouse. To the original train had 
been added a large number of cars from the West Chester 
Road, the whole string extending over nearly a quarter of a 
mile of track. Six fire-engines were promptly on the ground, 
under the personal supervision of the Chief Engineer, but 
it was almost impossible to stay the flames, owing to the 
great difficulty, from the intense heat, of getting near the 
lire, and also from the fact that the entire supply of water 
had to be taken from the Schuylkill River. Four hundred 
police formed a hollow square around the burning train 


and with difficulty protected the firemen from the ruffians 
who predominated in the crowd of nearly ten thousand ex- 
cited people that surged back and forth with a strong deter- 
mination to prevent the use of the engines, if it were possi- 
ble. But, as in every other instance in Philadelphia, the 
police were on hand in such large numbers, and so effect- 
ively officered, that the strikers dared not interfere. Four 
box and two tank cars, all laden with oil, were necessarily 
left to the flames, the heat was of such a terrible intensity. 
The wooden tanks in the box-cars being open, no explosion 
was expected from them, and none came, but when the 
flames at length reached one of the iron tanks, there was a 
stunning explosion that shook the earth, and a column of 
blazing oil shot up into the air to a distance of at least fifty 
feet, and in its descent some of the burning fluid plashed 
into the faces and over the persons of two of the iiremen, 
burning them terribly. It was with the utmost difficulty 
that the fire was confined to the cars, but a general confla- 
gration, which the fiendish incendiaries had intended, was 
finally averted. 

The first regular troops arriving in the city came from 
Baltimore, where they had been on duty for three days 
previous, just after noon, and consisted of one hundred and 
twenty-five marines, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ilayward and General Hancock. They reached the city at 
two o'clock, being followed during the afternoon and night 
by several hundred regulars. No other events of impor- 
tance occurred in Philadelphia on Monday. 

By noon of Tuesday the force on duty in this city, and 
which could be relied on to maintain the public safety, was 
divided as follows: 1,400 armed policemen; 400 armed fire- 
men ; 700 United States regular troops, with batteries; 
125 marines ; 2,000 special policemen, sworn in during the 
day ; the Veteran Corps, increased to 500 men ; volunteers 


who had enlisted to form a regiment of 1,000 " emergency" 
men ; and live companies of the Grand Army of the Re- 
public. Besides this, Mayor Stokely was authorized to 
increase his special police force to 1,000 men, which made 
j*. force of upwards of 7,000 fighting men, well armed and 

Governor Hartranft arrived in Philadelphia "Wednesday 
afternoon, and quietly set to work arranging matters for 
his campaign, which comprised a great show of troops at 
Pittsbnrg and the subsequent handling of matters in the 
coal regions. He was greatly assisted by Colonel Scott, wht>, 
it is worthy of remark, showed most wonderful energy dur- 
ing the troubles, never for a single moment leaving the West 
Philadelphia Depot, where he remained night and day, so 
long as there existed the slightest possibility of trouble. 

The first spilling of blood, during the strike in Philadel- 
phia, resulting in death, happened near the North Pennsylva- 
nia Depot on Thursday evening. A mass meeting of strikers 
was held at Fourth and Berks Streets, and the efforts of the 
police to disperse the crowd and break up the meeting, 
which was becoming a dangerous one, ended in the killing 
of one rioter and the wounding of several rioters and police- 
men. In this instance the police were compelled to fire 
upon the members of the mob, who had savagely resisted 
the attempts made to disperse them, attacking the police 
both with stones and fire-arms. In every instance in Phila- 
delphia where a mob was attacked, there was so effective a 
handling of the police that there was no halting until the 
work had been thoroughly done, and the last man showing 
resistance clubbed from the streets, or into submission. 

Riotous crowds learn these things quickly, and the result 
is that their courage oozes away in just the proportion 
that the police force shows itself determined and even 
most mercilessly persistent in the execution of duty. For- 


tunately Philadelphia had, and has, this kind of a force; 
and for this reason, and no other, that city escaped with the 
few ripples of disorder mentioned, so trifling as to hardly 
deserve record. 

The thorough and magnificent preparations made by 
the First Division of the New York State Militia and the 
New York City police checked the threatened disorder in 
that city at the very outset, and left nothing whereon 
to hang the slightest fear or expectation of an outbreak. 

Some trepidation was felt as to the result of the monster 
mass-meeting which was called by the choice spirits of the 
communists, to be held at Tompkins Square on Wednesday 
evening, July 25th. As no opportunity had been given the 
rougher elements to get force and headway by these turbu- 
lent gatherings, the communists, under the leadership of 
Justus Schwab, a saloon-keeper, John Swintou, a news- 
paper writer and general agitator, and David Conroy, a 
rank stirrer up of political strife in a small way, had deter- 
mined to hold an out-door meeting to air their grievances, 
and the city authorities had concluded to permit it, partly to 
ascertain the temper of the classes from whom trouble was 
expected, and partly for the purpose of making the fight, if 
one had to come, so decisive that the mercilessness of their 
beating would teach them the lesson of compliance to law 
and order at a time when it so much needed to be taught. 

Justus Schwab called at Police Headquarters and intima- 
ted to General Smith, President of the Board of Commis- 
sioners, that it would be -just as well to keep the police 
away from the meeting, as his followers might become infu- 
riated by the sight of the blue-coats and exterminate them. 

The doughty General promptly replied that the custom 
of sending policemen to preserve order and await contin- 
gencies at all public meetings would not be deviated from 
in this instance, whereupon Mr. Schwab was desirous of 


knowing just how close they would be stationed. But "old 
Baldy," as the General is called, was not to be caught nap- 
ping in that way, and rather tartly responded that he was 
not at liberty to give the exact distance in feet and inches, 
and the great communistic leader departed, giving vent to 
subdued rnutterings. 

By a wise provision of the laws of New York State, in 
case of insurrection, or expected outbreak too formidable 
for the Police Department to control, that department is 
authorized to call upon the military without any unneces- 
sary intervention of " red tape," and the First Division 
State Guards, under General Shaler, was put in readiness to 
act in prompt and hearty unison with the police. 

The Police Commissioners and Superintendent Walling 
disposed of the force at their command in a very creditable 
manner; for while large bodies of patrolmen covered 
threatened points, no part of the city was left unguarded. 
The forces covering Tompkins Square were distributed as 
follows : Mounted squad and mounted patrolmen from up- 
town precincts, under Sergeant Re veil, at the Eighteenth 
"Ward Market, foot of East Seventeenth Street ; three hun- 
dred patrolmen at the Seventeenth Precinct Station House, 
corner of Fifth Street and First Avem>e, Inspector Murray 
commanding; two hundred patrolmen at the Eighteenth 
Precinct Station House, Twenty-second Street, under In- 
spector Thome ; one hundred and sixty men at the Elev- 
enth Precinct Station House, commanded by Captain Al- 
laire ; and one hundred men in reserve at Police Head- 
quarters, under Captains Iledden and Gunner. 

A glance at the map of New York will reveal the strength 
of the position taken by the police and the impossibility of 
any crowd penetrating beyond Houston or East Fourteenth 
Street or Second Avenue. The ability shown in this superb 
arrangement of the force at command was wholly due to 


the military foresight of General Smith ; and I cannot re- 
sist the assertion that we should have more brave, capable, 
and experienced ex-military officers at the head of our 
police departments in large cities. In case of a reverse, 
the police were backed by the Seventh Regiment, whose 
armory, at Sixth Street and Third Avenue, is within five 
hundred yards of Tompkins Square. This regiment could 
have reached the Square in less than ten minutes, and the 
most distant of the other three could have arrived within 
twenty minutes. Besides this, nearly every part of the city 
was covered by the Central Office detectives, as well as by 
scores of my own detectives from my New York offices, at 
66 Exchange Place, all of whom made reports concerning 
the temper of the lower classes of people in different quar- 
ters of the city, and also as to the movement and numbers 
of any crowds that might be found congregating ; while 
stages were sent to Police Headquarters to transport the re- 
served force to any threatened point. 

At no time in the day was there any excitement at Police 

Everything went as smoothly and noiselessly as though 
no strike and wide-spread excitement had ever existed ; but 
it may be said that while the people of other cities all over 
our country were pausing almost breathless to await the re- 
sult of this very Tompkins Square meeting, the New York 
authorities, who were acquainted with the disposition and 
condition of their splendid forces, were actually chuckling 
among' themselves at the fine rows of broken heads that 


would be assorted the next morning if that mob, whatever 
its size or temper, dare make one motion of revolt which 
should warrant the giving of orders that would unloose the 
avalanche of police and militia upon its members. It was 
ordered that no mercy should be shown and that the forces 
should give it to the communists right and left, front and 


rear, until the mob element of that city once for all sa-mld 
be crushed out. 

But fortunately this treatment was not found necessary. 
Some hint of the condition, numbers, splendid equipment, 
and unflinching determination to quell all disturbance, 
possessed by the police and militia forces, had been con- 
veyed to the most blatant of the promoters of the meeting, 
and everything passed off in comparative quiet, when the 
previous threats and mutterings of these communists were 

The meeting itself was probably one of the largest, if not 
indeed the largest, open-air gathering that had ever been 
known in this country. But it was in every sense a weak, 
characterless demonstration. Two grand stands had been 
erected, one for the use of German, and one for the use of 
English speakers. Huge calcium lights were provided, 
and they gave a weird look to those standing in the 
shadows. The Square was packed and jammed full, but 
hardly a policeman was in sight. This vast concourse, 
which fairly represented the murderous elements of New 
York, in some way felt that they were standing there under 
the very muzzles of trained guns, and the feeling dampened 
their law-breaking ardor and threw a sort of uncomfortable 
funeral-air over the entire meeting. Not all the rantings of 
these crazy leaders could lift the rabble out of this somber 
atmosphere into a condition of enthusiasm ; and Tompkins 
Square was as clear of loiterers as it ever was on a moon- 
light night, at half past nine o'clock. 

Before ten o'clock the militia were informed of the 
utter peace prevailing, and the following order effectually 
snuffed out the last vestige of the demonstration : 

" To ALL : Promptly suppress all disturbances in your precinct, and dia< 
perse all crowds on the street-corners. 

"G. W. WALLING, Superintendent." 


This telegraphic order was sent to all precincts at mid- 
night, and, an hoar later, a stranger passing through the 
streets of New York could never have imagined that one of 
the largest mobs ever known had been so thoroughly dis- 
membered that nothing but the memory of its harmlessness 
was left. 

This was the beginning and ending of turbulence during 
the great strikes in New York City. Of course the place 
shared the general injury, felt the general apprehension, and 
was touched and stirred by the general excitement. But 
that was all. 

For what trouble was experienced in the State and city 
of New York, the communistic spirit of certain railroad 
employees at llornellsville was responsible, the same as 
Martinsburg was responsible for the troubles in West Vir- 
ginia and Maryland, and Pittsburg was responsible for her 
own calamity and that of the entire State of Pennsylvania. 
The strike was inaugurated at llornellsville at one 
o'clock in the morning of July 20th, the next day after the 
strike occurred at Pittsburg. It was decided upon just be- 
fore midnight of the previous day, and was announced at 
the New York headquarters of the company in less than 
fifteen minutes afterwards. Every train was then ordered 
to stop running, which had the effect of keeping hundreds 
of railroad hands away from the seat of trouble. The stop- 
page of trains on the road continued just six days, and 
fifteen hundred troops were brought here to assist in quell- 
ing disturbances. Although they also occurred at Corning, 
Elmira, Susquehanna, Salamanca, and at other points along 
the Erie road, from the first, all eyes were directed to 
llornellsville, as the place contains the largest numbers of 
railroad employees of all grades of any point along the road, 
and the unruly spirit of many of these men had really 
precipitated the entire trouble throughout the State. 


The leading mind in the matter was one Barney Donahue, 
a cripple, but a bright, fluent, impulsive fellow, who was 
continually stirring up dissensions, from the loose manner 
of his language, rather than from any real malicious motive. 
Donahue began working on the road as early as 1850, and 
had consequently seen nearly thirty years' service on the 
road. His private character was good, and, when finally 
placed behind the bars of Ludlow Street Jail, in New York, 
for contempt of court in conspiring to obstruct a road in 
the hands of a receiver, and consequently under protection 
of the United States Courts, it was his first criminal offense. 

The man himself is about five feet seven inches in height, 
with sandy mustache and hair. He is a fluent, earnest 
talker, is possessed of exuberant spirits, and is one that, 
among certain classes, would be termed "jolly good com- 
pany." His influence among the trainmen arose from his 
long, and generally considered faithful, services to the Erie 
road, his ability to make himself generally liked, and a 
feeling of affection mingled with pity on account of his 
crippled condition. His leg had been broken in an acci- 
dent on the Susquehanna Division, and his hand had been 
crushed in a " smash-up " on the Northern Central Division 
of the road near Canandaigua, in the winter of '76 and '77. 
Inflammatory rheumatism set in and further crippled him. 
He was then placed on the " extra-brakeman " list, and only 
managed to make enough money to pay his board, and that 
of a very poor sort. He had final 1}* left the service of the 
company, but remained at Horuellsville in no pleasant 
mood, and in just a condition of mind to assist in foment- 
ing troubles. 

