You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

Tuesday November 24, 1903
Goldfield, Colorado - Military has now taken to arresting and threatening children.

Five boys were released last evening from the military bullpen at Camp Goldfield. The boys ranged in age from 9 to 14 years old. We are not sure what crime these children had committed against the well armed militia men that would require them to be locked up in a well-fortified military prison, but we are happy to report that none of the brave militiamen were injured during the incident, whatever it was, or during the arrest, and imprisonment of the children.

The military was busy yesterday for, not being content with having violated the funeral, they also paid a visit upon the home of the widow of our recently deceased Brother, William Dodsworth, the late President of Miners' Union No. 32. Mrs. Emma F. Langdon gives this report from Victor:

A crowd of soldiers was passing, more than a block away, [from] the home of the late William Dodsworth, where the two Dodsworth children, aged 7 and 10 years, in company with other children were playing. None of the party on the porch, according to the best people in Goldfield, made any demonstration or offered any remark which could be heard by the soldiers or passerby; but suddenly three cavalry troopers detached themselves from the squad and rode directly to the house. The soldiers dashed up and ordered the oldest little fellow to fall in  line. This the child refused to do, and he ran into the house. The doors were at once locked. The soldier led his horse up to the very door and demanded that the boy be given into custody, but was met by an emphatic refusal by Mrs. Dodsworth, who promised him a warm reception should he attempt to take the child by force. Argument and command failing, the soldiers desisted and returned to their company.

After the departure of the soldiers, Mrs Dodsworth was completely prostrated and had to have medical aid. Following closely upon the tragic death and burial of the husband and father, the incident [has] aroused deepest indignation in Goldfield, and upon every hand by unionist and non-unionist.

[emphasis added]

The Cripple Creek Strike
-by Emma F Langdon
(Part I, 1st pub 1904)
NY, 1969

Monday November 24, 1913
From the Miners' Bulletin: "The Outlook Bright"

Michigan Copper Trammer
Trammer in Michigan Copper Country
The following article, offered in two parts, is from the front page of No. 38, the November 22nd edition of the Bulletin. Part I of article:
Not since the workers organized themselves into unions for their own protection has such a trend towards unionism been seen as in the past few months by the workingclass of America. A spirit breathing of solidarity, a spirit of brotherhood, has taken a hold on the workers of this continent. This does not necessarily mean that every worker will rush to the union of his or her craft and become a member at once, however the spirit of fraternity and class consciousness is building in the breasts of thousands of non-union workers and in due time will develop into the perfect fruit. With a little care and cultivation on the part of the organizer, the harvest will be abundant and will bring its blessings to all.

Working conditions in sections where unionism has no foothold have sunk to such a low ebb living having passed into merely the existing stage: that the workers almost helpless and hopeless are turning their eyes towards the unionizing forces of their segregated numbers. A condition of "existing" among the mine workers of this copper district has prevailed for a long period of years. During the early life of this district as a mining camp the conditions were somewhat ameliorated by much cheaper living than now exists. According to United States statistics living has gone up at least 60% [*] during the past few years. Have wages gone up correspondingly? No,-Wages in the copper district have remained piratically the same. The average for employes in and about the mines being a little better than $2.00 per ten hours work. Machine runners (the highest paid men in the mine) have never received a wage equaling $3.00 per shift of ten hours while the wage of muckers has been considerably less than $2.00.

The "kept press" of this district have time and again made statements to the effect that wages and working conditions in this district are better than they are in Butte, Mont., a statement so ridiculous that it needs no refutation. There is no metaliferous mining camp in the United States where the wage is so low and were living conditions are as deplorable as they are right here in the copper camps of Michigan. This in a measure accounts for the refusal of misled imported men to work in the mines of the district, a condition mine managers will be unable to overcome by either force or coercion. A raise in wages and better living conditions, the only alternative remaining.

[paragraphs added for ease of reading]

Miners' Bulletin
"Published by authority of
Western Federation of Miners
to tell the truth regarding
the strike of copper miners."
-of Nov 22, 1913

Photo: Michigan Copper Trammer

* Note: my copy of this issue has black splotch on this number, but does look like 60%, near as I can tell.


Sunday November 24, 2013
More on "Trammers, muckers, and track men:"

Once the rock was blasted away, men would load the broken ore into tram cars to be moved to the nearest shaft. In some mines, muckers did the work of shoveling the rock into tram cars, while trammers pushed them along rails to the shaft; in many mines, however, these two jobs were both done by the trammer. In later years, trammers also operated electric and battery-powered underground locomotives. Track men installed and maintained the small-guage rail tracks that the tram cars moved along.

Mucking and tramming were the most difficult and back-breaking jobs underground. As it required little skill to shovel rock and push heavy tram cars, these positions were often given to unskilled immigrants with little mining experiences. Early waves of Finnish immigrants often found themselves in this sort of work, and trammers were later drawn from the unskilled immigrants from Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.

Working for the Mining Companies, Mining Occupations

(One of my books states that both the husband and father of Annie Clemenc were trammers, can't find proper source right now, but will update when I find it.)

Sixteen Tons-Merle Travis

You load sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go,
l owe my soul to the company store.

                 -Merle Travis

Written for the coal miners, but dedicated here
   to the trammers and muckers of Michigan Copper Country, 1913.

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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