The End Drawing Near

This section of articles from the July 28, 1877 issue of the Pittsburgh Daily Post notes the nationwide events occurring in relation to the strike and include a discussion of the attempts at negotiations between officials and laborers.

Traffic Resumed on Many Roads.
Strikers at Numerous Points Filling Their Old Positions.
Conference Between Engineer and North Pa. Officials.
B & O. Officials Prepare a Basis of Settlement.
A Committee of Strikers Unanimously Reject It.
Trains to Be Run Under Military Protection.
No Further Concession to Be Made to the Strikers.



HARRISBURG, July 27.-Freight trains started this morning east and west on the Pennsylvania road, and are moving on the Philadelphia & Reading road. A number of men have resumed work in the Pennsylvania railroad shops.


BETHLEHEM, July 27.-A gang of strikers from Easton reached here this morning and at Bethlehem Junction. When the passenger train on the Bath branch of the Central railroad New Jersey was ready to start, they uncoupled the cars from the engine and warned the crew they would run the train at their peril. A large number of citizens came to the rescue, and while the train dispatcher was consulting with the strikers, the train was recoupled and pulled out very rapidly and got off. A squad of coal and iron police arrived and a crew was made up, and a through car from Philadelphia to Mauch Chunk was taken to its destination.


PHILADELPHIA, July 27.-The Directors of the North Pennsylvania railroad to-day received a committee of engineers of the road, asking for a return of the old wages. No definite action was taken. The engineers disclaim all connection with the rioters, and promised to defend the property of the company should any riotous demonstration be made. President Gowen, of the Philadelphia & Reading road, has issued an address to employees, thanking them for remaining faithful to the company.

POTTSVILLE, July 27.-James Blizzard passed through here this morning in charge of the Coal and Iron Police. He was arrested on the charge of setting fire to the Lebanon Valley Railroad bridge at Reading. There were no more disturbances at Lost Creek station. It is thought the men will resume work in the mines on Monday.

BETHLEHEM, July 27.-The Bethlehem Iron Company suspended work to-day. The rain prevented the meeting of the strikers and their sympathizers.


SCRANTON, July 26.-The strike is still spreading, and has now reached every industry in the valley. This morning a Committee of Fifteen, representing the mine engineers, pump hands, carpenters, blacksmiths, and outside laborers in the employ of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Company demanded an advance of twenty-five per cent. in their wages. President Sloan answered that the company could not at present grant the demand. At six o'clock to-night everything stopped, and the Diamond mine is rapidly flooding. This will entail a vast loss, as some of the mines could not be got ready for work again inside of two years. An experienced coal man told me a few moments ago the Diamond Mine could not be prepared for work in five years if once flooded. It is a valuable mine, and has been in operation over twenty years. The company have been removing their cars and mules from the mines all day in anticipation of the flooding, and it is expected that in a short time Scranton will be a deserted village. If the mines are abandoned to the flooding the Communists had better move West. A mass meeting of miners has just been held in the round woods west of the city. About ten thousand persons were present, and the proceedings are orderly and determined. A dispatch was read from President Sloan, stating that the company could not accede to the demand for 25 per cent. advance, and they then decided to die, rather than to return to work at the reduced rate. Resolutions were adopted requesting the saloon-keepers to close their places of business, and also asking the Mayor by what right he appointed on hundred special police when there was no disturbance of the peace.


BETHLEHEM, July 27.-Superintendent Pothemus with his gang of repairmen and their escort of coal and iron police arrived at Odenwelder's this afternoon, whether they had gone to repair a turn-table. They were met by a large and excited crowd who drove off the policemen. Pothemus addressed a congratulatory speech to the mob but they replied by informing him he was at liberty to walk to Mauch Chunk with his force, after which they run his engine on a side track and drew out the fire. Pothemus and his escort arrived back to Bethlehem by stage this evening. He says he has no hope of running trains to-morrow. A drum corps is parading the streets for recruits for the Fourth regiment, and special police are being sworn in.


MAUCH CHUNK, July 27.-Men on the Lehigh Valley and Lehigh and Susquehanna roads are all out, and trains have stopped running. The Lehigh Valley officials have discharged all men connected with the strike and will pay them off at once. The miners at Summit Hill struck to-day, demanding an advance of thirty per cent. They marched from one mine to another with loaves of bread stuck on poles and afterwards congregated in front of the company's office where they demanded their pay. The Sheriff and Chief Burgess have issued proclamations enjoining order and warning all persons of the consequences of acts of violence.