Finally, when the men resolved to quit work, they made 
Donahue chairman of the joint committee, pledged them- 
selves to abide by his advice and decisions in everything, 
and, from their standpoint, made the man, as far as was in 


their power, dictator of the road. It is worthy of remark 
that though it was claimed that fully twelve thousand 
employees were relied on by Donahue to hold out until the 
order for the reduction of ten per cent, on wages, which 
caused the strike, was rescinded, but little brute force was 
used at any point along this line, a very few broken bones 
resulted from collisions, while not a single person was 

Donahue claims that this was prevented by a general 
understanding had among the trainmen that no violence 
would be tolerated. However this may be, though the 
employees were very determined, considerable good humor 
prevailed ; and the strikers seemed to rely for their success 
more upon the prevailing trouble, upon annoying the offi- 
cials, and upon obstructing trains in a thousand ways famil- 
iar to trainmen, without coining in direct contact with the 
local authorities or the military, than upon the use of that 
ferocious and devilish brutality which disgraced the opera- 
tions of all bodies of strikers in so many other sections of 
the country. 

An illustration of this was found in an attempt to move 
a passenger train west from Hornellsville, on Sunday morn- 
ing, July 22d. Several train-loads -of passengers had accu- 
mulated there, and were willing to run any risk in order 
to reach their destinations further west. At about nine 
o'clock the train was made up, and after it was literally 
covered with troops it slowty moved out. The road west 
out of Hornellsville climbs Tip Top Summit, one of the 
heaviest grades on the line, and at least a thousand strikers 
had determined that the train should never reach the top of 
this grade, if a lively application of grease, soap, and torpe- 
does could prevent it. 

So it was a question of time, and the strikers used it to 
the best of their ability. Whenever the train would reach 


a greased spot the driving-wheels of the engine would spin 
like a top. The engineer would then let on sand, and a 
little more speed would be secured. Then a dozen torpe- 
does would explode amid the deafening yells of the stri- 
kers, who, in hundreds, ran on beyond the train and worked 
with might and main at the soaping and greasing. Every 
struggle of the engine over the slippery spots would be 
greeted wich shouts of derisive laughter, terrifying the pas- 
sengers, discouraging the soldiers, disheartening the engi- 
neer, but always prompting the strikers to redoubled exer- 
tions. The struggle was too unequal. These hundreds of 
fellows knew just how much soap and grease to use, and 
just where to use it; and after the train had labored along 
this way for about a mile, the strikers finally captured it 
and took it back to the city with the wildest demonstrations 
of delight. 

On the morning of July 26th, the strikers gave up the 
fight, and set about getting things in good shape again with 
as much determination and spirit as they had shown in 
their previous attempts to compel an unlawful victory. 



THE alacrity with which the New York Militia responded 
to the call, made upon them by Governor Robinson, was 
not only creditable to the men themselves, but was an in- 
dorsement of the sensible policy of that State to encourage 
and sustain a force competent to cope with trouble in just 
such exigencies. The law of that State permits the enlist- 


ment of twenty thousand non-commissioired officers, musi- 
cians, and privates. The enthusiasm and efficiency of this 
body of the National Guard have been considerably raised 
within the past few years by the introduction of rifle-prac- 
tice. There are now eleven rifle ranges in different parts 
of the State used by the troops, and some of them, like 
Creed moor, have become great resorts. The improvement 
in marksmanship has been conspicuous. The last annual 
appropriation by the State Legislature for the use cf this 
militia amounted to $275,000. The result of this in New 
York, where the lawless elements prevail proportionately as 
largely as in any other State of the Union, was to prevent 
during the great strikes more violence and destruction of 
property than would pay for the support of this force for 
the next fifty years. 

Troy, Albany, Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester, all being 
largely manufacturing towns, contained a large population 
of hard-fisted, restless fellows who naturally pride in dis- 
order, and whose peculiar ideas of law and right fitted them 
for looking on participation in riot and violence in the light 
of a very desirable and enjoyable diversion. These men 
could have, and would have, made short work of any local 
officers. When they suddenly found that they had in their 
midst bodies of splendidly-armed men, ready to try conclu- 
sions with them on the slightest show of violence, their de- 
sire for this kind of sport became controllable; and only 
one point in this entire great State was visited with disorder 
which could not easily be controlled. 

That city was Buffalo. 

In this city the general strike was inaugurated on Sun- 
day, July 22d, by men from the Erie road, compelling the 
trainmen of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern road to 
join them ; but no rioting occurred until the next day, when 
early in the afternoon a raid was made by nearly two thou- 


sand of the rioters on about one hundred and fifty militia, 
who had been ordered to guard the round-house of the 
Lake Shore road. They gained a complete victory, forcing 
the troops out with little trouble, after which the mob took 
possession of the round-house and barricaded it most effec- 
tively. Colonel Flach, of the Sixty-fifth Regiment, with 
more confidence in the prowess of his men than knowledge 
of the stuff of which, mobs are made, attempted with only 
thirty men to recapture the round-house and shops. They 
were met with yells of derision from the crowd, who could 
have successfully resisted twice the number sent against 
them, and under a terrible shower of stones and bits of iron, 
were compelled to retreat on the double-quick, forcing their 
way through the mob that had flanked and surrounded them, 
at the point of the bayonet. Many of the soldiers were 
severely clubbed and cut with knives. Six of the troops 
lost their muskets, and Colonel Flach himself was clubbed, 
twice knocked down, and finally forced with his men to re- 
treat across the canal and take refuge in the Lake Shore 
paint-shop, from which they were all subsequently rescued 
by the police ! 

The only other conflict of a serious nature occurring at 
Buffalo transpired on the same evening. This was one of 
the sharpest and most exciting struggles which happened at 
any point during the great strikes. 

Brigadier-General Rogers telegraphed Captain Towle, 
commanding the Seward Guards, a local military organiza- 
tion of Westfield, X. Y.. to report to him with his command 
at the earliest possible moment at Buffalo. 

Pursuant to this order the Seward Guards were assem- 
bled, and were able to leave Westfield, for Buffalo, at half 
past seven o'clock in the evening, with no thought of the 
terrible reception they were to receive. Some cowardly 
scoundrel connected with the railroad company's telegraph 


office, at Westfield, had sent a message over the Atlantic 
and Pacific Telegraph Company's lines, giving information 
to the strikers in Buffalo that the troops had left Westfield, 
and of the time they might be expected in the former city ; 
so that, as they were rolling along pleasantly towards Buffalo, 
a reception committee of several hundred ruffians were 
quietly arranging plans to make the arrival of the brave 
Seward Guards a memorable one. 

The orders to Captain Towle were to take his command 
to Buffalo Creek bridge, but before the train had arrived to 
within a fourth of a mile of that point, red lights were 
shown, and the engineer had the choice of stopping, or 
taking the chances of being ditched. He stopped the train, 
which was immediately boarded by hundreds of rioters, who 
cut off the rear car containing the Westfield company, per- 
mitting the engine and the forward cars, containing passen- 
gers, to proceed into the city. 

The appearance of the mob in such immense numbers, 
and so unexpectedly, prevented any provision being made 
to guard the doors, although Captain Towle himself bravely 
defended the front door for some minutes. A rush was 
then made through the rear door, and in less than half a 
minute between fifty and sixty of the infuriated scoundrels 
had filled the aisle and were making the air blue with their " 
shriekings and cursings while demanding the guns from the 
troops. Orders had been given to fire under no circum- 
stances, or provocation, until a distinct command had been 
given. The Captain refused to yield a gun. 

The leaders seemed to wish to avoid violence, but the 
rabble was utterly beyond control, and soon revolvers were 
drawn on the militia, while the hundreds outside set up the 
cry, " Run them in the lake ! " " Dump them into the 
creek ! " together with the vilest expressions of abuse. A 
few of the men, not knowing what to do, gave up their guns, 


and miscellaneous firing quickly began. Those who had 
captured muskets got on the outside of the cars, jammed 
the muzzles through the glass and shutters and then fired, 
while others of the mob hurled rocks and fired revolvers 
through the windows. All this time a hand-to-hand fight 
was going on inside the car, the soldiers clubbing the rioters 
with the butts of their muskets and firing whenever oppor- 
tunity offered. At one time four men had Captain Towle 
down, choking and beating him, but he was rescued in 
time to save his life, and permit him to go on with liis 
plucky work of cracking heads. 

In the meantime the mob had increased to nearly three 
thousand persons, and were pushing the car violently back 
and forth. As it was sheer folly for a company of fifty- 
seven men to cope with a mob of thousands, the troops de- 
termined to fight their way out of the car and through the 
mob. Those leaving the rear door went out precipitately, 
but the troops passed out of the front door in good order, 
pushing the ruffians before them. It was now seen that 
the enemy had retired somewhat, which gave the troops 
opportunity to form, when the mob again began to close up 
and advance. Orders were given to fire in front and on 
both flanks, which was done with good effect. 

Then orders were given to reserve fire, as ammunition 
was scarce, and the company, deploying skirmishers, were 
now able to effect a retreat towards the lake, which they 
did, carrying their wounded upon hastily improvised litters. 
This was in the neighborhood of Tift's Meadows, a locality 
which will ever remain memorable to the Westfield militia. 
They finally secured quarters at a friendly German inn, 
where their wounded were kindly cared for by the physi- 
cians of the neighborhood. The Westfield militia passed 

O A 

into the city the next day, and the mob remembered them 
with respect. 


At no time during the troubles at Buffalo were the New 
York Central men concerned in the lawlessness, and the 
movement of trains over this road, while not wholly unin- 
terrupted, in the main, resisted the encroachments of the 
unruly elements. As previously stated, the men of the 
Lake Shore road had no original intention of joining the 
shrike, and were forced out by the trainmen of the Erie 
road. But when they were once out, they were very obsti- 
nate about returning to work. 

But it is worthy of record that out of the hundreds of 
striking trainmen in Buffalo, not a score were identified 
v with the mobs. The latter were composed, precisely as 
they were in Chicago, of the communists and the very 
scum of the place. This element was effectually quelled 
in Buffalo, on Tuesday, and that, too, without the use of the 

Early on that morning the mob, its members armed with 
every manner of cudgel, conceived the idea of putting a 
stop to all kinds of labor. The crowd therefore visited 
large numbers of factories and shops, and compelled them 
to close. In some instances they were successfully resisted 
by armed employees, assisted by squads of policemen. But 
this kind of lawlessness was carried so far, and so insolently, 
that at last Colonel Byrne, the able and efficient Chief of 
Police, completely out of patience, determined to put a 
stop to it at all hazards. 

At about ten o'clock, in East Buffalo, the mob became 
very demonstrative, pelted the depot with stones, set lire to 
freight-cars on the New York Central tracks, between 
Clinton and Howard Streets, and finally attacked the police 
themselves with great violence ; and Colonel Byrne deter- 
mined upon radical measures. lie sent two huge wagon- 
loads of men to the relief of Captain Wurtz. With these 
the latter proceeded to the vicinity of the crossing. The 


men on duty there,, holding their own with difficulty against 
the throng, had already received their instructions, and, at a 
preconcerted signal, made a feint, drawing the attention of 
the mob towards a central point. Then instantly the main 
body of police, numbering seventy-five men, formed in line 
across the wide street, facing the city and the backs of the 
inob. Every one of these officers carried the heavy-weight 
baton, a terrible weapon when wielded by a skilled and 
muscular arm. 

" Now, boys, slash 'em ! " shouted Captain Wurtz, and in 
another instant such a grand charge was made as words fail 
to describe, and those only who were hit can fully appreci- 
ate. Like lightning the clubs descended and ascended. 
Every stroke hit a new head, whose owner went solidly to 
the ground or howled in continual somersaults. The officers 
seemed to put their whole souls and strength into this com- 
mendable work, and from the field of conflict rose cries of 
pain which could be heard a mile away. The rout was 
complete and final, and by midnight the East Buffalo 
grounds were as clear and quiet as a country field on a 
Sunday afternoon. 

All trains over the Erie road were running into the city 
on Friday ; the Canada Southern road resumed operations 
on Sunday ; but the return to active freight business by 
the Lake Shore road, which removed the last traces of the 
strike at Buffalo, did not occur until the third of August. 

The only noteworthy sensations created by the strike at 
Erie were the leaving of the Erie troops under General 
Huidekoper, to reinforce the soldiers at Pittsburg, and the 
excitement caused by the refusal of Mr. Yanderbilt to per- 
mit loaded passenger trains, arriving in that city from 
Chicago, to proceed to Buffalo. On Tuesday, July 24th, 
the train from Chicago arrived at Erie at about noon, and 
was loaded down with passengers anxious to get through to 


Eastern cities. By Mr. Vanderbilt's special order the train 
was abandoned, it being feared that serious trouble would 
be encountered should it be sent on to Buffalo. 

