Bad Allies

In this article from the July 23, 1877 edition of the Toledo Blade, the editors support the striking railroad workers, but condemn the "mob of scoundrels who took advantage of the occasion to commit all sorts of depredations."

Bad Allies

The strikers have been made to suffer by the acts of a mob of scoundrels who took advantage of the occasion to commit all sorts of depredations. It is hardly possible that any considerable number of railroad employes were active participants in the horrors of yesterday at Pittsburg. Such wanton destruction of property is foreign to the ideas of railroad men, and they would be the last ones to suggest or engage in it. It is a general rule that men whose life-long training has been in connection with certain species of property, view it with more respect than any outsider can. For instance, there are no men who appreciate a locomotive as highly as the engineer and fireman who man it. They are the last men in the world who would be likely to wantonly injure it. The same is true in regard to the other train men and railroad property in general. They have been daily impressed with the high importance of railroad property, and men do not throw away the lesson of a lifetime in an instant.

But there is in Pittsburg, as in every other city, a numerically strong element composed of the bad and vicious, who are always ripe for trouble, in which there is an opportunity for license or personal advantage. This class there has always been specially formidable from the great numbers of men employed in the iron works and glass houses occupations which called for little or no skill and were followed by rude, ignorant, brutal men, dissipated in habits and lawlessnes in life. The prostration of the glass and iron industries for the last four years, has borne with great hardship upon these classes and greatly increased their propensity to evil. The strike afforded them an excuse for an outbreak, as any other disturbance would and they went in with the maddened ferocity of a gang of hungry wolves.

But the public is not now in any mood for nice distinctions; the frightful scenes of yesterday have roused the whole Nation, and as a sweeping torrent of condemnation will overwhelm every body in any manner connected with that fiendish destruction of property. Such ghastly crimes cannot go unpunished, and the people will execrate every man connected with the atrocities. This may be unfortunate for those railroaders who never contemplated that their movement should take such a demoniac form but it is the way the jndgment [sic] of the world is usually made up, and they are no worse off than countless others whom history holds up for reprobation, simply because they have been in bad company.

About this Document

  • Source: Toledo Blade
  • Date: July 23, 1877