Tuesday May 3, 1904
Southern Coalfields, Colorado - Another Union Organizer Beaten, Not Expected to Live
The strike zone of the southern coalfields of Colorado continues to be a dangerous place for union organizers working for the United Mine Workers of America. Brother Wardjon was brutally assaulted there three days ago and is not expected to live. Today's San Francisco Chronicle reports on this and other news regarding the labor situation in Colorado:
ASSAULT ON A LABOR LEADER
Mine Union Organizer Wardjon Beaten on Head in Colorado
So Severely That He May Die
DENVER, (Col.). April 30.-W. M. Wardjon, national organizer of the United Mine Workers of America was terribly beaten on the head and shoulders with revolvers by three unknown men at Sargent, Col., to-day and lies in a critical condition at the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Hospital at Salida. Wardjon was traveling eastward from Crested Butte, where he had been organizing the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company's miners, and was attacked in a car while the train was standing at Sargent.
He is suffering from concussion of the brain, and the hospital physicians say his recovery is doubtful.
In a lengthy brief filed before the Supreme Court to-day by Attorney E. F. Richardson in the habeas corpus case of Charles H. Moyer, president of the Western Federation of Miners, who is held as a military prisoner at Telluride, Governor James H. Peabody is declared to be a usurper. Governor Peabody is compared by Richardson to a soldier drunk with power, and his acts in trying to suppress the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus compared to the acts of tyranny practiced on the people of England by the olden kings.
Richardson, in his brief, attacks the decision of the Supreme Court of Idaho in a similar case, and says it is the only court in the country that has said that the military was above the judiciary. He says that the decision does not follow precedent or commonsense, and that the Judges of the Supreme Court of Colorado should not consider it when deciding the present case.
The Legislature alone, Richardson says , has the authority to determine when the conditions require the suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus and then to suspend it.
PUEBLO (Col.).-April 30.-Because Charles Demolli, a former organizer of the United Mine Workers, failed to appear to-day as complaining witness against Oreste Pagnini, charged with being the ringleader of a gang which assaulted the Italian labor leader several weeks ago, the case was dismissed by Justice McCallip. Pagnini, however, will be held on a complaint sworn to by William Gearhard, charging him with assaulting Demolli with intent to kill. Demolli is in the coal fields of Kansas and is in communication with friends here.
INDIANAPOLIS (Ind.), April 30.-The Colorado situation was again taken up at to-day's session of the national executive board of the United Mine Workers of America. Officers announced this afternoon that nothing had been done that my be made public. Vice-President Lewis has received work that a strike of 8000 coal miners in the eastern part of the Fifth Ohio sub-district will occur next Monday, as the result of a fruitless conference between operators and miners extending over the last ten days.
President Mitchell has telegraphed to "Mother" Jones, who is being held in quarantine near Price, Utah, directing her to report to him in person in this city as soon as possible. He says that there is no significance attached to this, and that the order was issued because the work in the district 15 at the present time is scarcely suitable for a women.
[emphasis added within paragraphs]
San Francisco Chronicle
(San Francisco, California)
-of May 1, 1904
Sunday May 3, 1914
From the Appeal to Reason: Appeal Army Called to Immediate Action in the Class War
The mast head of the front page can be viewed above. On the second page the masthead declared:
The following are portions of a few of the articles on the Colorado Coal War from yesterday's Appeal to Reason. We urge everyone to pick up this issue of the Appeal and read it from front to back.
The Murderous Colorado Militia Was Recruited from Professional Gunmen
Another article at the top of the front page declares the Socialist Party of America opposed to war with Mexico in no uncertain terms. And, at the top left of the front page, we find this story:
Blood of Slaughtered Babes Calls for Immediate Action
"God give us men: A time like this demands
Great hearts, strong minds, true faith and willing hands."
Two wars are now on. Both are wars in the interest of John D. Rockefeller and American capitalism. One is a war for the commercial and political domination of Mexico by the oil king and his colleagues. The other is a war to crush out the rebellious spirit of the wage slaves of the Colorado coal mines, owned and operated by the Rockefeller interest.