The train was therefore abandoned, and the strikers, feel- 
ing that this action was calculated to bring discredit upon 
them, assembled at the depot in large numbers and threat- 
ened to run the train through to Buffalo. Their efforts 
were seconded by the passengers, who were equally indig- 
nant. The strikers fired up an engine and were about to go 
out with the train, when orders were received by the Divi- 
sion Superintendent to detain the train at all hazards. The 
Sheriff, Mayor, Chief of Police, with the entire police force 
of the city, and one hundred special men, went to the depot, 
and after barely escaping a riot, succeeded in preventing 
the movement of the train. The strikers at Erie then sent 
a telegram to President Hayes, asking him to insist on the 
Lake Shore road moving the United States mails at once. 
The President failed to answer this message. The trains 
from the West continued to accumulate at this point until 
Thursday, July 26th, the hundreds of delayed passengers 
using the coaches for sleeping apartments. 

General Huidekoper, " the one-armed hero of Gettys- 
burg," and in command of the State troops of the north- 
western portion of Pennsylvania, had a difficult and try- 
ing time of it attempting to get to Pittsburg to reinforce 
the troops there. The strikers all along the different rail- 
road lines leading to that point prevented the transportation 
of his troops by rail, and no conciliation or threats could in- 
duce the trainmen to raise the blockade. 

But go to Pittsburg with his command he must, and 
would. They accordingly started from Erie upon a forced 
march, as in the old \var days, after a time pressing into 
service every sort and manner of conveyance possible. In 
this way they trailed over the hills and through the valleys 


like a parcel of uniformed Gypsies, meeting with hundreds 
of amusing incidents consequent to the first march of raw 
troops, and finally reaching their general rendezvous, at 
Franklin, in the oil regions, in a rather dilapidated con- 
dition. Being tired of this sort of progress, General Huide- 
koper decided to use the railroad, and, by a clever riise, 
secured transportation from this point to his destination. 

A request was sent to the Superintendent of the Penn- 
sylvania Railroad, who asked the authorities of the Buffalo, 
Titusville and Corry Railroad to send to Pittsburg, as soon 
as possible, eighteen empty passenger cars, for the use of 
the former company. On their arrival at Franklin, General 
Huidekoper had his men in readiness, and immediately took 
possession of the train, put a strong guard on the locomo- 
tive, and started. Revolvers were presented at the heads of 
the engineer and firemen, who at first refused to run the 
train ; but they were given to understand that that train 
must be speedily taken to Pittsburg or there would shortly 
be two less railroad strikers in existence. This had the de- 
sired effect, and the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Regiments 
were finally landed safely in the "Riot City." 

At Cleveland, the most beautiful city of the North, 
although the strike was general among the trainmen of all 
roads centering here, from first to last no violence was 
apprehended and none came. 

Two important facts contributed to this pleasant con- 
dition of things. The city of Cleveland holds, as an invest- 
ment, bonds of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern 
Railroad to the extent of nearty a million dollars. The 
city, therefore, as a municipal corporation, is largely in- 
terested in the profits accruing from the operation of the 
road. The amount thus received by the city is pledged for 
the redemption of the Water Works loan, and thus every 

tax-paving citizen of the place has a direct and tangible in- 


terest in the safe and successful operation of this particular 
and important line. Therefore if the strikers themselves 
had been inclined to grow riotous, they would have received 
no sympathy and aid from the great masses of citizens, 
without which no violence from such a source can succeed. 
But aside from this, the strikers at Cleveland at no time 
showed the least disposition to precipitate disorder, and on. 
all occasions let it be plainly understood that no riotous de- 
monstrations on the part of the rabble would be permitted. 

The second cause entering into a prevention of hostilities 
was found in the action taken by President Devereux, of 
the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Rail- 
way, who, before his men had been given time to get 
excited and venturesome, on July 23d, promptly stated to 
them that they might all go to work on full time, and at an 
advance of ten per cent, in wages. This offer was joyfully 
accepted, and both the trainmen and shopmen resumed their 
labors the next morning, which removed the last vestige of 
apprehension of riot and violence at Cleveland. 

At Toledo the troubles were undoubtedly intensified and 
lengthened by the unexplainable action of that city's Mayor. 
On "Wednesday, July 25th, several thousand trainmen, steve- 
dores, shop-hands, and other laborers assembled in front of 
the United States Hotel, on Ottawa Street. The meeting 
was noisy and turbulent, and was called for the purpose of 
uniting all classes of workingmen upon an earnest support 
of the striking railroad men. Mayor Jones was present, 
and being called on for remarks, responded by giving the 
mob element courage and impudence. He said that it was 
eminently proper for them " to march quietly to the manu- 
facturers and request them to alleviate their distress." He 
also stated that he would not advise the mob to do this, but 
if the} 7 should happen to do so, they should not want for the 
necessaries of life so long as he was Mayor of Toledo ! 


This was about the choicest encouragement given to the 
roughs of any city during the great strikes, and at the con- 
clusion of the same they formed in line, marched the whole 
length of Water Street to the depot, and then from place 
to place, driving every manner of laborer from his work, 
until all the manufacturing establishments in the city were 

A mass-meeting of the better class of citizens was held 
in the evening, but it was captured by the rioters, who from 
this time kept the entire city in a blaze of excitement all 
night, but who were prevented from demolishing the Board 
of Trade building by a most efficient use of the police. 

While the rioters were surging back and forth through 
the city, and meeting with but little resistance, several hun- 
dred determined men met at the Boody House and organ- 
ized an effective Yigilance Committee. The next question 
was how to properly arm them ; but Sheriff Moore settled 
this by ordering them to report to the Court-house yard 
early the next morning, when they should be served with 
everything necessary for the defense of the city. It had 
come to the ears of the authorities that nearly five hundred 
stand of arms were secreted at a certain point. At a late 
hour of the night, when everything had become compara- 
tively quiet, the Sheriff and a quiet but business-like posse 
sallied forth from the dark shadow of the jail. 

The party proceeded stealthily up Adams Street. By a 
circuitous route the men finally reached a point at the lower 
end of Monroe Street. Not more than two or three of the 
men knew the destination of the party. Under the circum- 
stances, the expedition was indeed exciting. Neariug the 
place where Sheriff Moore said the halt was to be made, 
something resembling another party of men was discerned 
through the darkness. Every man laid his hand upon his 
revolver, but the objects finally were found to be mereh 


several harmless express wagons. The command to halt 
was given, and the officers knocked at the door of a small 
cottage. The man of the house came tremblingly to the 

" Who's there ? " he excitedly asked. 

" Friends ! " was the rejoinder. 

" Divil knows who's frinds, these times! " 

" Never mind, we are friends," said Sheriff Moore. Fol- 
lowing this, came a hurried consultation that many of the 
loyal sons of Erin could have plainly understood. 

There was no more delay after this. The man of the 
house, in very scant clothing, accompanied by his good wife, 
terribly excited, and in still scantier clothing, quickly led 
the way to a capacious hen-house, next the alley, in the rear 
of the house. 

The hens and chickens flew in every direction, but there 
was something more important to be looked after than these, 
for, piled up in different places about the little building, 
were seen mysteriously marked boxes, which were soon con- 
veyed to, the Court-house with great caution and secrecy. 

When the members of the Vigilance Committee reported 
the next morning they were astonished to find that five hun- 
dred breech-loading rifles were on hand, besides sixteen thoti- 

o * 

sand rounds of ammunition. 

Sheriff Moore's move was made none too soon, for these 
.five hundred rifles and ammunition, which had been pur- 
chased for the use of the Fenians several years before, and 
stored away in this Irishman's hen-roost, would have been 
captured by the rioters, who had planned to honor this novel 
arsenal with a visit at eight o'clock in the morning. 

With a proper use of the police, aided by the local mili- 
tary and this splendidly arrned Vigilance Committee, riot 
-and bloodshed were prevented in Toledo; but it was not 
ntntil August 2<1 that the embargo upon railroad business wag 


removed, and it was only then effected by the police and 
militia moving in large force upon the strikers holding the 
railroad tracks, shops, and depots, and taking possession of 
these places by a free use of the club, and at the point of 
the bayonet, which had the effect of removing all railroad 
obstructions between Buffalo and the West. 



FROM Allegheny City, back along the Pittsburg, Fort 
AVayne and Chicago road, the strike held the firmest and 
most secure sway that reigned upon any railway line in the 
country; but, as has already been explained, through the 
universal respect held for the General Manager of the road, 
J. D. Layng, Esq., the moderation and good judgment used 
.by him in the treatment of strikers, and from the noticeable 
effect of the excellent discipline in force among all em- 
ployees of the company, from one end of the line to the 
other, good order and a fair measure of good humor pre- 

At Alliance and Crestline there was quiet determination 
among the trainmen, and, of course, that great excitement 
among other classes of citizens whicli could not but exist 
everywhere; but at no place along the entire line was there 
found anything approaching violence or riot, save at Fort 

The strike was inaugurated here late at night, on Satur 


dav, July 21st, the same day of the Pittsburg riot, and was, 
undoubtedly, a direct result of that disgraceful affair. 

The strikers began by preventing freight train No. 15 
from going out. In a few moments several hundred train- 
men assembled at the depot, and announced that 110 freight 
trains should be moved until the order for the ten per cent, 
reduction in wages was rescinded. The railroad officers 
made several unsuccessful attempts to secure crews, but 
found it impossible. The strikers then spiked and guarded 
the switches, and patrolled all the main and side tracks 
in the city. The master mechanic and division superin- 
tendent, with an engine- wiper, boarded a locomotive -with 
the intention of taking it out, but were prevented from 
doing so by the strikers, who took the engine-wiper from 
the locomotive, handled him rather roughly, and drove the 
officers from the yards, when they proceeded up and down 
the tracks taking the coupling-pins from between all cars. 
On the next morning, Sunday, Mayor Zollinger visited the 
scene of disturbance, and read his proclamation command- 
ing the rioters to disperse, which was treated by them as 
merely a huge joke. 

Matters remained in about this condition for several days, 
the strikers having complete possession of the tracks, shops, 
and depots, and conducting their affairs with much military 
color and discipline. They patrolled the tracks, slept in the 
passenger-coaches and cabooses, ready for immediate action 
if they should be attacked ; guards were placed over the 
company's property and all freight in transit, that it might 
be protected ; and the strikers were provided with food, 
tobacco, and cigars, by sympathizing citizens, in abundance. 
They pronounced a war of extermination against tramps 
and vicious communists, whose only object was pillage and 
destruction ; and it was a common occurrence, when these 
reckless fellows were caught in some dastardly attempt upon 


property, to pursue them, capture them, and then hustle 
them to the bridge over the river, where they were uncere- 
moniously dropped into the water beneath, and left to 
scramble to dry land as best they might. This condition of 
things continued until Saturday, July 28th, when the strik- 
ers won two desperate but blooodless contests with the 
Mayor, Sheriff, and railroad officials. 

About noon, while many of the trainmen were at dinner, 
Mayor Zollinger, Sheriff Munson, and Superintendents Gor- 
harn and O'Rourke, accompanied by a large force, made a 
bold and sudden attack upon the strikers at the round- 
house, and ordered them to surrender both that point and 
the passenger-cars which they had been occupying as head- 
quarters during the previous week. They refused, when a 
locomotive, which had been taken possession of by the 
authorities, backed down to where the coaches were stand- 
ing. Mayor Zollinger then coupled the cars to the engine, 
which then started away. The strikers were for a moment 
dazed by the suddenness of this move, having expected the 
policy of masterly inactivity, which had so far prevailed, to 
be maintained to the end ; but they speedily rallied, and, 
arming themselves with clubs, stones, coupling-pins, links, 
and anything else convenient, they dashed at the engine and 
recaptured it, with the coaches. Several men, flourishing 
clubs and bludgeons, boarded the locomotive, drove off the en- 
gineer and fireman, and compelled the officers of the law to 
beat a precipitate retreat. The mob yelled itsel f f ai rly hoarse 
with triumph, and in a brief period had swelled to five hun- 
dred, all of whom were well provided with clubs and missiles. 

The Sheriff soon returned, and attempted to arrest the 
ringleaders and strikers, but was again beaten back, barely 
escaping personal injury. 

The strike at Fort Wayne died of its own weight, and 
passed out of existence with the almost simultaneous raising 


of the embargo on business along the entire line ; but one 
other incident, illustrative of the ludicrous side of these 
great labor upheavals, is worthy of record. 

It has been noted that at Newark, Ohio, the ladies of the 
city composed the real power of the strike. Something 
similar was the case at Fort Wayne, although the enthusiasm 
was restricted to a particular class. These were the hotel . 

At an early stage in the proceedings great excitement 
was found to exist among them. There were handsome 
conductors, brave engineers, bold firemen, and doughty 
brakemen, fighting for their rights. These classes wonder- 
fully stir the average hotel servant-girl's heart under ordi- 
nary circumstances. Now that they were engaged in a holy 
war, the very souls of their admirers went out to them, and 
many were the elegant lunches which disappeared out of 
the back doors of hotels, and finally into the always ready 
mouths of the strikers. But the matter did not stop here. 
Through this sympathy and enthusiasm, born of the com- 
mon excitement, the striking fever was communicated to 
the tenderer sex that make hotel life heavenly or miserable. 
Why should not they have a strike, in imitation of the bold 
trainmen ? They did strike, and every rosy-faced waiter- 
girl, every big-boned dish-washer, and every blarneying 
chambermaid, at a prearranged hour, marched into the 
dining-room of every hotel in Fort Wayne, and, in the name 
of each over-worked hour and underpaid day treasured up 
in their memories, solemnly demanded an increase in wages 
of fifty cents a week ! 