COLUMBIA, July 27. -The strike has ended here and freight trains began to move east and west at an early hour this morning and will run regularly.

WILKESBARRE, July 27.-No trains to-day on any of the roads passing through here. No mails have been received or sent out. Two thousand miners held a meeting at Plymouth and demanded an advance of twenty-five per cent.


HARRISBURG, July 27.-Freight trains were started east and west from this city this morning on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and freight trains are also moving on the Philadelphia & Reading road. A number of men resumed work in the Pennsylvania Railroad shops this morning.


CHICAGO, July 27.-A careful review of yesterday's work between the mob and united forces of police and mounted cavalry show fourteen killed of the rioters and thirteen wounded. Eight policemen were wounded. The list indicates that the police received more injuries in proportion to their number than the crowd. Such, however, is not the case, as scores of wounds were inflicted by them and by their friends, which were not even seen, much less reported. The arrests were numerous.

Much dissatisfaction is expressed by regulars, by citizens and by the police themselves, at the orders given the latter, through the Mayor, to avoid killing whenever possible. The general opinion is, that could the mob be made to understand thoroughly that no blanks were carried, and no quarter will be given, that their valor would fade away and they disappear.


The seat of the local war to-day has been moved even further away from news centers than yesterday, and is now in the vicinity of Archer avenue and Halstead street, some four miles away. The mob began to gather there at an early hour this morning, but not in great force. At 1:30 o'clock a crowd assembled at the corner of Halstead and Archer avenues, and was charged upon and dispersed by a squad of police. No serious trouble is apprehended. The rioters are evidently demoralized for the time being. Five companies of United States troops from Rock Island, numbering three hundred men, are en route here, and will arrive this afternoon. They are supplied with ammunition and a Gatling gun.


Last night, as James F. White, a respected member of the Chicago Board of Trade, was patrolling his beat at Lawndale, a suburban village, he discovered a suspicious character, and at once arrested him. He had taken his prisoner some distance, when the tramp began to resist, and suddenly drew a revolver from his pocket, placed it to Mr. White's forehead, fired and instantly killed his captor. He then escaped, and vigorous search has failed to discover his whereabouts.


The distribution of the force at this time is about as follows: The stock yards, sixty regulars; Chicago, Burlington and Quincy freight house, Sixteenth street, two hundred; Twelfth street bridge, three hundred and fifty regulars of the Second regiment; corner Twelfth and Halstead, two hundred of the First regiment; Canal Port avenue and South Morgan, fifty of the First regiment; South Side Gas Works, General Lieb's batter, sixty-five; North Side Water Works, sixty-five veterans; Union street Police Station, fifty of the Second regiment at the corner of Chicago and Milwaukee avenues, a possible rendezvous of communists, sixty veteran on Halstead street, north of Twelfth; forty of the postoffice guard, and Daly and Watrus mounted guard are constantly patroling [sic] that dangerous section. Four hundred regulars are still at Lake Point awaiting orders. The regular and special police are at the center of the trouble. Citizens with police powers are in every section of the city. The railroads are resuming business-both freight and passenger. They have had no trouble with their men at any time, except in relation to wages, and it is believed they have either compromised that question, or left it to arbitration. Officials and men are equally reticent on the subject.


6 P.M.-The railroad employees here propose to organize a grand army to put down the communists whose riotous acts they disavow and denounces.

The Board of Trade resumed business at 2:30 this afternoon and withdrew the action of yesterday suspending rules. They indicate by this that they consider the labor troubles at an end or at least under control of lawful authorities. Not all the people of Chicago share their confidence but no further violent outbreak is expected at this time.


About noon the police arrested M. Clinch, a grocery and liquor dealer, and the most prominent agitator of the present lawless movement. He has been present at all the attacks on the police, and has done more than any one man to precipitate bloodshed and incite riot. He will be severely dealt with, as the proof of his criminality is complete.

All kinds of incendiary reports were current this afternoon, but none could be traced to a reliable head. Only one fire was reported during the day, and that was small and did little damage.


The orders of policemen have been modified so that to-day they are instructed to shoot down any who interfere with them in the discharge of their duty, or who is belligerent as a riotor [sic] . This modification or the original instructions is undoubtedly on account of the unstinted denunciation on all sides which the temporizing policy has met with.

The strike of the West Side street railway is nothing of an alarming character, though several determined characters are among them. They say it is their intention merely to lay off a few days and see what is going on. They disclaim any riotous proceedings.


The regulars have been itching for the unrestricted right to clean out the mob, and such proposition has been made to, but not accepted by the city authorities.


