Excitement Waning

This article from the July 25, 1877 issue of the Pittsburgh Daily Post informs readers of the state of the strike in Pittsburgh and notes the Governor's response.

Law and Order Again Have Sway.
Arrest of Pillagers and Incendiaries.
Five Hundred Miners Join the Strikers.
The Governor Confers With the Committee on Safety.
A Tour Among the Ruins.

The usual peace and quiet reigned in the city yesterday. The saloons were closed all day long and there was but little drunkenness and less disorder. The police were active in hunting out the rioters and pillagers. Thus far nearly three hundred persons have been arrested and some of the leaders in the riot have been jailed for trial at Court. The strikers are still firm in their demands, however, and yesterday they were joined by five hundred miners of the Castle Shannon regions and the hands at several iron works. In the evening Governor Hartrauft arrived in the city and an important conference was held with the Committee on Public Safety, which, as well as all other important features of the strike, are published below.


At about half past past [sic] seven o'clock last evening Governor Hartranft arrived in the city by way of the Fort Wayne railroad. At the outer depot, in Allegheny, a large crowd of strikers was assembled, and the Governor was called upon for a speech. He demurred making a "speech," but made a few remarks.


He had heard with great regret of the railway strike in this State. The violence practiced and the lawlessness that reigned pained him deeply. The events of the past few days was a foul blot ou [sic] the fair name of the State and will be recalled for years hence with shame. He next thanked the strikers for protecting the company's property, saying they deserved credit for this act on their part. While a mob had in other localities brought ruin and desolation and committed various lawless acts, he was glad to be informed that so far not a dollar's worth of property of the company in which they were employed had been destroyed, but instead, said he, "you have protected it. You are not directly responsible for the mob violence that has reigned, and I believe you regret the deeds of lawlessness as much as I do, and will to the extent of your ability defend property and assist in restoring order. I have a firm confidence in you, judging from your past conduct, that you will uphold law and not engage in the riotous proceedings and acts which have disgraced us. I am also confident that the citizens of this community are able to prevent mob violence without the aid of the military. [Cheers.] I do not fear any further destruction here, but I would warn you not to deviate in the least from your past course relative to the destruction of property, but to continue to protect it as good citizens." He closed by saying he hoped the present troubles would soon be adjusted and the business of the road resumed.

When the Governor retired three times three cheers were given him with a will, and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. The speech was well received. Not a striker could be found who was dissatisfied with it. One said, "That's the way to to [sic] talk." Another was heard to say to a small group of strikers, "He don't talk of subduing us by the military. He talked to us as gentlemen, and not as a mob." The address created a good impression.


Arrived at the Federal street depot the Governor was met by a number of citizens, and although he had not intended a halt, he was prevailed upon to remain and meet the Committee on Safety, and learn the situation of affairs. Governor Hartranft was met here by M.S. Quay, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Attorney General Lear, Major Norris of Harrisburg, and J. B. Linn. Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth. The party repaired to the Monongabela House, and then, about nine o'clock, were met by the Committee of Safety, appointed a few days since. The critical condition of affairs reigning at present in the city was fully discussed, and actions past severely criticized, as was to be expected. Most of the gentlemen of the committee made very temperate remarks, but some, as was also to be expected, made reflections as injudicious as they were nonsensical. Mr. Jas. L. Bennett inveighed against the public press of the city. He did not discriminate between temperate and judicious publications and those that depend almost solely upon unhealthful sensation. One or two gentlemen in reply depreciated the remarks of Mr. Bennett, but the gentleman insisted that every paper published in Pittsburgh since the riot began contained incendiary articles.

Governor Hartranft listened patiently to the mild and hopeful speeches as he did to the more violent, and then stated, in his own placid manner, that he did not think Pittsburgh needed foreign help; that her own troops and citizens were fully able to cope with any mob that might assemble, and that in his opinion an organization was being effected that would be effectual and final. With these remarks the committee separated.

During the evening the Governor was constantly receiving dispatches, over a line that had been connected with a battery in his room, from various parts of the country, giving news of the condition of affairs. He will depart for Harrisburg, with other State officials, at 2:30 A.M. in a special car over the West Penn railroad. He had made the trip from Salt Lake in remarkably quick time and was much jaded with his journey.


The following was sent from this city by Associated Press last night.

Pittsburgh, July 25, 1:30 A.M.- To the People of the State of Pennsylvania:

Whereas there exists a condition of turbulence and disorder within the State extending to many interests and threatening all communities under the impulse of which there has grown up a spirit of lawlessness requiring that all law observing citizens shall organize themselves into armed bodies for the purpose of self-protection and preserving the peace. Therefore,

I, John F. Hartranft, Governor of the State of Pennsylvania, recommend that all citizens shall organize themselves into associations with such arms as they can procure for the purpose of maintaining order and suppressing violence, and all good citizens are warned against appearing in company with any mob or riotous assembly and thus giving encouragement to violators of the law.