There was no use of calling in the military on an occasion 
like this. 

The girls struck, and they won. 

A ripple of riot, born of the billow of fire and rapine 
which deluged Pittsburg, reached even into the quiet, well- 


ordered city of Louisville. It was merely a tempest in a 
teapot, which boiled itself away after a few hours of mob 
antics, in which no lives were lost, and with but little more 
destruction of property than annually accompanies the 
Sophomore" breakout" of many Eastern colleges. 

The reason for the m eagerness of evil results from the so- 
called riots in Louisville are, that no city in the country had 
been so little affected by the increasing stringency of the 
times. During the past ten years the history of Louisville 
has not been marked by any era of feverish speculation ; 
manufactories had not been started to remain idle ;' and 
for years the business policy of Louisville has been noted 
for shrewdness and caution. 

Therefore, when the hour of dread came, its streets were 
not packed with gaunt, hollow-eyed men, asking for bread 
or work. But a universal scare was abroad, and the evi- 
dences were soon manifest that a " horrible fear " had come 
over Louisville. 

The Courier-Journal, the great director and exponent of 
public opinion in Kentucky and the South, in its issue of 
July 23d had a most able and comprehensive review of 
the situation in other cities. It eloquently and earnestly 
exhorted the workingmen of Louisville to remain quiet, 
which had a wonderfully beneficial effect. But all day 
Monday and Tuesday solid old fellows, made timorous by 
imperiled capital, might have been seen in knots and 
groups, canvassing the probable hour when social anarchy 
would unchain its devouring wolves. 

Tuesday morning, July 24th, Mayor Jacobs made procla- 
mation to the unemployed, disaffected, and discontented. 
The Mayor is a gentleman of wealth and culture, whose 
life of elegant ease hardly fitted him for a rough grapple 
with a turbulent city mob ; but he was readj to do his 
whole duty at whatever cost. 


All the excitement and quasi-devilment which did occnr 
in Louisville was but the natural result of a universal ex- 
pectation that something " terrible was going to happen." 
It was the old story of the fond mother telling her squad of 
children, that " while she was out visiting, whatever they 
did, they must be sure not to put beans up their noses." 
The consequence of her timely admonition was that, on her 
return, she found each individual youngster with his nasal 
appendage stuffed full of the aforesaid garden fruit. 

Thus a small percentage of thoughtless and inconsiderate 
workmen, a sprinkling of howling communists, vicious 
tramps, mischievous boys, and idle city riff-raff, determined 
that the popular anticipation of disturbance should not be 
disappointed, and they accordingly proceeded to give the 
citizens of Louisville a breezy bit of excitement. From the 
first act to the last of the riotous drama, the mob was at no 
time so formidable but that a squad of a dozen determined 
policemen could have driven it before them, or scattered 
it to the winds in five minutes. That this was not done at 
the first outbreak is due to the fact that the Chief of Police, 
Colonel Edwards, made no well-organized attempt in that 

In the Louisville mob there was not a railroad man, or a 
respectable mechanic. Its members were merely negroes, 
half-grown boys, tramps, and cowardly thieves, who had no 
defined object beyond smashing windows and gas-lamps. 
Colonel Edwards dignified the vile rabble by not venturing 
to attack it, and waited for the organization of citizen sol- 
diery before attempting to compel them to disperse. 

The railroad troubles had been of a very ordinary charac- 
ter. It was merely the old question of higher wages, or rather 
an agitation looking to receiving the former pay on the part 
of the employees. On the Louisville Short Line Railroad ? 
Heceiver McLeod, about July 16th, had cut down the pay of 


the men a trifle, but it was promptly restored to the old 
standard by order of Chancellor Bruce, when the proper rep- 
resentations had been made. Consequently, the employees 
of this line were thoroughly loyal to the company v and 
ready to defend its property to the last extremity. The 
workmen in the shops of the Louisville and Nashville Rail- 
road made a very respectful plea to Dr. Standiford, Presi- 
dent of the road, for increase of pay back to the old rate. 
Dr. Standiford, a gentleman of broad and enlightened views 
on all subjects, gave the matter due consideration, and the 
result was a compromise which was satisfactory to all par- 
ties, so that on the very eve of the disturbances the rail- 
road element was eliminated as an active principle in the 

Tuesday morning, July 24th, the excitement opened by a 
strike on the part of two hundred negro sewer-hands, who 
demanded an increase of twenty-five cents per day. Any 
one understanding the mercurial nature of that childish and 
ignorant race, would readily know that it requires but the 
veriest trifle to stimulate them into making a show of them- 
selves. They had been perfectly satisfied with their wages, 
but right here was a glorious opportunity to parade the 
city and be looked at with curiosity by everybody. The 
prospect was too tempting to be resisted. So all the Sam- 
bos clambered out of the sewers, shouldered their shovels, 
and started on a straggling march up Green Street. They 
were exuberantly hilarious, and whooped along the street 
in the highest good humor with themselves. Nothing short 
of a general " baptism," or funeral with a brass band at the 
head of the procession, could have given them the same 
amount of intense satisfaction. 

Intelligent speculators regarded the affair as a most 
amusing travesty on the strike mania, and predicted that it 
would act as an effectual dampener on a similar demonstra- 


tion on the part of the whites. In any event the white 
workingtnen did not turn out as a body at any time during 
the disturbances. The colored strikers, after giving infinitede- 
light to a multitude of Dinahs and pickaninnies who crowded 
along the line of march, concluded that they must make a 
show of doing something, and accordingly directed their- 
steps to the eastern outskirts of the city, where about one 
hundred of their colored brethren were employed working 
upon a new reservoir. All these promptly quit work, on 
invitation, and gladly joined their rollicking visitors in the 
pleasing pastime of promenading the streets. Then these 
combined forces marched around until the lazy ones began 
to drop out, and, finally, the amusement becoming stale, the 
dusky band dissolved. 

From eight until ten o'clock Tuesday evening, July 24th, 
the trouble called the Louisville riots occurred. At a trifle 
before eight o'clock a crowd began to gather in front of the 
wide steps of the Court-house. It was composed of tho 
usual lawless element, which always forms a certain propor- 
tion of every public assemblage. Negroes, half-grown 
rowdy boys, and dirty, disgusting tramps, and many com- 
munists, were in the preponderance. From the latter class 
came the speakers of the evening. When the crowd had 
been harangued by one of these individuals for a few mo- 
ments, Mayor Jacobs slowly worked his way through the 
perspiring, foul-smelling gang, and from the Court-house 
steps, made a most kindly and feeling address to the mob. 
It is unnecessary to say that it was utterly wasted. The 
mob had determined to show what could be done. 

A self-constituted leader sang out, "Let's mash the Louis- 
ville and Nashville freight depot ! " A chorus of fiendish 
yells of approval was screamed out, and a ragamuffin gang 
of about five hundred separated from the respectable por- 
tion of the crowd, and with foul oaths and ribald shouts 


straggled down Seventh Street to Broadway. Here they 
spread out, completely filling that wide and magnificent 
avenue, pursuing their noisy way to the Louisville and 
.Nashville Railroad Depot, at the corner of Ninth Street and 
Broadway. Opposite the front of this structure was a suit- 
able quantity of stones and pieces of brick of assorted sizes, 
which the mob availed themselves of at once, and opened 
a brisk fusillade on the windows of the depot, until not a 
pane was left in the front of the building. Three police- 
men, who were standing near talking over the coming visit 
of President Hayes, at the time of the appearance of the 
mob, were too polite to interfere with the amusement of the 
crowd, and precipitately adjourned around the corner. 
Several railroad clerks, who were busy at the time the 
bombardment commenced, scurried out of the line of fire, 
coatless, hatless, and witli pen behind ear. After the mob 
left they cautiously returned to their desks, but upon seeing 
some respectable citizens approaching who desired to see 
what damage had been done, they mistook them for another 
mob and forthwith jumped out of the windows and used 
their legs with such effect that some of them did not get 
home until morning. 

After the depot divertisement the riotous gang turned 
about and marched up Broadway, carrying terror in their 
path. They bounced, hustled, and knocked down persons 
whom invincible curiosity had tempted out, insulted ladies 
and indulged in every manner of excess. The destructive- 
ness of the cowardly mob developed itself in wanton attacks 
on private property. With shrewd forethought each one 
of the scoundrels freighted himself with all of the stone 
and brick ammunition he could carry, and expended it 
where it would do the most evil. Dr. A. B. Cook's and 
Mr. Delaney's elegant residences were assaulted with disas- 
trous effect. The crash of the breaking glass and screama 


of ladies and children were pleasingly commingled (in the 
opinion of the mob). Solger's superb confectionery estab- 
lishment at the corner of Fourth and Broadway, was a 
choice tit-bit for these epicures of ruin. They shouted with 
rapture when they came to it, and stoned it until the whole 
front was demolished. After this delicate bit of sport had 
been duly enjoyed, the gang marched up Third Street, near 
Chestnut, and paid their dutiful respects to his honor, the 
Mayor, by saluting his fine residence with a volley of stones, 
which broke the windows, damaged the pictures and furni- 
ture, and frightened the family nearly out of their senses. 
After this congenial recreation they continued their course 
up Third Street to Walnut, where they desolated a corner 
drug store. Dr. Standi ford's palatial residence, which is 
but half a block from Walnut, on Third Street, was too 
tempting an object for its ravage to be neglected ; Conse- 
quently they sent a couple of cart-loads of stones and brick- 
bats into it withundiminished zeal, and with the usual ruin- 
ous results. When the salute in honor of Dr. Standiford 
was over, they decided to move on the Louisville Short Line 
Depot, corner of Floyd and Jefferson Streets, for general 
purposes of wreck and pillage. On the way thither they 
manifested a charming impartiality in the distribution of 
their favors. They sent stones whizzing into all the resi- 
dences on both sides of the street, without stopping to in- 
quire the names of the owners. When the tumultuous, 
yelling throng arrived at the Short Line Depot, about 
twenty policemen and citizens, armed with muskets loaded 
with blank cartridges, saluted them with one terrifying 
volley. This had the effect of dispersing the first and last 
mob that gathered in Louisville during the great strikes. 

The military episode of the disturbances was so unique 
in character, and bristling with piquant incidents to be 
laughed over in future years, that every Louisvillian can b3 



very much obliged to them for an agreeable diversion from 
e very-day business routine. 

Political party fences were thrown down in the crisis, 
and the sharp distinction between " Yankee " and " Rebel," 
which the years had been slowly mellowing away, was ob- 
literated entirely by the shadow of a common danger. 

Two regiments of infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and a 
battery of artillery were organized, officered, and filled to 
the full complement of men within two days. An army 
corps of twenty thousand men could have been furnished, 
with its quota of brave, competent officers, in the same 
length of time, from the splendid military material at hand. 
Generals Basil Duke and Benjamin II. Bristow, Generals 
Ward and Eli Murray, met as friends in a common cause ; 
and, down through all the ranks, old soldiers of the " Blue 
and the Gray " mingled as comrades true. It was a sight to 
thrill the heart and flush the cheeks of every true American, 
to see those bronzed men, who had fronted each other as 
foes in the wild delirium of battle at Shiloh, or who had 
looked death at each other on the Cemetery Slope at Gettys 
burg, meet as brother soldiers at a common mess-table. 
The hubbub and excitement incident to military organiza- 
tion intensely delighted the younger men, to whom the late 
war was only a dim memory ; and they fairly bubbled over 
with enthusiasm at the novelty of drills, street parades, and 
standing guard. These brave young fellows would have 
been untrue to the warlike traditions of their martial State, 
if they had not looked forward with considerable zest to a 
possible conflict of arms. 

General Basil Duke and his staff of able officers, under 
direction of the Mayor, made all needed arrangements to 
meet any emergency. The railroad property was guarded 
every night for a week ; and the main avenues of the city 
were patrolled all through the night by a-med men. After 


nine o'clock in the evening, all citizens who happened to be 
ont on the streets were halted, and made to give an account 
of themselves. In fact, such precautions were taken as 
are usual with an army occupying a hostile city. 

As the days wore on, it became evident to the citizens 
that all danger of mob turmoil was over, and the troops 
were disbanded subject to call at any time the Mayor might 
deem their services of nse. The military episode was the 
means of giving a vast amount of amusement to the citizens 
of the city ; but at the same time the memory of the won- 
derful rapidity with which the respectable fighting element 
of the place was organized for effective work, will remain 
as a perpetual warning to the turbulent and lawless ele- 
ments of Louisville. 



