Imatges de pÓgina
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have read in Catholic newspapers during the strike and during the many scenes of suffering that have occurred since the strike was called off, but not ended. The whole assumption of these papers is that the owners of coal mines, those who have leased said mines, the operators of said mines, and now the members of the so-called coal trust, and trade generally denominated in such papers variously as coal barons, thieves and tyrants, are all rascals of the deepest dye and robbers and oppressors of the poor—especially of the poor miner. Further, that these socalled guilty gentlemen are to blame for all the suffering and excesses caused by the coal strike—the strike itself being angelic and free from blame, and I here confess that if I held such opinions I should be one of the first to say with my friend, the agnostic German Socialist, that said coal barons ought to be shot down like dogs—so serious are my views of the enormity of the crime of forcing this fearful state of affairs upon lawabiding and civilized communities. I here confess, however, that I do not believe in the soundness or truth of the position indicated; do not believe that the owners or operators of coal mines are responsible for the strike or for all or any of the murderous wrongs caused by the strike, but that one poor-headed, but ambitious man, named John Mitchell, is to blame for all these infamies; and hence I can but hold logically and consistently that said John Mitchell and a few of his pals ought not to be shot down like dogs—that is the work of Anarchists—but that they ought to be branded and hounded from the State and country in which they have wrought such mischief, and that some stringent laws should be passed, not at the dictation of Mitchell & Co. or other scavengers, but by the God-inspired sense of justice still latent in some men, such laws as would render it impossible for a low and base fellow like Mitchell ever again to perpetrate on a comparatively innocent community the evils he has wrought during the past year.

To me all this is as plain as the nose on your face, but as there are those who think differently or who profess to think differently, we will present a few facts to prove the truth of our position and the culpability of the agitators named.

In previous issues of this magazine I have discussed various phases of the strike and its injustices as related to personal liberty, the question of comparative wages, and have given many

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Here are snatches of Gobin's experience: "From the verbatim report of General Gobin's testimony before the Anthracite Strike Commission.—General Gobin.—On the night of the 30th of July I received orders to report at Harrisburg. Governor Stone was not at home and Adjutant-General Stewart was on duty. He exhibited to me various requests coming from the Sheriff and citizens of Schuylkill county giving information of a riot at that point during the afternoon of that day, at which then it was reported a number of men had been killed and requesting the assistance of troops. There were several gentlemen in Shenandoah in whom I had implicit confidence. I endeavored to get them by telephone. From one I got the information that satisfied both of us that the request of the Sheriff should be acceded to.

"At 12 o'clock I ordered out two regiments and the one troop of cavalry to start for Shenandoah. I arrived there with four companies of infantry at about 6.30 in the morning. The Sheriff met me there. His report was to the effect that he was utterly unable to do anything and that on the day previous there had been a serious riot in which a relative of his had been killed.

"The remainder of my command were coming in and I immediately began to make an arrangement for their encampment. I needed wagons and I was unable to get any. In Mahanoy City, four or five miles off, there was a fire company that gave me the first team I could get, a team belonging to the fire company, to convey my tents and rations up on the hill.

"Commissioner Parker—The livery people and so on in the town refused to give teams to you? "The witness—Yes, sir.

"Commissioner Watkins—In other words, you were boycotted, were you?

"The witness—Very badly, sir. The Sheriff remained with me part of the day. The Chief Burgess was sick, there were no policemen on duty. They had all been injured the previous day. There was, therefore, no civil authorities with whom I could consult.

"On the day following, however, the Chief Burgess, the Chief of Police, the President of the Town Council and one other member of the Town Council came to my headquarters and said that they were unable to exercise any control over the peace and

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er of that community, that they had no policemen, that their policemen had all been injured in the riot the day previous; that they could get no men to serve on the police force, and that they had no means of paying them if they could get them; that they could not get a meeting of the Town Council; that they could not get a quorum together, and therefore they must de

hen I looked for headquarters I went to the Ferguson

House and found there an old soldier, a Grand Army man whom I knew. He had seen the fight of the day before, or the row, or whatever you call it, and he did not deem it wise to get out of town that night, but he stayed over until the next morning. I had a long conversation with him and I received a great deal of information from him as to the character of the fight. It had centered around the depot of the Reading Company, which is a small frame building. I examined that depot and was satisfied from the bullet holes in it and around about it that there had been considerable of a muss there the day before.

"Next morning I met a number of gentlemen representing the miners' union—yes, I may say that—and had a conversation with them. They were headed by Miles Dockerty, whom I had seen on former occasions. They told me that there was no occasion for the troops; that they would have preserved order, or could have preserved order, if they had been called upon, that they had not been called upon, and that there was not much of a riot anyhow. I told them that I thought there was a good deal of a riot, and that the appearance of things indicated that there had been very much of a riot, and from the information I had we were in a community there without a particle of civil law and without a civil officer in commission or prepared to preserve the peace or maintain order." Finally, after long waiting, I gave the general order that whenever the soldiers themselves were stoned to return bullets for stones every time, and shoot to kill. After that matters grew a little quieter and citizens could live in some safety. Yet Father Curran, of Wilkesbarre, thinks the troops were not needed, forsooth, because the Catholic rioters did not bombard his house and violate the altars of his church.

If he had had any true sense of justice and civilization he might have been better employed. But that is an old story.

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id on me to keep order.

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