J.F. HARTRANFT Governor.


The strike still keeps spreading. Yester-day we reported the fact that nearly one thousand men at the different manufacturing establishments at McKeesport and at the Edgar Thomson steel works at Braddocks had been seized by the mania and quit work. Yesterday their example was followed by the miners employed along the line of the Castle Shannon narrow gauge railroad, and this morning finds nearly five hundred idle miners who were last week diligently delving for the hidden treasures. The men at Hayes' mines, at Gray's works and at Keeling mines, as well as the several other works in the vicinity have all gone out. A very few quit on Monday, many yesterday morning and the rest in the afternoon. Reports reached the Mayor's office yesterday morning that the men intended to go out and fearing that they might be led to some rash demonstration, His Honor dispatched Mr. L.J. Booker of Mount Washington, to the scene. Mr. Booker, who it will be remembered ran on the Democratic ticket for Coroner, is personally acquainted with many of the leading miners, and exerts considerable influence over the labor element. He found the coal diggers assembled in meeting in the classic regions of "Spiketown" in Baldwin township, at the "Three-mile bridge," and at "Bulltown" in Union township, while he was informed meetings were held at other points also. The miners have been getting two and a half cents per bushel, but since the developments of the past few days they have decided four cents a fair price. It is probable, however, a compromise could be effected by the operators at less figures. It was reported last evening that the managers at Keeling's works had agreed to allow three and a half cents but our informant could not couch for the rumor.


The laborers at the American Iron works of Messrs. Jones & Laughlin on the South Side, struck yesterday afternoon; while discussing the situation of the railroaders, strike the laborers determined to make a demand for increased pay, and about eight o'clock they abandoned, their work. They assembled on mass about the establishment, and Foreman Atkinson of the machine department went out to make a speech to them. He told them that Mr. Jones was absent, and exhorted them to go back to their work till the proprietor could be consulted. The men concinded [sic] to follow the advice, and after appointing a committee to call on the proprietors of the establishment, they resumed work. Mr. Jones could not be found, however, and about two o'clock in the afternoon the men again threw down their tools, and left the works. There are about two hundred of the strikers. They have been getting ninety cents per day, and now demand $1.25 per day. Only the laborers are engaged in the strike.


The laborers at the pipe works of Messrs. Evans, Dalzell & Co., located at Soho, also joined the ranks of the striking workingmen and railroaders yesterday. The mechanics, too, of this establishment have gone out. The laborers demand an increase of twenty-five cents per day and the skilled workmen ask an increase of twenty five per cent. During the day different parties from the strikers called at Moorhead's iron works in the same vicinity, with a view of inducing them to join the strike but the latter refused.


Yesterday the last sad [?], was performed over the bodies of the victims of mob law, which reigned Supreme on Sunday. Never before, perhaps, was the saying brought so forcibly to the minds of a people, "In the midst of life we are yet in death." But it is true. Men who went out on the beautiful day, such as last Sabbath was, to look at the workings of a mob, were yesterday carried to their final resting place-some quietly, others with imposing ceremonies. On all sides were heard expressions of sympathy for the bereaved families, who had lost some dear one-a father, brother or husband-and the ceremonies will long be remembered by our citizens. It was truly a day of sorrow.

At 7 o'clock last evening the bodies of the two dead soldiers lying at the undertaking rooms of Mr. Devore, on Grant street, and the one at Williams, on Fifth avenue, were sent to Philadelphia, to the care of Mayor Stokely. Nothing further could be obtained to identify them and it was thought best to send them on. One of the soldiers had his linen marked with the initials "A.S.M." Their remains were escorted to the West Penn Depot by a detachment of Greys under command of Captain Denny McKnight, and as the procession passed down Fifh [sic] avenue it presented a solem [sic] spectable [sic] . A different opinion is gaining ground in regard to the Philadelphia Regiment, and the action of the Greys in sympathizing with them-taking them food to their camp, and furnishing an escort to their dead brethren-is universally admired on all sides.

The funeral of ex-fireman James Sims, who was shot early Sunday morning while trying to remove a wounded man, took place from his late residence, 52 Sixth avenue, yesterday afternoon at three o'clock. His remains were interred in Allegheny cemetery, and were escorted to their last resting place by a large concourse of sympathizing friends.

Jacob P. De Armit, a machinist in the employ of the Pan Handle railroad, who was shot Saturday evening, was buried from the residence of his brother; 88 Hemlock street, Allegheny, yesterday morning. He was a young man, only twenty-five years of age, and received his death wound while watching the rioters at Twenty-eighth street.

Second Lieutenant J. Dorsey Ash, of the First Philadelphia regiment, who was
Continued on Fourth Page

About this Document

  • Source: The Daily Post
  • Date: July 25, 1877