European Opinion

These articles from the July 27, 1877 issue of the Pittsburgh Daily Post note the response of European countries to the recent American railroad strikes and discuss American Cabinet proceedings in relation to the strike.

One Effect of the Great Railroad Strikes.
English and German Capitalists Alarmed, and American Credit Tumbling.

LONDON, July 25.-Extraordinary anxiety is felt in all circles concerning the disturbances in the United States. The suddenness, rapidity and general extent of the strikers are regarded as surprising and unexampled. The strikes have made a deeper and more painful impression on England than any event since the outbreak of the war of secession in 1861. As yet neither the English people nor the newspapers have been able to form any clear theory as to the causes of the outbreak. The public find in London newspapers only cold statements, such as the location of the riot, the number of people killed, and the value of property destroyed. The newspapers have generally expressed the hope that the United States Government would succeed in suppressing the insurrection. The Daily Telegraph however, thinks the corruption and mismanagement of the railroad managers have given to the employees the temptation and the opportunity. Whatever is the result of the Government's interference, the effect of the strike must be

A very painful impression is produced hereby the action of Governor Williams of Indiana in declaring that he would not interfere between the strikers and the railroad companies. It is the impression, however, among the more reasonable portion of the English people that Governor Williams' remarks were incorrectly cabled to this country. The thousands of holders of American railroad securities in England can not be made to believe that the Governor of a State in the Union would not interfere to protect the right of property.


The Herald's correspondent at Berlin telegraphs that intense interest prevails in the German Capital regarding the great American strike. Most of the papers have daily leaders on the subject. The Socialist leaders are loud in their eulogies of the martyred Mollie Maguires, and to show their sympathy for the strikers have opened subscriptions in their favor. Not much money is raised, however.

CABINET CONSULTATIONS. Evarts and Key Out Against the Corporations.

[Special to the Baltimore Gazette.]

WASHINGTON, July 24.-It has been almost impossible to learn anything in regard to the routine discussions that have been carried on at the Cabinet meetings, and especially to find out the views of the individual members. The question to be considered was felt to be, after the strike had spread somewhat, not whether mob violence was right or wrong, but whether the Government would be justified in so assisting the railroad companies against the more law-abiding strikers that it could be said the Administration was backing up the wealthy corporations in a private [family] quarrel. The discussion over this phase of the matter is known to have been warm and exciting. Secretary Thompson was of the opinion that the rights of the great highways of travel and the rights of the public were one and the same, and that both must, therefore, be equally protected by the strong arm of the Government. The President has been quoted as entertaining this same opinion so strongly that he favored going any length in preserving the property and rights of the corporations. In this he has been misrepresented. A very heavy pressure has been brought to bear on him by the railroad interests, and in some cases this has gone so far as to urge him to declare the several States where trouble existed in rebellion, and proceed against them with the strong arm of the Government. He has been very cautious, however, in giving any color to the suspicion that he would use his authority without careful consideration of the rights of all alike.

The most emphatic members of the Cabinet have been Secretaries Evarts and Key. Both of these gentlemen have strongly protested against encouraging any appeals to the general government except in cases where public rights exclusively have been invaded, and then only after the State authorities have exhausted all their resources. The former made such a forcible plea that the Cabinet was convinced and the Executive decided to proceed more cautiously hereafter and weigh the facts carefully in every case. Postmaster General Key coincided fully with Mr. Evarts in this view of the matter. He was specially solicitious [sic] about having the passage of the mails protected, and said that so far he had no complaint to make on that score. He believed the strikers were sincere in wishing to see the government interests unmolested.

The Secretary of War is inclined to think the most valuable militia forces are in New England and the South. The President has received dispatchers from the Governor of Virginia, tendering him one hundred thousand men, if necessary; from the Washington Light infantry, of New Orleans, one thousand strong, offering their services, and from the Governor of Rhode Island, offering all the forces in the State, which are unusually well disciplined. The New Orleans militia is an organization composed of veterans of the Confederate service. The President was pleased to receive these evidences of good feeling toward the National Government, believing them proofs that sectionalism was fast dying out.

About this Document

  • Source: The Daily Post
  • Date: July 27, 1877