The tanners who struck en masse during the warmest part of the controversy, have to-day resumed work. Among the other establishments which employ large numbers of hands and which have resumed work to-day, are Crane Brothers & Co. elevator manufacturers; Peter Schutter & Co., machinery, and the shot tower. These firms employ 600 to 700 men and were obliged to close by the rioters, though their men were anxious to work.


Two companies of infantry and three of cavalry direct from Ft. McPherson, Nebraska fully armed arrived here during the day and are quartered temporarily at the exposition building waiting orders from the Secretary of War.


Close watch is kept on the rioters their every movement is reported and any resistance or insubordination will meet with summary punishment. The police headquarters have been notified of the arrest of Sunday's gang of plug uglies who have been going about intimidating workmen and compelling them to quit work.

The members of the Board of Trade to-day raised $3,500 for the family of Mr. White, killed at Lawndale by a rioter. The partial list of arrested yesterday and to-day show one hundred and twelve in all stations. They are almost invariably of the lowest foreign element and many of them are well known disturbers of the peace.


The Mayor to-day issued a notice calling on all laborers to resume work and promising them and their employees protection. Subsequently he issued the following proclamation:

The city authorities having dispersed all lawlessness in the city, and law and order being restored, I now urge and request all business men and employees generally to resume work, and give employment as much as possible to their workmen. I consider this the duty of our business community. I am now amply able to protect them and their workmen. Let every one resume operations, and report any interference at police headquarters. Citizens' organizations must continue in force, and on no account relax their vigilance, as the cause of the trouble is not local and not yet removed, and all such organizations should form themselves into permanent bodies. Continue on duty, and report regularly as heretofore. M.HEATH, Mayor.

The Pitsburgh [sic] and Fort Wayne railroad started out a train at 5:15 o'clock this afternoon, with a guard of forty-four policemen. A mob this afternoon attempted to intimidate the workmen in Phoenix's distillery on the North Side, but were themselves scattered by the police. The last accounts from Halstead and St. Viaduct, are to the effect that the military have been removed and all is quiet. It is rumored that Communists are holding a meeting some miles from the city and that the Second regiment has been sent after them. A foreman of a car shop to-day said it was the intention of all the workmen to return to work on Monday morning.


1 A.M.-Everything is quiet to-night. None of the mob are on the streets. Many wild rumors are afloat, many of which have no foundation.



ST. LOUIS, July 27.-Large shipments of arms arrived during the night and morning, and the authorities immediately commenced equipping the militia and the companies organized by the citizens. These commands marched through the cities to the Four Courts, where they received guns, cartridges, boxes and orders. The authorities now explain their passive policy and the reason why the strikers have been allowed to go so far. Up to last night there were less than one thousand guns in the possession of the militia throughout the entire city. Now five thousand men will be armed up to to-night. Twelve companies have received breech-loading guns up to noon.


At eleven o'clock Gen. John W. Noble, with a battalion of four hundred men, under Captain Silas Bent, marched out of the Four Courts and proceeded to the Union Depot. General Noble has established his headquarters in the depot building. A large crowd has had virtual possession of the depot since Tuesday. The battalion was divided into companies. The guns were loaded and the crowd was charged with fixed bayonets and driven out of the depot and yards. The movements of the militia were greeted with cheers and yells. The authorities announce that the depot will be held and that interference with trains will not be permitted. Guards will be furnished for all shops and factories, the proprietors of which are willing and want to resume work. The guards at the water works and gas works were increased. The executive committee of the Workingmens' party is in session at Fifth and Biddle streets, and a crowd surrounds the halls, but no orders are issued. The committee have been telegraphing to the leaders of the organization in other cities asking for advice.


ST. LOUIS, July 27.-Notwithstanding the rain from above and mud under foot a large crowd of men congregated around Schultz's Hall this morning waiting for information of the action of committee meetings held therein. A meeting of delegates of all Trades Unions was called for at four o'clock this afternoon, and everybody concerned was on the qui vive to learn the result. This information was conveyed to the military headquarters and it was decided to break up the meeting and arrest the participants. With this in view fifty mounted police and twenty five armed with muskets and about the same number with the usual club and pistol were ordered to proceed to the hall and make the arrests. There should not be any failure as 500 of the citizens' guard and two companies of the National Guard and one piece of artillery are ordered to accompany the police and support them should the crowd offer resistance or attempt the rescue of the prisoners.

