Help Yourself

This selection from the July 24, 1877 issue of the Pittsburgh Daily Post includes three articles. The first two note the ability of citizens to keep peace, that military aid was unnecessary, and that railroad workers were not included in the mob. The third section notes recuperation on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.


The people of Pittsburgh, after waiting several days for the heaven endowed leader, who we are told, always asserts himself in times of grave public peril, kicked the tradition aside, and in a dull, plodding way set to work to organize themselves for the protection of life and property. They have done admirably; and we all now see how well it could have been done days ago, had the forethought of a gifted somebody, who didn't appear, spurred the people to action. The energetic and determined proceedings of yesterday showed that the people of Pittsburgh have the power, courage and will to protect life property and put down lawlessness, without any outside assistance. That such aid was brought here was most unfortunate, and the use made of it, only made matters worse. We can utter no word of reproach to the Philadelphia soldiers. They were the victims of bungling management which the State and railroad authorities may share between themselves. Their purpose was to perform a service which never should have been assigned them, for reasons that the dullest man should have penetrated.

The movement and organization of citizens yesterday was spontaneous. It had its origin in the curbstone meeting on Sunday afternoon, in front of the old City Hall. At this meeting the wisdom of the proceeding is vindicated by results. The city is reported quiet in every quarter, and frequent arrests are made.


Now that the citizens are thoroughly organized and determined to root out every vestige of lawlessness the work should be made as complete as possible. The vile scum that led on the incendiarism were not only the refuse of our own city, but the tramps, thieves, and vagrants of other localities. They should be arrested at any reasonable expenditure of time and money, and punished with all the severity the law allows. We presume the detectives have "spotted" most of them. The excessive lawlessness of Saturday and Sunday was not the work of the striking railroad men or of Pittsburgh mechanics. Possibly there may be exceptions, but as a rule it was the work of the lowest rabble, tramps and professional thieves. Hunt them out.


The announcement of a semi-annual dividend by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, the first since the panic, is made much of by the Southwestern press, doubtless with pardonable exultation, as significant testimony to the rapid recuperation of that section. It is said that this is the only road west of the Alleghenies which has resumed dividends since the almost universal suspension four years ago of the Western and Southern roads; and it is noted as a still more gratifying fact that the net profits are now even larger than they were in 1873. Besides the sum appropriated for dividends, a very considerable amount seems to have been set apart for improving the present condition of the road, which is the one great thoroughfare - from the Alleghenies to St. Louis - between the South and the North.

About this Document

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