THE surgings of trouble reached Chicago, the great in- 
land metropolis of America, at a late date, and although 
they soon passed beyond, were fierce and furious while they 

This city undoubtedly contains as pestilential a crew of 
communists as any city in the world. Its mechanics and 
artisans, as a rule, are among the most intelligent and ad- 
vanced. Wages have always been fair ; at times, exorbi- 
tant. The push, energy, and pluck for which its business 
men have a world-wide reputation, constantly furnish new 
avenues for all those business men or working men who 


really desire to make some advancement beyond their pre- 
vious condition ; but notwithstanding every opportunity 
offered all classes of earnest laborers, Chicago among her 
upwards of a half million of inhabitants, from her fame, 
through her disastrous fire and the subsequent marvelous 
rebuilding of the city, and from being the grand half-way 
house of public resort between the commercial East and the 
vast and productive West, has gradually drawn to her a 
floating population both vicious and unruly. Among this 
unhealthy element the genuine order of communists has 
given her authorities the most trouble, and her citizens the 
greatest dread. They have repeatedly marched upon her 
Relief and Aid Society, her City Hall and Common Coun- 
cil, and showed their snarling teeth in divers ways. 

It was this class, and no other, that precipitated riot and 
bloodshed in Chicago, and it is a notable fact in connection 
with these communists, that their viciousness and despe- 
ration were largely caused by the rantings of a young Amer- 
ican communist named Parsons. This fellow had many of 
the characteristics of the Pittsburg rattle-brained mock 
hero, " Boss Ammon." Parsons is a printer by trade, and 
just previous to the great strikes had been a compositor on 
the Chicago Times. He had also distinguished himself by 
running for the office of alderman, and being beaten. He 
seems to possess a strange nature in every respect, as he has 
for several years lived in Chicago with a colored woman, 
whom he has at least called his wife. He is a young man, 
like Ammon, of flippant tongue, and is capable of making a 
speech that will tingle the blood of that class of character- 
less rascals that are always standing ready to grasp society 
by the throat ; and while he can excite his auditors, of this 
class, to the very verge of riot, has that devilish ingenuity 
in the use of words which has permitted himself to escape 
deserving punishment. 


It was more through this man's baleful influence, than 
from any other cause, that the conditions were ripe in 
Chicago for all manner of excesses. Because they were 
not greater is from the fact that the authorities were 
prompt and vigilant, and the citizens came to the rescue of 
their city in such a grand outpouring as was witnessed at 
no other point. 

On Monday, July 23d, the pay of the engineers on the 
Chicago and Northwestern Railway, which had been 
slightly reduced, was restored. From this date everything 
on that road was devoid of trouble, although the officers of 
the company took the precaution to remove the greater 
portion of the most valuable of rolling-stock to suburban 
towns along the line, in order to get it out of harm's way 
in case of fire and riot like that which desolated Pittsburg. 

Although there had been no recent reduction of wages 
on the Chicago and Alton road, the moving of trains at the 
St. Louis end had been badly interfered with by rioters, 
and General Superintendent McMulleu, on Monday, de- 
cided to at once discontinue the movement of all freight 
trains until the trainmen on his road were sufficiently over 
the common excitement to warrant a safe and expeditious 
handling of the company's business. General unrest and 
apprehension prevailed all over the city, but the day closed 
with no record of important events. 

On Tuesday the strike in Chicago was fairly inaugurated 
and was begun by the men from the Michigan Central road, 
proceeding first among the Chicago, Burlington and 
Quincy men, whom they induced to join them, and, with 
this reinforcement, to the depots and shops of all other 
railroads centering in Chicago. 

In every instance the men quietly quit work, and re- 
mained peaceably about their different resorts, while it is 
only a simple matter of justice to state that, in all the sub- 


sequent riot and trouble, the striking trainmen were guilty 
of no single act of violence. 

But encouraged by the show made by trainmen, and the 
ease with which a general strike had been effected upon all 
the railroads, the communists, just before noon, rallied from 
the slums of the West Side, and that famous and infamous 
locality in the southwestern part of the city, known as 
" Bridgeport," and accompanied by a bevy of little boys 
and girls, some of them not over six years of age, but all 
of whom carried some sort of a stick or club, proceeded 
first through the manufacturing district of the West Side, 
compelling them to close, most of which immediately rer 
opened the moment the ragamuffin troop were out of sight, 
and thence to the manufactories and wholesale business 
houses of the South Side, where but partial success was met 
with, and the crowd finally dispersed from sheer want of 
leaders, who were quietly nabbed by the police, or who 
slunk shamefacedly away when confronted by the business 
men of that section of the city. At night a mass-meeting, 
composed of about five thousand roughs and communists, 
was held in Market Square, in front of the office of the 
Vorbote or Freebooter, translated the organ of the com- 
munists in Chicago. The authorities saw that the temper 
of the meeting boded no good, and the police broke it up, 
dispersing its members by a very free use of their clubs. 

On the next day there was one continuous scene of dis- 
order, which, however, did not culminate in anything serious 
until late in the evening. Everybody was excited, and in 
every section of the great city there was gathering in 
squads by respectable citizens, and gathering in mobs by 
the roughs, yet with a few charges by the police, a few 
rushes by the rioters, the day wore on, both the authorities 
and the vicious elements becoming each more determined 
to win the fi^ht when it should come. 


Colonel Ilickey, Police Superintendent, had previously 
given orders which resulted in the removal of all arms and 
ammunition from the various gun and hardware stores to 
places of safety, which had been both secretly and effec- 
tively done ; so that the pillaging which occurred at Pitts- 
burg could hardly have transpired. Neither was there at 
any time apprehension of ungovernable riot occurring in the 
finer business portion of the city ; for every business house 
had promptly organized such emergency forces, that, with 
the near aid of the police from headquarters, and that of 
my own large, uniformed, and well-armed Preventive Police, 
any attack which might be made from across the river 
could have been met and repulsed with great disaster to the 
common enemy. Besides this, the riot and disorder seemed 
naturally to confine itself to the southern portion of the 
city, where most of the freight depots of the different roads, 
as well as some of the largest manufacturing establishments 
in the whole country, are located, and upon the West Side 
particularly the southern portion of the West Side where 
there are innumerable packing-houses, machine-shops, 
"slop-shops," or houses for the manufacture of readj 7 -made 
clothing, rendering establishments, foundries, and all man- 
ner of the grosser industries that draw around them the 
most ignorant, as well as the most vicious and desperate, of 
laborers. Within an area of four square miles, covering 
this section of the city, all the rioting in Chicago was done. 
One of the chief reasons for this was found in the fact that 
the police forces were admirably handled, and instead of 
being held at headquarters to protect a trifling area, as was 
the case in some other cities, were separated into serviceable 
squads, and made to engage the communist ruffians on 
their own ground, thus rendering the most effectual protec- 
tion possible to the best portions of the city, for the wild 
mobs were so hustled and worried in their own sections, 


that they had little time, or opportunity, for projecting 
trouble beyond. 

By this time the people of Chicago had become thor 
oughly aroused. Its two handsome militia regiments, the 
First and Second, had turned out splendidly, a local battery 
was in fine fighting trim, and Colonel Agramonte, with the 
hearty co-operation of the authorities, had hastily organized 
a cavalry force which subsequently did most effective work 
in riding down the rioters. Besides this, several companies 
of United States troops, bronzed and war-scarred veterans 
from the Indian countries, had arrived, and had been re- 
ceived with such an ovation as had never been tendered to 
soldiers before, many of the swarthy fellows being carried 
for blocks on the heads and shoulders of j.ubilant citizens. 

But the people of the city, as before stated, were now 
thoroughly aroused, and while each well-wisher for the 
common good had lasting faith in the eventual peaceful 
solution of the trouble, every man of standing and respecta- 
bility had a desire to do something to give beyond question 
public expression to a common determination to wipe out 
the stain upon the city's name. 

The outgrowth of all this was an almost simultaneous 
movement from all quarters of the city towards the mam- 
moth Tabernacle building, the great barn erected by certain 
business men, primarily as an advertising scheme, and, 
secondarily, for the purpose of spreading physical disease 
through spiritual salvation as distributed by Moody and 
Sankey. This meeting was called for three o'clock on 
Wednesday afternoon, but by two o'clock from between ten 
and twelve thousand people had wedged themselves into the 
place. Fully as many more surrounded the structure, fail- 
ing to gain admission, and it is certain that twenty thousand 
business men whose hearts and souls were with the meeting 
never went near it, knowing the impossibility of getting 


within blocks of the building. If there had been a build- 
ing in Chicago which held fifty thousand people, on that 
day, and for the purpose named, fifty thousand earnest, 
determined men would have packed it full. Chicago will 
forever sustain the reputation of never doing things by 

As an illustration of the temper of this meeting I cannot 
resist reproducing the words of that patriotic citizen and 
grand man, Robert Collyer. He came forward as if in the 
old times, when he was the strong-armed u Yorkshire Black- 
smith " of Ilkley, to drive home with the hammer of su- 
preme earnestness the heated iron which should weld all 
minds into a common purpose, and said : 

" This is no time for preaching ; this is a time for prac- 

" The wisest and bravest and best thing we can do has 
got to be done now. We are going to take care of our city 
whatever comes. We are cowed by an insignificant mob. 
The great wheels of commerce and trade are stopped. I 
cannot expect to live long in course of nature. I thought I 
might live twenty years I would like to. Do you know, 
fellow-citizens, as God lives, and as my soul lives, I would 
rather die in twenty minutes in defense of order, and 
of our homes, against these men, than to live twenty 
years of as happy life as I have lived all these fifty years. 
My thought was this : that we should have special commit- 
tees in the wards and districts of our city ; that we should 
organize a force of twenty thousand constables ; that we 
should subscribe one million dollars as a fund to be drawn 
on, to take care of these men who are acting with us, but 
who cannot take care of themselves. I arn poor, but I am 
willing to give two hundred dollars to begin with. That is 
my speech, gentlemen ! " 

It was not Robert Collyer alone, but half a hundred 


thousand men who, like him, got at the heart of the thing 
without any nonsense, and the result was an organization of 
men who would have swept a respectable army from any 
field. Gray-haired man and full-blooded youth stood side 
by side, and were equally strong and powerful in the one 
great purpose. 

So sudden and summary was the action of Tuesday's mob 
in closing up the manufactories of the southern portion of 
the West Side, that but a few of these places attempted to 
resume work on Wednesday. In the great lumber district, 
where at any time can be seen the largest number of plan- 
ing-mills and the vastest amount of lumber at any one point 
in the whole world, the men gathered at their customary 
places of employment, only awaiting the signal from their 
employers before resuming their labor, but only one mill 
dared begin. At half-past eight o'clock fully one thousand 
lumber-shovers and mill-men had congregated in the vicin- 
ity, and, with a mob's freak, instead of attacking the mill 
which had begun work, turned its attention to the Chicago 
Planing Mill Company, and an adjoining distillery, which 
the rioters every one of whom was armed with a piece of 
hard lumber from three to five feet in length, and every 
man's pocket bulging out with stones favored with a lively 
volley of missiles, and a general clubbing of doors and win- 
dows. But suddenly they left this mill, and quickly rushed 
to the . first which had attracted their notice, where they 
drove the workmen away with the utmost violence, and 
nearly demolished the building. 

The mob then headed for the works of the United States 
Rolling Stock Company, McCormick's mammoth reaper 
factory, and similar large establishments in the neighbor- 
hood, to complete their work of the day previous, and to, if 
possible, destroy all those places whose proprietors had the 
temerity to defy their dictatorship. 


Lieutenant Vesey, witli all the available police at his 
command, made a flank movement, arriving at the Rolling 
Stock Company's Works in advance of the rabble, station- 
ing his men in front of the building. The Lieutenant 
attempted to conciliate the mob, but it was useless. It was 
spoiling for a fight, and the arrest of one of its most blatant 
members precipitated it. They first tore down one hundred 
feet of the fence, and then, having received reinforcements, 
turned suddenly on the police in a most savage manner. 
The latter retaliated with their clubs, hoping that this would 
be sufficient, but, finding that several of their number were 
being struck down, drew their revolvers and advanced on 
their assailants, wounding many, when the mob retired sul- 
lenly, savagely contesting every inch of ground, until the 
crowd was suddenly assaulted in the rear by more police, 
under Sergeant Callahan, who had arrived at an opportune 
moment. Then firing ceased, and clubbing began in earnest. 
The mob fought back desperately, but were finally beaten, 
flying precipitately over the prairies in every direction. 

Later in the day portions of the same mob surged back 
to the north, gathering force and impetus as it progressed, 
and made an attack upon the passenger depot of the North- 
western Railway, for the purpose of stopping all trains. 
They were, however, successfully resisted by the police and 
a posse of citizens, driven off with many a broken and ach- 
ing bone, and their leaders dragged ignominiously to the 

But, whenever the mob dispersed at one locality, it 
seemed to have a strange and mysterious faculty of rising, 
"phoenix-like," at half a dozen different points. Manufac- 
tories were again visited in the eastern and central portion 
of the West Side, and closed with the ugliest of violence. 

An instance worthy of record, where this brute force 
failed to succeed, was when a vile crowd attacked the 


manufactory of the Crane Bros. & Co. This company 
had large contracts in iron-work to be filled by August 15th. 
Their men were working on full time, at good wages, and 
would not be bullied from the place. Arming themselves 
with convenient pieces of iron, they defied the mob, which 
was most ridiculously dispersed, by showering its members 
with water until they were completely drenched. 