This force left Four Courts at half-past two o'clock, under command of Gen. John D. Stevenson. Mayor Overstolz also accompanied the expedition. Tidings of the purpose of the authorities reached the hall long before the troops left Four Courts, but it had no effect on the crowd in the streets and apparently none on the meeting, for there seemed to be no adjournment. At three o'clock the head of the column appeared, coming up Fifth street, with the mounted police in advance. When about one block from the hall POLICE DREW PISTOLS AND CHARGED ON THE CROWD, Both in the middle of the street and on the sidewalks. The men gave way at once, flying in every direction, the police pursuing them on every side. Gen. Stevenson and other mounted officers of military effectually assisted the police, and in five minutes there was scarcely a man within distance of a block from the hall, except the reporters, who stood their ground and took position at the entrance of the building. Meantime the other part of the police force, headed by Captain Lee, had advanced to the foot of the stairs leading to the hall above. Captain Lee ascended first and alone. A moment after the whole squad went up and two minutes later they brought down about seventy-five men whom they found in the hall, placed them between two lines of police armed with muskets and the whole thing was over. Everyone in the upper part of the building was arrested. One man attempted resistance but a blow over the head from a club, which had again drawn somewhat nearer to the building offered no resistance and made no demonstration. There was scarcely a word of hoot of defiance. Evidently there was not a particle of fight in it. The military halted shout half a block from the entrance to the hall, ready for action at the word of command, but their assistance was not required. The whole thing was over in ten minutes. After all had been gathered in the police took up the line of march for the Four Courts, where the prisoners were locked up in the calaboose. The return of the expedition was greeted along the streets with cheers from the peaceable and law abiding citizens, and there was much congratulation and rejoicing at the result.

A proclamation was issued by the Executive Committee of the United Workingmen discountenancing all riotous proceedings.


BALTIMORE, July 27.-In declining the demands to the employees of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad for an increase of wages, Vice President King presents facts and figures showing great reductions in rates and traffic since 1861 and believes these figures will satisfy every reasonable man in the employ of the company that the wages they demand cannot be paid. He calls their attention to the fact that the Baltimore & Ohio was the last company which competes for the trade of the West that made a reduction of ten per cent. Mr. King says the company employs a larger force than necessary, in order that none should be thrown out of employment; and while he regrets that the motives of the company should have been misunderstood, he believes the difficulties can readily be adjusted in such a manner as to protect materially the interests of the company and those of the employees. At noon to-day a committee waited upon Vice Presidents King and Keyser, at Camden depot, and they are now in consultation. It is understood they will report the result of the consultation, whatever it might be, at a meeting to be held to-night.


BALTIMORE, July 27.-In a conference to-day between Vice Presidents King and Keyser of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and a committee of strikers the Vice Presidents were requested to put in writing what the company was willing to do. In compliance a second letter was addressed to the committee in substance as follows:

First-The ten per cent. reduction cannot be changed, but the company was willing to do all in its power to prevent its bearing with peculiar hardship on any class of employees.

Second-As the company understand that the wages have been much reduced because of the men not receiving full employment, the company is willing, and thinks it can so arrange matters as to enable its employees to obtain a full average month's work.

Third-If the men agree to these terms and return to work immediately all minor grievances of which complaint has been made shall be investigated and receive prompt redress.

At a meeting of the strikers to-night a letter was laid before them and the meeting addressed by Vice President Keyser. Speeches were also made by J.H. Elder, President of the Committee, and others, in opposition to the propositions, and they were unanimously rejected. The company will run their freight trains to-morrow under the protection of the military and civil authorities and will make no further concessions to strikers. The officials of the road claim Governor Carroll has issued a proclamation calling upon the sheriff of Baltimore city and the Sheriffs of the counties through which the Baltimore and Ohio road runs, to provide for the safety of property and secure free passage to trains conveying passengers or merchandise.



BUFFALO, July 27.-Nearly all the passenger and freight trains are running regularly, and it is expected every difference will be adjusted by to-morrow. Trains are not made up on the Canada Southern road, except on the Niagara branch. The main difficulry [sic] is at St. Thomas. A detachment of strikers from that place waited on Superintendent Tellinghast, and presented a series of resolutions. A conference followed, and a majority of the strikers expressed their willingness to return to work. The mails were sent out and received regularly.

The police are hourly pulling in tramps, and the jail is full. Several ring leaders of the riot have been arrested. One is Jack Clary, the leader of the attack on the militia on Monday night.

No live stock has been received since Monday. Shipments were made to-day of all western consignments of stock, namely, 13 cars of cattle, 9 cars of hogs and 14 cars of sheep, leaving the yards bare of stock.


