The Workingmen

This July 25, 1877 article from the Pittsburgh Daily Post comments on the role of the workingmen in starting the strike and emphasizes their ability to end it as well.


The most effectual force that could now appear to rescue the situation, and relieve workingmen from the odium of being participants in the destruction of life and property, would be the workingmen themselves. The South Side could, this morning, furnish one thousand stalwart men who would be sworn in by the Mayor, and in twenty-four hours do more to restore perfect quiet than all the military or police. The moral of such a movement would be very great, and place them beyond the reach of suspicion of aiding or sympathizing with any illegal movement. Great disturbances like the present always attract the lowest and vilest element, and throw to the surface thieves and murderers, who hope to escape punishment under the cloak of sympathy with labor. They are loudest and most vehement in their denunciations of the rich, and contribute a demagoguism surpassed only by the Paris communist, in appealing to the most vicious to burn and rob. They mix in every crowd and suggest the pillaging of private residences of obnoxious citizens. Such miscreants should be shot in their tracks, like any other wild breast [sic] endangering life and property. It is nothing to them that thousands of poor people shall be driven to the hills for shelter, and their homes desolated, it is nothing to them women and children shall cry for bread, their only object is roberry and every other crime, if interfered with. The life and safety of the city depends upon the prompt action of its citizens. Workingmen compose the majority, and why should they not immediately step front and seize this opportunity, which would rebound to their credit, and cost so little. There is not the slightest danger with the present organized force, of any further mobs, and it is not in view of any apprehension of real danger we speak, only for its good effects and permanent value to the cause of labor.

About this Document

  • Source: The Daily Post
  • Date: July 24, 1877