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  • | Newspaper


    This April 21, 1888 report and response from Harper's Weekly gives an overview of the Burlington, Chicago and Quincy Railroad Strike; the role of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the ready availability of replacement workers, and escalating violence all draw the writer's attention. A response to the strike written by William Dean Howells, American author and literary critic, was added to the Harper's article and is written from the point of view of a stockholder favoring arbitration.

  • | Letter

    Henry B. Stone letter, February 28, 1888

    Henry B. Stone, Master Mechanic for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy, reflects on the costs in personnel and goodwill that are inevitable with a strike; he believes circumstances make it "simply impossible for the Company to yield to the demands which have been made."

  • | Newspaper

    Gov. Carrol And Mayor Latrobe

    This article from the July 21, 1877 issue of the Baltimore Sun describes a meeting between Maryland Governor John Lee Carroll and Baltimore Mayor Ferdinand Latrobe.

  • | Broadsides

    General Superintendent S.T. Smith's General Order Implementing Standard Time, November 14, 1883

    This General Order from November 14, 1883, circulated by S. T. Smith, General Superintendent of the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific Railroad, notifies all stations on the Kansas Division that "standard time" will begin at exactly 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 18, 1883. This order coincides with the establishment of time zones throughout the United States, a development necessitated by the speed of railroad travel.

  • | Government report

    Testimony of Robert Pitcairn to the Committee

    Robert Pitcairn served as the Pittsburg division superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad and had ordered the double-heading of trains on July 19th for all eastbound traffic. Because trains would be twice as long but run with fewer trainmen, workers on the Pennsylvania refused to run the trains and the strike spread from the Baltimore and Ohio onto the Pennsylvania lines. Pitcairn describes his view of the violence in Pittsburg, emphasizing the restraint of the military and the riotousness of the "crowd." Pitcairn places special emphasis on the role of the women in the crowd.

  • | Government report

    Testimony of Soloman Coulson, a police officer at the time of the Pittsburgh riot

    Testimony given on February 12, 1878 by Soloman Coulson, a Pittsburgh police officer, described the violence at the railroad roundhouse and the makeup of the crowd gathered outside the roundhouse.

  • | Illustration

    Women Leading a Mob in Baltimore

    Railroad detective Allan Pinkerton's history of the strike emphasized the unruliness of the mob and the threat of foreign, anarchist, and communist influences on American labor. He also emphasized the role of women in inciting the conflict. Here, his illustration shows women leading a mob against the police during the 1877 railroad strike in Baltimore.

  • | Newspaper

    ART. IX.—The Recent Strikes

    This August 13, 1877 article reports on the violence and destruction of the Great Railroad strike in cities across the eastern United States.

  • | Illustration

    Construction Gang Repairing the Tracks at Corning

    The strike spread from Baltimore into small towns, big cities, and rural areas in the summer of 1877. This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts a gang of workers under the protection of the 23rd New York State National Guard Regiment repairing the tracks near Corning, New York.

  • | Illustration

    The Police Watching, In Concealement, The Crowd in Tompkins Square

    Although there was no large-scale unrest in New York, crowds did gather in Tompkins Square during the Railroad Strike. Tompkins Square had been the site of civil unrest and rioting at several points in New York history, including during the 1863 Draft Riots, and police feared speakers would rile up strike supporters.

  • | Illustration

    Rioters Tearing Up Rails at the Bridge at Corning

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts strikers tearing up the track and bridge near Corning, New York in advance of an oncoming engine. These confrontations were both organized and spontaneous, dependent on the deep experience and expertise of the railroad workers with the operation of the roads.

  • | Newspaper

    Rioters Marching Down the New York Central Railroad Track

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts the crowd marching down the New York Central railroad track at West Albany, New York on July 24, 1877.

  • | Illustration

    Construction Gang Righting Overturned Cars

    Scenes of repair and destruction of railroads in this August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated were similar to illustrations throughout the Civil War. This lithograph depicts a construction gang, under the protection of the New York State Militia, righting overturned cars near Corning, New York.

  • | Illustration

    Robert M. Ammon Directs the Strikers

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts Robert M. Ammon, leader of the Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne strike, sending information to the strikers via telegraph.

  • | Illustration

    The Blockade of Engines at Martinsburg, West Virginia

    This August 11, 1877 image depicts the blockade of railroad engines in Martinsburg, West Virginia, by orderly and well-dressed citizens. Unlike Allan Pinkerton's depictions, this Harper's illustration features the role of women less as unruly participants and more as witnesses and forces of restraint and care in the stand-off.

  • | Illustration

    The Burning of the Lebanon Valley Railroad Bridge, August 11, 1877

    This August 11, 1877 image from Harper's Weekly depicts the burning of the Lebanon Valley Railroad bridge by rioters during the Great Railroad Strike.

  • | Illustration

    Taking Posession of the West Albany Freight Yards

    This August 11, 1877 image from Leslie's Illustrated depicts the firmness and order of the Ninth New York State National Guard Regiment as it takes "posession" of the West Albany, New York freight yards on July 24, 1877, in the face of a pressing crowd.

  • | Newspaper

    Railroad Strikers/Employees

    This brief article, an opinion taken from PUCK Magazine, speculates about the future position of railroad employees.

  • | Illustration

    Beecher's Theory and Practice

    This cover image from the August 8, 1877 issue of PUCK Magazine depicts Henry Ward Beecher as a hypocrite.

  • | Newspaper

    Puck's Cartoons. The Dog and the Shadow

    This short poem or "fable" appeared in the August 8, 1877 issue of PUCK Magazine as lesson for strikers.