Back and forth all the afternoon and into the night, 
small crowds of rioters pushed their way through this sec- 
tion of the city, carrying terror everywhere. Countless 
collisions with bodies of citizens and police occurred, in 
which the latter were always victorious, but which never 
had the effect of effectually quelling the devilish spirit of 
the infuriated ruffians, and Wednesday ended, as it had 
begun, with turbulence and disorder, but with a drawing 
nearer to the grand climax, when the riotous classes should 
get their fill of conflict, and when the determination of all 
Chicago that the city should cast off the pestilential terror 
which had come upon it should prevail. 

On Thursday morning everything was ripe for conflict. 
The citizen organizations, which were mainly relied on for 
service, in case the business portion of the city should be 
invaded, had been well perfected, the militia regiments, 
whose loyalty had been somewhat doubted, were in full 
force, and ready for hard knocks ; the cavalry organization 
was well equipped with everything necessary to do effective 
charging and slashing ; the artillery company had been as 
effectively manned by old battery men as ever was a com- 
pany during our late war ; a large force from the post- 
office, armed to the teeth with revolvers and muskets, the 
Veteran Reserve Corps, under old and skilled army officers, 
and, better than all, the United States troops, who had 
been increased to seven hundred men, every one of them 
quite as ready to meet communists as to follow Sitting 


Bull; while the mob elements had gathered still greater 
force and power, and were ready for any work which it 
might be possible for them to compass. 

The ball was opened at ten o'clock Thursday morning 
by a riot at Vorwaert's Turner Hall, on West Twelfth 
Street, half a block east from Halsted Street. A meeting 
of self-styled workingmen had been called, and by nine 
o'clock the crowd of hoodlums that had collected ran up 
into thousands. At about the hour first named, a detach- 
ment of regular and special police marched across the 
Twelfth Street bridge on their way to Twelfth Street 
Station. They were on foot and numbered about thirty 
men. No sooner had they neared the hall, than they were 
attacked by the dense crowd with stones and other missiles. 
They were compelled to fall back, when the rioters so 
hotly pursued them, that, in self-defense, they were obliged 
to turn upon them. The police fought like tigers, and, 
inch by inch, forced the ugly fellows back towards the 
building. Fortunately, a block and a half west from the 
scene of conflict, near the station, and in wagons, were 
nearly a score of police who had been sent from the Cen- 
tral Station, and were aw r aiting orders. As soon as they 
were apprised of the desperate condition of their comrades, 
there was never a quicker charge made. At them they 
went like a prize crowd at Donnybrook, and clubbed and 
smashed anybody and everybody before them, until they 
had formed a junction with the other party of police, when 
the main crowd, witli yells of pain and rage, broke and fled 
in all directions. Then the combined force fought their 
way more fiercely than ever through the dense masses 
wedged into the vestibule and upon the stairways, pitching 
men bodily out into the street, or hurling them down the 
stairs, until the main auditorium was reached, when a scene 
transpired that beggars description. 

THE END. 399 

Here was found a panic-stricken mob of perhaps two 
hundred persons, the larger portion of whom had taken 
refuge within, when the attack npon them by the police in 
the street had become too severe. But the officers kept at 
them with a vigor and enthusiasm beautiful and wonderful 
to behold. Many rioters climbed columns, like monkeys, 
and hid in the galleries ; others secreted themselves beneath 
the stage, and among the " wings " and " flies " of the 
scenery ; others jumped from the windows at the risk of 
broken limbs, and still others, too hotly pressed to escape, 
seized chairs, converting them into weapons of defense 
which they handled with the power of desperation ; but no 
mercy was shown, and the clubbing went on until the 
great hall was cleared, and the mob had got the first taste of 
what was freely distributed in Chicago throughout the en- 
tire day. 



DURING the Turner Hall fight another conflict was in 
progress on Halsted Street, between the Viaduct and Canal- 
port Avenue. In fact, Halsted Street was really the battle- 
ground during the entire day. 

The particular occurrence referred to was caused by a 
gang of some three hundred young roughs attacking- a 
street-car and its passengers. The police came to the res- 
cue, but the mob rallied and returned to the attack most 
viciously, using revolvers freely. The police were slowly 

400 THE END. 

forced back, firing with good effect, and wounding several 
of the rioters, who became infuriated. They charged and 
recharged on the police, fired revolvers and muskets out of 
windows and from alleys, clambered to the tops of houses 
and hurled stones upon the blue-coats. The latter intrenched 
themselves as best they might, and made as good a skir- 
mish-fight as was ever witnessed. Finally reinforcements 
were forwarded, and the mob was defeated, but the battle 
had lasted two hours, and resulted in the disabling of several 
of the policemen, and the killing of one man and a boy, 
and the wounding of many of the mob. 

It was soon seen that this point was to be the scene of 
trouble, and a large force of militia was sent to the vicinity, 
consisting of two cavalry companies, three hundred of the 
Second Regiment, under Colonel Quirk, and two ten-pound 
field-pieces, manned by veterans and firemen. 

Fully ten thousand persons were massed in and along 
Ilalsted Street, nearly every one of whom was a rioter by 
nature and education. As soon as a charge would be made 
by the police, or the militia, in either direction, the crowd 
to be dispersed would make a short, sharp fight, and 
then, getting the worst of it, would suddenly dismember 
and rush to one side or the other, disappearing like an 
army of rats into the side-streets and alleys. Then, if the 
force was too large for an immediate reappearance, they 
would hurl stones, or fire revolvers, from their hiding- 
places, and the upper stories and even roofs of buildings 
constantly swarmed with the ruffians, who did everything 
in their power to murder the police and troops below. For 
hours this manner of charging, counter-charging, scurrying 
up and down streets, attempts to dislodge the enemy from 
the roofs of houses, and lively skirmishing of a general 
character, went on. Many exciting and ludicrous incidents 
occurred, if the sense of terror and the presence of wounds 

THE END. 40] 

and death could have been removed. One instance is worth 

Whenever any of the rioters were captured, their at- 
tempted rescue was very popular among the mob. On one 
occasion a particularly desperate effort had been made to 
recapture a wagon-load of prisoners who were being taken 
to headquarters. In the scuffle and conflict which followed, 
one desperate fellow was being borne away by his friends, 
when policeman Hickey. brother of Colonel Hickey, the 
Police Superintendent, and a brave and stalwart officer, who 
was on horseback, at the risk of his life charged in upon 
the crowd, fought it until he had captured the released 
rioter, took him by the collar and bodily dragged him some 
distance from his friends, who were completely dazed by 
the heroic act, when he tied a rope to the ruffian's wrist, 
and, putting spurs to his horse, with a cocked revolver kept 
the rioters at bay until he had dragged his man triumph- 
antly within the lines, while the police and militia were 
shouting themselves hoarse over the brilliant victory. 

About this time Captain Seavey, at the Madison Street 
Station, received orders from headquarters to immediately 
proceed to the scene of conflict with all his available force, 
numbering at that time only twenty-one men. Discard- 
ing their clubs, he armed them with Springfield muskets 
and gave orders to shoot dead any man, or men, who might 
interfere with the command. Something in the appearance 
of the men, perhaps, awed the human devils by which they 
were compelled to pass, and they met with no serious 
obstacle. At Fourteenth Street they were joined by a 
portion of the Second Regiment, and a body of cavalry that 
had been busied keeping communications with the rear 
open. Then the entire force proceeded south to the Hal- 
sted Street bridge through the howling mobs, that stoned 
them from the sidewalks, but offered no direct resistance. 

402 THE END. 

On reaching the bridge, a most terrific attack was made 
upon the police -and troops with revolvers and stones. The 
larger portion of the force now charged the bridge and 
crossed it, after a severe fight, leaving but a small number 
to attend to the pursuing mob behind. The bridge had 
hardly been cleared before a gang of villains swung the 
same, jumping from it as the ends swept past the ap- 
proaches. This left a handful of men at the mercy of an 
infuriated crowd of one hundred times their number. Cer- 
tain death awaited them, had it not been for the wonderful 
presence of mind and heroism of a lad, not over eleven 
years of age, named James O'Neil, who deserves almost a 
brighter fame than the boy-hero of Pittsburg, August Dou- 
dal, who remained at his telegraph instrument sending dis- 
patches to Philadelphia of the progress of the riots until 
the mob burned the building over his head. 

This lad took in the situation at a glance. He plunged 
into the river, never heeding the cowardly fiends who 
stoned him, as boys will stone a drowning rat, swam to the 
pier, climbed through the trap, and, amid the cheers of the 
police and the yells of the maddened mob, swung the 
bridge back to the approaches. The moment it was in 
place the cavalry charged back across it, followed by the 
Second Regiment supported by one field-piece, and all fol- 
lowed by police on foot and in wagons. Then tiring on 
the mob began in earnest and with deadly results, four of 
the mob being killed outright, and large numbers wounded. 

During the afternoon members of the mob which had 
rece : ved such a threshing at Halsted Street bridge'and via- 
duct, moved over to the vicinity of Canal Street and Canal- 
port Avenue, and, effecting a junction with their friends 
from the " Bridgeport" slums, began making it decidedly 
uncomfortable for the police. Lieutenant Seas r ey's men 
were detailed to quell the disturbance, and met a murderous 

404 THE 

reception by the mob. Sergeant Callahan's squad and Col- 
onel Agramonte's cavalry were then sent to reinforce them, 
and the latter force charged at full gallop down Burlington 
Street, a thoroughfare but one square in length, but thickly 
infested by the lowest Poles and Bohemians which Chicago 
can muster. They fought with the ferocity of maddened 
brutes, but in among them, and upon them, dashed the 
excited horsemen, running them down and trampling them 
under foot, and showing them no mercy. The men cut 
right and left with their sabres, serving men and women 
alike, and often running their horses into the very doors of 
houses in pursuit of the enemy. This "body of tumultuous 
fools were squelched completely. 

And so passed this memorable Thursday. 

It was one continuous series of fights, like those described, 
from morning until night. Nineteen of the rioters were 
known to have been killed. Over one hundred persons 
were known to have been wounded. The mobs had every- 
where been defeated, and that disastrously ; and when the 
darkness came, though a few upheavals -of the brute ele- 
ment still rose to the surface, the monster Riot was found 
to be in its death struggle. 

The force and effect of the great strikes were considerably 
broken when the excitement reached the State of Missouri 
and its splendid metropolis, St. Louis. This fact, coupled 
with the other fact, which does Missouri credit, that Gov- 
ernor Phelps had in him the promptness, bravery, and good 
judgment so requisite in executive officers, prevented all 
but a tithe of the real trouble experienced by other large 

It is no more than just that the story of the strike in Mis- 
souri and St. Louis should be called to the attention of the 
general public, so that this particular Governor need not 
share the odium which attaches to the Chief Executives of 

400 THE END. 

several States which might be mentioned. Governor Phelps 
did his duty thoroughly. There was no halting or policy- 
hunting about him. He went right at the matter in a busi- 
ness way, and determined to rid his State of this particular 
lawlessness. In previous years, had there been more Gov- 
ernors for Missouri like Governor Phelps, the stain of law- 
lessness and crime, which for so long has rested upon her, 
and which cannot soon be forgotten, would never have been 
laid upon the State. 

The first serious disturbances connected with the great 
strikes began in St. Louis on Monday, July 23d, and before 
Wednesday, the 25th, had passed away, the strikers had got 
control of the railroads and interfered with the operation of 
nearly all the industrial works in and around the city. The 
Governor was in the capital, Jefferson City, attending to his 
routine duties at the time, and telegrams began to pour in 
upon him from citizens and leading officials of St. Louis, 
calling upon him to appeal to the -President for United 
States troops to suppress the riot, and a delegation from that 
city came to urge him to the same course of action. The 
Governor bluntly expressed the opinion that it was the bus- 
iness of the State to put down its own rioters, and it was 
his particular business to see that the work was done. He 
therefore refused to appeal to the President until the com- 
monwealth had exhausted its own resources. The Governor 
went to St. Louis Wednesday night, and on Thursday issued 
his proclamation to the strikers. Among other straightfor- 
ward things, this proclamation contained the following plain 
and forcible laiiguage: 

"And I do assure the people of Missouri, and especially 
of this city, that I am here for the purpose of seeing that 
the laws are faithfully executed and enforced." 

There was no equivocation or begging of the question 
about this. It was the language of a man who was master 

THE END. 407 

of the situation. The rioters felt it. It went right home to 
them. Thej 7 knew there was to be no biggie-haggling or 
trifling. The police, under Chief MeDonough, a cool and 
efficient officer, supported by the military, who had been 
given enthusiasm and spirit by the presence and determina- 
tion of Governor Phelps himself, moved upon the rioters 
the next day, Friday, July 27th, and dispersed them without 
killing a man. Saturday St. Louis was as quiet as any city 
in the Union. The greatest heat of the disorder had been 
in East St. Louis, just across the river on the Illinois side, 
and Governor Phelps notified Governor Cullom, of Illinois, 
on July 26th, that the traffic of the great lines westward 
was stopped by the strikers in East St. Louis, and called 
upon him to restore peace and remove the embargo, offering 
the co-operation of the ''good and law-abiding men" of 
Missouri in the work. At Kansas City, Hannibal, St. 
Joseph, and other points throughout the commonwealth, 
the same active and determined spirit prevailed, and the 
tendency to riot was suppressed without bloodshed, but 
without faltering. The importance of such a consumma- 
tion may be fairly estimated, when it is remembered that 
the great lines of railway connecting the Atlantic and 
Pacific coasts run through Missouri. From the treatment 
of the strikes in the " border-ruffian State," that common- 
wealth is certainly bound to take high rank among her 
sister States in the Union. 