As you read this, the newspapers will have given you columns upon columns about the American conquest of Mexico. Every known method of appealing to the gullibility of the American workers will have been used. The flag incident and other excuses will have been put forward to justify the sending of the American military and naval forces to our neighboring country. At the same time distorted reports of the bloodiest slaughter of working men in modern times will have appeared in the capitalist press.
This latest battle at Ludlow, Colo., is probably the most outrageous assault upon the rights, liberties and lives of the working class in American history. This issue of the Appeal to Reason gives you only what cold ink and type can transmit. No amount of writing can give you an adequate description of the murdering and maiming of women and children such as occurred last week in one of the sovereign states of this republic. On the other hand the slightest affront to the alleged dignity of American capitalism will have been played up and elaborated upon by most expert writers, artists and photographers that the filthy lucre of capitalism's prostituted press can purchase.....
[paragraph break added]
Gunmen Army Riddles Tent Colony With Bullets, then Burn bodies in Coal Oil
Scores of Miners, Their Wives and Babies Slain in Cold Blood by Mine Magnates Private Army of Gunmen-Truce Bearer Receives 51 Bullets.
EXPLOSIVE BULLETS USED ON HELPLESS BABES
Bloody Incidents of French Revolution Outdone by Greedy Exploiters Headed
by Rockefeller-While Wilson Sends Military Forces to "Civilize"
Mexico, Colorado is Soaked with Blood of Disinherited.
Militia Company Mutinies When Called Out
By Telegraph to APPEAL TO REASON.
Denver, Colo., April 23-Twenty-eight bodies of striking coal miners have been recovered from the ruins of the Ludlow tent colony, and at least thirty more are believed to have been burned by the gunmen militia in huge funeral pyre of bullet ridden and suffocated bodies. Mrs. Pearl Jolly has made an affidavit to the effect that she saw militiamen pile bodies of women and children in a huge pile, pour coal oil over it and set it on fire. The total number of dead strikers their wives and babes may reach sixty.
WALTER H. FINKE.
The Colorado Massacre
The past week has witnessed the greatest labor battle America ever knew. The long strike of the miners has terminated in bloodshed exceeding the casualties of our war in Mexico.
It all resulted from the destruction of the tent colony of the strikers at Ludlow, by the private army of the Rockefeller interests. The regular state troops were not in the field, General Chase refusing to serve after the resources of the state were exhausted. After the hired soldiers had set fire to the tents, riddling with bullets women and children who attempted to escape, until more than twenty had perished, and some say as high as forty, they piled the bodies together, saturated them with Standard Oil, and burned them, to hide evidence of their guilt.
The slaughter of these innocents enraged the miners. Wherever they appeared they were fired on and many of them were killed. This made them desperate. Then they begged and borrowed arms, and speedily surrounded the guards. Others from outside and even from other states, hearing of the trouble, shouldered arms and marched to Ludlow. For three days desultory firing continued, resulting in many deaths and the wounding of far more on both sides....
Nothing like such a class war has ever been known in America. The days of the barricades in France pale before its bloodiness.
Company C Mutinies
Denver, Colo.-Company C. National Guard. Mutinied today [April 23], shortly before time for the troop train which was to convey them with 500 other men to the strike region, was due to leave Denver. The train was held at the station.
Members of the company declared they refused to go to the strike zone because they opposed the murdering of women and children. The troop train left Denver after 10 o'clock, without the mutinous company. No arrests made.
Appeal to Reason
-of May 2, 1914
This same issue of the Appeal carries a cartoon by Ryan Walker, wherein Henry Dubb heads off to Mexico with his gun on his shoulder "while those who declare war stay at home." Watching Dubb march away are Capital, Editor, Congress, and Wilson. Wilson is saying, "Make 'em salute the flag." That adventure is in not found here, but several other "Adventures of Henry Dubb" can be found here:
Appeal to Reason, Front page, May 2, 1914
We Have Fed You All For A Thousand Years - Utah Phillips
We have fed you all a thousand years-
For that was our doom, you know,
From the days when you chained us in your fields
To the strike a week ago.
You have taken our lives, and our babies and wives,
And we're told it's your legal share,
But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth,
Good God! We bought it fair!
by An Unknown Proletarian