NEW YORK, July 27.-Trouble does not exist in this city nor is any apprehended. The attempt to arouse the cabinet makers to a strike seems an utter failure. The Police Board to-day informed the Mayor that it is not necessary to keep the military longer at their armories, and thank the regiments for their manifestation of cordial co-operation. Major General Dakin has asked the Governor for permission to relieve the regiments on duty in Brooklyn from further service, as there was no further danger of trouble there. A double train of thirty-three cars arrived last evening with Delaware peaches at the Pennsylvania Central railroad depot, and everything is expected to be soon its usual quick running order.


The employees of a large furniture factory here who struck yesterday because they did not get twenty-five per cent. increase, returned to work to-day at existing rates.


ELMIRA, July 27.-The Northern Central strike is over. No concessions were asked or made. No dismissals will be made. The military have been dismissed. There is great rejoicing among the people. The Lehigh strike continues. Orders have been issued to close the road for thirty days.


ALBANY, July 27.-It is thought the strike in this neighborhoods is ended. The workmen from West Albany shops held a further meeting to-day at Capital Park, and outside influence demanded. It was resolved to hold no more public meetings, but to conduct gatherings in their own rooms. All violence was denounced. Troops throughout the whole State were dismissed to-night by a general order from the Adjutant General.


NEW YORK, July 27.-A committee of engineers of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, this morning waited on Railroad Superintendent Reasoner, and made a proposition to go to work at once at the company's terms, provided the firemen be allowed to do the same, and that the company give them their old wages as soon as times got better. The proposition was laid before President Sloan, and he immediately agreed to it.

Superintendent Toucey said to-day that all trains on the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad were running on time, and there was no trouble at any point.

Trains on the Canada Southern Railroad were to have commenced running this morning. Freight is taken to all points, and passenger tickets are likewise issued.


CINCINNATTI, July 27.-There is nol [sic] much change in the situation to report to-night. Passenger trains are running on all roads out of the city, and with the exception of the Ohio & Mississippi road the local freight trains are running in all directions.


COLUMBUS, July 27.-The following dispatch has been received here:

INDIANAPOLIS, July 27.-To D.W. Caldwell, General Manager P.C. & St. L.- The strike is over here. The strikers ask to go to work and say nothing more about the railroads to accede to their request. [Signed] ORAN PERRY, General Agent.

TOLEDO, July 27.-An attempt was made this afternoon to move a freight train on the Lake Shore Railroad but the strikers detached the engine and returned it to the round house. A man named Lee, of Pittsburgh, one of the principal leaders among the rioters, was arrested this afternoon.



PEORIA, July 27.-The leaders of the mob here were caught last night by the police, and about thirty were put in jail. Their followers were deterred from attempting their rescue by a few blank shots. The jail was guarded last night by the military. The Board of Trade guarded the gas works and water works, and this morning the leaders of the mob are demoralized. Every passenger train went out on time this morning escorted by a squad of troops and it is believed the trouble is now ended, though troops remain for an emergency. Additional arrests this morning completed the company of ringleaders now in jail. The factories closed yesterday are running to-day.


JOLIET, July 27.-The failure of Meeker & Co., Chicago, on occount [sic] of the strikers, has resulted in the closing of the steel mills here, the establishment being two months in arrears to its employees, and threats of violence are being made by the latter. An effort to pay them is being made.



GALVESTON, July 27.-The employees of the Texas Central road had a meeting at Houston this morning and appointed a committee to wait upon the officers of the road and lay before them their grievances. This committee was met by Vice President Jordan, Superintendent Swanson and Secretary Cave, who explained to them the embarrassments under which the road had been laboring and the necessity for economy in its management. After a lengthy conversation, it was agreed that the wages should be restored to the April standard, half of the increase to take effect August 1 and half October 1. The committee of employees immediately telegraphed to all points on the road that a satisfactory adjustment had been arrived at and work should be resumed at once. The railroad troubles in this State are now confined entirely to the Texas Pacific road.



DETROIT, July 27.-The trains on all the railroads in Michigan, with the exception of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern commenced running on their schedule time. The Lake Shore is running passenger trains, but no freight is allowed to go out.



DES MOINES, July 27.-Fifty tramps boarded a passenger train at Fort Dodge yesterday and refused to pay fare. The engineer stopped the engine, when the tramps ordered him to go on, threatening to shoot. He then took them to Ackley where they peaceably left.

Freight trains are resumed on the Rock Island to-day. No trouble here on any roads.

About this Document

  • Source: The Daily Post
  • Date: July 28, 1877