During the entire disorder at St. Louis, although there 
was considerable excitement and frequent exhibitions of 
the mob spirit in the gathering of crowds, requiring care 
and good generalship to handle, there was but one occasion 
when the severe use of the police and military seemed to 
be imminent, and the origin and progress of that particulai 
bit of turmoil was of the most ludicrous nature. 

This occurred in front of the Four Courts, on Thursday. 

408 THE END. 

An old German huckster, who was determined to attend 
to his business, strike or no strike, found occasion to pass 
the Four Courts building, homeward bound, after having 
disposed of his wagon-load of vegetables. This place was 
the headquarters of the police and troops, the latter being 
quartered in the jail-yard, and a small force left in front 
of the building for immediate service, should it become 
necessary. A cordon of police had been placed 'across the 
street, at a short distance either side of the front of the 
.Four Courts, in order to keep clear sufficient space in which 
to make any necessary military or police evolutions. 

But the old German huckster had got it into his head 
that this is a free country, and that he had as good a right 
to travel upon one street as another. The police stopped 
him when he reached the line, but he whipped np his 
team and paid no attention to the blue-coats. The more 
they endeavored to stop him the more he beat his horses, 
which soon began rearing about, when one or two officers 
attempted to spring into the wagon and effect the huckster's 
arrest. That irate individual then transferred his attentions 
from the horses to the police, whom he cracked over the 
heads at a lively rate. For some time he hotly defended 
himself, until other police sprang forward to assist their 
comrades. This was the signal for the rioters, who had 
been crowding the saloons and streets in the vicinity, to 
come to the rescue of the plucky Dutchman. The desire 
to take him from the police seemed to be electrical with 
the mob, and its members rushed down the streets in every 
direction. More police were called on, and, for a few min- 
utes one of the liveliest and most laughable tussles of the 
great strikes was in full progress, the old German topping 
all and laying about him right and left with his whip, 
never caring whether he hit policeman or rioter, and swear- 
ing like a trooper as an accompaniment. 

410 THE END. 

Finally the mob was repulsed, its leaders arrested, and 
the poor old huckster borne to durance vile, where he was 
kept for a short time, and then permitted to depart, after 
a lecture upon the enormity of his bloodless crime. 

On Wednesday, July 25th, the subsiding wave of riot 
reached the Pacific Ocean and stirred San Francisco to its 
very center. In all California could not be found one good 
reason for excitement and disturbance, and all that came 
originated in the general public alarm and the inveterate 
hatred of the Chinese population by the lower classes of 
the whites. This subject has been too generally discussed 
to require touching upon here. It is merely necessary to 
refer to it, as the chief and only cause for a riot in San 
Francisco at this or any other time. 

Mayor Bryant had issued his proclamation recounting 
the troubles in Eastern States, and appealing to the better 
nature and the patience of all citizens, while intimating that 
riot and disorder would be put down with a strong hand. 
The city had an available force of ten thousand armed men, 
consisting of police, militia, and emergency men. The 
latter, by far the greatest number, were composed of Union 
and Confederate ex-soldiers, and knew just what war 
meant. Beside this, two companies of United States troops 
were conveniently stationed at Alcatraz and Angel Islands, 
while the United States corvettes, Pensacola and Lacka- 
wanna, with a force of marines, were at hand in the harbor. 

While everybody was in this condition of suspense, an 
alarm of fire was sounded. The " hoodlums " had fired 
the Pacific Mail docks, and the large lumber yards in that 
vicinity, and soon after, in large force, attacked the Chinese 
quarters in a most vicious and desperate manner. These 
helpless Celestials fled in terror in every direction. Many 
in dismay sprang from windows into the streets, and were 
then stoned and beaten by their enemies ; others hid in 

4:12 THE END. 

underground holes ; others, in scant clothing, skipped along 
the roofs of buildings like the liveliest of escaped lunatics ; 
many pleaded and begged on their knees, and were clubbed 
and pulled through the streets for their pains ; while it is 
said that others actually committed suicide rather than be 
taken by the demons attacking them. As soon as this con- 
dition of things had been learned at headquarters, a large 
force of police was dispatched to the scene from one direc- 
tion, and a much larger number of Vigilantes were sent to 
the same point from another. The two forces attacked 
them with splendid spirit and energy. 

For a full half hour the struggle continued, the police 
and the Yigilantes both forcing the rioters into a dense 
mass, and pounding and beating .them terribly, finally tri- 
umphantly bearing off half a hundred of the most desperate 
leaders, and dispersing the mob. 

Three of the mob were killed outright in this battle, and 
forty-six " hoodlums " were badly wounded. 

But it put an end to the trouble in San Francisco. 
Orders were given, and made known to the public, to shoot 
dead the first person found inciting riot or resisting arrest, 
and this, with the punishment given the rioters on Wednes- 
day night, held terrorism in restraint. 

After this summary handling of matters in San Francisco 
the whole land was again at peace. ' The great wheels of 
commerce began their accustomed rounds; the business man 
drew a sigh of relief and returned to his duties ; the laborer 
put his hands again to his work, wondering where he had 
been benefited, and cursing his own recklessness ; and far 
and near our fifty millions of people, who had for nearly 
half a month stood aghast in terror, slowly shook off the 
horrible presence that had been upon them, and took up the 
old ways of life, as if waking from an oppressive dream. 






Gr. W. CARLETON & Co., Publishers, 

Madison Square, New York 


The Publishers.on receipt of price, will send any book on this Catalogue by ma\\,fostagef>-ee 


All books in this list [unless otherwise specified] are handsomely bound in cloth board 
binding, with gilt backs suitable for libraries. 

Tempest and Sunshine $i 50 

English Orphans i 50 

Homestead on the Hillside 150 

Mary J. Holmes' "Works 

'Lena Rivers i 50 

Meadow Brook i 50 

Dora Deane i 50 

Cousin Maude i 50 

Marian Grey i 50 

Edith Lyle (New) i 50 

Darkness and Daylight 
Hugh Worthington 
Cameron Pride... 

Rose Mather. 
Ethelyn's Mistake 


Edna Browning 
West Lawn 
Mildred (New) 

Alone $ i 50 

Hidden Path i 50 

Moss Side i 50 

Nemesis i 50 

Miriam... i 55 

Marion Harland's "Works. 

At Last i 50 

Sunnybank.. . 
Husbands and Homes. 

Ruby's Husband 

Phemie's Temptation. 
The Empty Heart... 


Helen Gardner 150 From My Youth Up 

True as Steel (New) i 50 My Little Love (New)... 

Charles Dickens 15 Vols. " Carleton's Edition.' 

Pickwick, and Catalogue $i 50 

Dombey and Son. 


David Copperfield 

Nicholas Nickleby 

Little Dorrit. 

Our Mutual Friend 

Curiosity Shop Miscellaneous. 
Sketches by Boz Hard Times.. 

Bleak House i 50 

Martin Chuzzlewit i 50 

Barnaby Rudge -Edwin Drood.. i 50 
Child's England Miscellaneous i 50 
Christmas Books- and A Tale of Two Cities 

Oliver Twist and The Uncommercial Traveler 

Great Expectations and Pictures of Italy and America 

Sets of Dickens' Complete Works, in 15 vols. [elegant half calf bindings] 

Angnsta J. Evans' Novels. 
Beulah $i 75 St. Elmo $ 

Macaria i 75 Vashti 

Inez i 75 Infelice (New) 

May Agues Fleming's Novels. 

Guy Earlscourt's Wife $i 75 

A Terrible Secret i 73 

Norine's Reveng* i 75 

Silent and True (New) 

A Wonderful Woman $i 75 

A Mad Marriage i 75 

One Night's Mystery i 75 

Kate Danton i 75 

M. Michelet's "Works. 

Love (L'Amour) Translation $i 50 | Woman(La Femme) Translation$i 50 

Miriam Coles Harris. 

Rutledge i 50 

Frank Warrington i 50 

Louie's Last Term, etc i 50 

Richard Vandermarck i 50 

The Sutherlands $i 50 

St. Philip's i 50 

Round Hearts, for Children i 50 

A Perfect Adonis (New) i 50 

Italian Novels. 

Dr. Antonio By Ruffini $i 50 | Beatrice Cenci By Guerrazzi $i 50 

Julie P. Smith's Novels. 

Widow Goldsmith's Daughter. .$i 75 | The Widower $i 75 

Chris and Otho i 75 

Ten Old Maids i 75 

His Young Wife (New) i 75 

The Married Belle i 75 

Courting and Farming i 75 

Victor Hugo. 

Les Miserables In English .$2 50 I Les Miserables In Spanish 500 

Captain Mayne Reid. 

The Scalp Hunters $i 50 

The Rifle Rangers i 50 

The War Trail i 50 

The Wood Rangers 150 

The Wild Huntress i 50 

The White Chief fi 50 

The Tiger Hunter i 50 

The Hunter's Feast i 50 

Wild Life i 50 

Qsceola, the Seminole i 50 

Artemus "Ward. 

Complete Comic Writings With Biography, Portrait, and 50 Illustrations $2 oo 

A. S. Roe's Select Stories. 

True to the Last $i 50 

The Star and the Cloud i 50 

How Could He Help It ? i 50 

A Long Look Ahead $i 50 

I've Been Thinking i 50 

To Love and to be Loved i 50 

Charles Dickens. 

Child's History of England Carleton's New " School Edition." Illustrated. 

Paper Covers, 50 Cents Cloth, $1.OO. 


Tom's Wife By G. D. Tallman 

That Comic Primer By Frank Bellew. 

That Awful Boy 

That Bridget of Ours 

Our Artist in Cuba, etc. G. W. Carleton. 
Why Wife and I Quarreled 

Solomon Isaacs By B. L. Farjeon. ... 

That Horrid Girl 

Me July and August. By Mrs. S. C. Coe. 

He and I Sarah B. Stebbins 

Annals of a Baby do 

That Charming Evening Bellew 

Mrs. Hill's Cook Book. 

Mrs. A. P. Hill's New Southern Cookery Book, and domestic receipts $2 oo 

Hand-Books of Society. 

The Habits of Good Society The nice points of taste and good manners $i 50 

The Art of Conversation For those who wish to be agreeable talkers i 50 

The Arts of Writing, Reading, and Speaking For self-improvement i 50 

New Diamond Edition Small size, elegantly bound, 3 volumes in a box 3 oo 

Carleton's Popular Quotations. 

Carleton's New Hand-Book Familiar quotations, with their authorship $i 50 

Famous Books " Carleton's Edition." 

Robinson Crusoe Griset's Illus.. $i oo 
Arabian Nights Demoraine Illus. . i oo 

Don Quixote Dore's Illus $i oo 

Swiss Family Robinson Marcel i oo 

Josh Billings. 

His Complete Writings With Biography, steel portrait, and 100 illustrations. $2 oo 
Trump Cards Illustrated 25 | Farmer's Alminax Illustrated 25 


"~ ~^New York Weekly" Series. 

Thrown on the World $i 50 Nick Whiffles $i 50 

Peerless Cathleen i 50 

Faithful Margaret i 50 

Lady Leonora t i 50 

The Grinder Papers i 50 

Curse ofEverleigh i 50 j A Bitter Atonement. (New) i 50 

Love Works Wonders. (In press) i 50 | 

Frank Lee Benedict's Novels. 

'Twixt Hammer and Anvil $i 75 | Madame. cloth, $i 75 

Violet Fane's Poems. 

Constance's Fate; or Denzil Place.$i 50 | From Dawn to Noon $i 50 

M. M. Pomeroy C Brick.") 

Sense. A serious book $i 50 

Gold-Dust. Do 15 

Our Saturday Nights i 50 

Stolen Waters. (Inverse) $i 50 

Broken Dreams. Do i 50 

Terrace Roses. (New) I 50 

Ernest Kenan's 

The Life of Jesus Translated. $i 75 

Lives of the Apostles. Do. i 75 

Celia E. Gardner's Novels. 

Nonsense. (A comic book) $i 50 

Brick-Dust. Do i 50 

Home Harmonies. (New) i 50 

Tested $i so 

Rich Medways' Two Loves 150 

A 'Woman's Wiles. i 50 

French Works. 
The Life of St. Paul. Translated. $i 75 
The Bible in India By Jacolliot.. . 2 oo 

G. W. Carleton. 

Our Artist in Cuba, Peru, Spain, and Algiers 150 caricatures of travel 

Verdant Green. 
A Racy English College Story With numerous original comic illustrations 

Allan Pinkerton. 

Model Towns and Detectives $i 50 

Strikers, Communists, Etc 

Spiritualists and Detectives $i 50 

Mollie Maguires and Detectives, i 50 

A New Book 

The Game of Whist. 

Pole on Whist. The late English standard work. New enlarged edition $i oo 

Joaquin Miller. 

One Fair Woman. (Prose) $2 oo | Baroness of New York. (Poetry)$i 50 

Joseph Rodman Drake. 

The Culprit Fay The well-known fairy poem, IPO illustrations by Lumley $2 oo 

Mrs. Frank Leslie. 

Journey from New York to San Francisco Profusely illustrated $2 oo 

Parlor Musical Album. 
A choice collection of Vocal and Instrumental Music. Beautifully bound.. $2 co 

Ed-ward A. Sothern. 
Birds of a Feather Flock Together With character illustrations $i 50 

Record of the Year, 1876. 

Two Bound Volumes By Frank Moore, with 12 steel portraits each vol. $3 oo 

Life Insurance Companies. 

Stratagems and Conspiracies Criminal attempts to defraud Insurance Co?... $2 oo 

Recent Publications. 

The Lily of San Miniato A novel, by Mrs. C. V. Hamilton $ 

Housekeeping in Old Virginia Southern cook book, by M. C. Tyree 

Dr. Mortimer's Pationt A novel, by Miss Fannie Bean 

Parlor Table Companion Illustrated poetry, biography and anecdote 

Another Man's Wife A novel, by Irene Widdemer Le Baron Hartt 

Morning Glories A charming children's book, by Louisa Alcott 

Hands Up History of the Union Pacific Express Robbery, by Al. Sorenson 

Miscellaneous Novels. 

Janet An English novel i 50 I Conquered $ 

Innocents from Abroad Illus i 50 All For Him 

For Each Other i 50 All For Her.".".".".'.".".".".".".".".".";."' 

Mr. Ghim's Dream.... i 50 | Flirtation A West Point novel 


Miscellaneous 'Works. 

A Harvest of Wild Oats A Novel, by Florence Marryatt 

Milly Darrell A Novel, by Miss M. E. Braddon, author of " Aurora Floyd ". . . 

Why Wife and I Quarreled By the author of " Betsey and I are Out" 

True Love Rewarded A new Novel, by the author " True to the Last " 

Threading My Way The Autobiography of Robert Dale Owen 

The Debatable Land By Robert Dale Owen 

Lights and Shadows of Spiritualism By D. D. Home 

Glimpses of the Supernatural Facts, Records, and Traditions 

Lion Jack A New Illustrated Menagerie Book for Boys. P. T. Barnum 

West India Pickles Journal of a Tropical Yacht Cruise, by W. P. Talboys 

G. A. Crofutt's Trans-Continental Tourist New York to San Francisco.... 

Laus Veneris and other Poems By Algernon Charles Swinburne 

Parodies and Poems and My Vacation By C. H. Webb (John Paul) 

Comic History of the United States Livingston Hopkins. Illustrated 

Mother Goose Melodies Set to Music with comic illustrations 

Jacques Offenbach's Experiences in America From the Paris edition 

How to Make Money ; and How to Keep It By Thomas A. Davies 

Our Children Teaching Parents how to keep them in Health. Dr. Gardner. .. 

'Watchman ; What of the Night ? By Dr. John Gumming, of London 

Fanny Fern Memorials With a Biography, by James Parton 

Tales from the Operas A Collection of Stories based upon thOpera Plots 

New Nonsense Rhymes By W. H. Beckett, with illustrations by C. G. Bush. 

Progressive Petticoats A Satirical Tale, by Robert B. Roosevelt 

Souvenirs of Travel By Madame Octavia Walton Le Vert, of Mobile, Ala...- 

Woman, Love, and Marriage . spicy little Work, hy Fred Saunders 

The Fall of Man A Darwinian Satire, by author of " New Gospel of Peace".. . . 

The Chronicles of Gotham A Modern Satire, . . Do. . . Do 

Ballad of Lord 3ateman With illustrations by Cruikshank (paper covers) 

The Yachtman's Primer For amateur Sailors. T. R. Warren (paper covers) 

Rural Architecture By M. Field. With plans and illustrations 

Transformation Scenes in the United States By Hiram Fuller. 

Kingsbury Sketches Pine Grove Doings, by John H. Kingsbury. Illustrated 

Miscellaneous Novels. 

50 A Woman in the Case Turner. . . : 




2 00 
I 50 

Led Astray By Octave Feuillet. . . 
She Loved Him Madly Borys... 
Through Thick and Thin Mery. 

So Fair yet False Chavette 

A Fatal Passion C. Bernard 

Seen and Unseen 

Purple and Fine Linen Fawcett. 
Pauline's Trial L. L. D. Courtney 
A Charming Widow Macquoid.. 
The Forgiving Kiss By M. Loth. 
Kenneth, My King S. A. Brock.. 
Heart Hungry M.J.Westmoreland 
Clifford Troupe. Do. 

Silcott Mill Maria D. Deslonde... 
John Maribel. Do. 

Passing the Portal Mrs. Victor. . 

Out of the Cage G. W. Owen 

Saint Leger Richard B. Kimball. . 
Was He Successful ? . . . Do. 
Undercurrents of Wall St. . Do. 
Romance of Student Life. . Do. 

To-Day Do. 

Life in San Domingo. . . . Do. 
Henry Powers. Banker. . . Do. 

A Book about Doctors 

A Book about Lawyers 

Manfred By Guerrazzi 

Johnny Ludlow. From London ed. 

Shiftless Folks Fannie Smith 

A Woman in Armor Hartwell... 
Phemie Frost Ann S. Stephens... 
Marguerite's Journal. For girls.. 
Romance of Railroad Smith .... 

Charette An American novel 

Fairfax John Esten Cooke 

Hilt to Hilt. Do 

Out of the Foam. Do 

Hammer and Rapier. Do 

Warwick By M. T. Walworth 

Lulu. Do 

Hotspur. Do 

Stormcliff. Do 

Delaplaine. Do. 

Beverly. Do 

Beldazzle's Bachelor Studies 

Northern Ballads E. L. Anderson 
O. C. Kerr Papers. 4vols. in on. . 
Victor Hugo His autobiography... 
Sandwiches By Artemus Ward. . . 
Widow Spriggins Widow Bedott. 

Wood's Guide to N. Y. City 

Loyal unto Death 

Bessie Wilmerton Westcott 

i 75 
i SO 
i So 
i So 
i So 
i 50 
i 5 
i 5 
i So 
i 50 
i 75 
i 75 
i 75 
i 75 
i 75 
i 75 
i oo 

1 OO 

2 OO 

2 OO 


I 75 
i oo 

i 75 
i 75 


A New Edition. 

.Among the many editions of the works of this greatest jf 
English Novelists, there has not been until now one that entirely 
satisfies the public demand. Without exception, ttey each have 
some strong distinctive objection, either the form and dimensions 
of the volumes are unhandy or, the type is small and indistinct 
or, the illustrations are unsatisfactory or, the binding is poor or, 
the price <s too high. 

An entirely new edition is now, however, published by G. W. 
Carleton & Co. of New York, which, it is believed, will, in every 
respect, completely satisfy the popular demand. It is known as 

"Carleton's New Illustrated Edition." 


The size and form is most convenient for holding, the type is 
entirely new, and of a cleat and open character that has received the 
approval of the reading community in other popular works. 

The illustrations are by the original artists chosen ly Charles 
Dickens himself and the paper, printing, and binding are of an 
attractive and substantial character. 

This beautiful new edition is complete in 15 volumes at the 
extremely reasonable price of $1.50 per volume, as follows : 











The first volume Pickwick Papers contains an alphabetical 
catalogue of all of Charles Dickens' writings, with their positions 
in the volumes. 

Thb edition is sold by Booksellers, everywhere and single speci- 
men copies will be forwarded by mail, postage free, on receipt of 

G, W, CARLETON & CO,, Publishers, 

Madison Square, New York. 




"Mrs. Holmes' stories are universally read. Her admirers are numberless. 
She is ra many respects without a rival in the world of fiction. Her characters 
are always life-like, and she makes them talk and act like human beings, subject 
to the same emotions, swayed by the same passions, ard actuated by the same 
motives whLh are common among men and women of every day existence. Mrs. 
Holmes is very happy in portraying domestic life. Old and young peruse her 
stories with great delight, for she writes in a style that all can comprehend." 
.Vew York Weekly. 

"Mrs. Holmes' stcrics are all of a domestic character, and their interest, 
ttwreljrc, is nut so intense as if they were more highly seasoned with sensational- 
ism, but it is rf a healthy and abiding character. Almost any new book which her 
publisher might choose to announce from her pen would get an immediate and 
general reading. The interest in her tales begins at once, and is maintained to 
the close. Her sentiments are so sound, her sympathies so warm and ready, 
an-1 her knowledge of manners, character, and the varied incidents of ordinary 
Hie is so thorough, that she nouUl find it difficult to write any other than an 
excellent tale if she were to try it" Boston Banner. 

"Mrs. Holmes is very amusing; has a quick and true sense ol hcmor, a 
sympathetic tone, a perception of character, and a familial, attractive style, 
pleasantly adapted to the comprehension and the taste of that large clist ot 
Aienricajt readers for *hom fashionable novels and ideal fantasies have no 
tkann." Henry T. Tuckerman. 

ff The volumes are alt handsomely printed and bound in doth, cold 
ifwywhers, and sent by mail, postage free, on receipt of price [$1.50 each], by 

Q. W CARLETON ft CO., Publishers, 

Madison Square, New Ytrk. 



I. The Art of Conversation, 

With Directions for Self-Culture?. An admirably conceived and entertaining wort wn 
sible, instructive, and full of suggestions valuable to every one who desires to be eitcer * 
good talker or listener, or who wishes to appear to advantage in good society. Evurj youug 
and even old person should read it, study it over and over again, and follow those hint* in 
it which lead them to break up bad habits and cultivate good ones. *** Price, f 1.5C. 
Among the contents will be found chapters upon 




II. The Habits of Good Society. 

A Hand-book for Ladies and Gentlemen. With thoughts, hints, and anecdotes concern- 
ing social observances, nice points of taste and good manners, and the art of making one- 
self agreeable. The whole interspersed with humorous illustrations of social predica- 
ments, remarks on fashion, etc. %* Price, $1.50. Among the contents will be found 
chapters upon 




III. Arts of Writing, Reading* and Speaking. 

A fascinating work for teaching and perfecting every one in these three most desirable 
accomplishments. For youth this book is both interesting and valuable ; and for adults, 
whether professionally or socially, it is a book that they cannot dispense with. Price, 
$1.60 Among the contents will be found chapters upon 


Thete works are the most perfect of their kind ever published ; fresh, sensible, ffOfd- 
\umored. entertaining, and readable. Every person of taste should possess them, and 
cannot be otherwin^ titan delighted with them. 

^W A beautiful new minature edition of these very popular books has jnst been pub- 
lished, entitled "THE DIAMOND EDITION." three little volumes, elegantly printed on 
tinted paper, and handsomely bound in a box. Price, $3.00. 

*^* These books are jeautifully printed, bound and sent by mail, postage fret, an 
receipt of price. 

0. W. CAELETON Is CO., Publishers, New York. 



Messrs. Street & Smith, publiskers of The New York Weekly, having 
been requested by their readers to issue their best and most popular 
Stories in Book Form, have consented, and have now made arrange- 
ments for such publications with the well-known New York House of 

G-. W. CAHLETOlSr & CO., Publishers. 

The intention is to issue in Book Form such Novels, Stories, Juvenile 
Works, Humorous Writings, etc., as have run through the columns of 
The New York Weekly, and have proved to be the most popular and most 
lasting in interest. Thus the millions of New York Weekly readers, 
scattered over the country, who have been particularly pleased and de- 
lighted with certain stories in the Paper, and who would like to have 
them in Book Form for preservation and for re-reading, will now have 
this opportunity to buy, from time to time, such works, and so gradually 
form a beautiful 


the very cream of the contributions to The New York Weekly. 

The volumes already published are as follows: 

Thown on the World. A Novel by BEBTHA M. CLAY. 
Peerless Cathleen. A Novel by COBA AGNEW. 
Faithful Margaret A Novel by ANNIE ASHMOBE. 
Nick Whiffles. -A Novel by DB. J. H. ROBINSON. 
Lady Leonora. A Novel by CABBIE CONKLIN. 
Charity Grinder Papers. A Humorous Work. 
A Bitter Atonement. A Novel by BEBTHA M. CLAY. 
Curse of Everleigh. A Novel by ELLEN COEWIN PIEBCE. 
Love Works Wbnders. A Novel by CABOLTNE BABTON. 

J8~ These books are handsomely printed and elegantly bound in 
cloth, with gold back stamps, price, $1.50 each. 

4ST Sold by Booksellers everywhere and sent by mail, postage free, 
on receipt of price, $1,50, by 

G, W. CABLETON & CO., Publishers, Madison Square, New York. 







Pinker ton, Allan 

Strikers, communists, 
tramps and detectives