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

Tuesday May 5, 1914
Las Animus County, Colorado - Affidavits from Survivors of Ludlow, Part II

Children of the Ludlow Tent Colony
The Children of the Ludlow Tent Colony
The little son of Ometomica Covadle pleads for the life of his mother:

State of Colorado,
           Las Animas County, ss:
     Ometomica Covadle, being of lawful age, being first duly sworn, on oath deposes and says: That her name is Ometomica Covadle. I was going up to the store in the daytime, and the guards were all around the tents, and they start to shoot at the tents, and I only had time to get hold of my baby son, about 10 years old, and get into the pump; and the soldiers came up and tried to shoot inside where we were, and that came out of the pump when they tried to shoot with the machine guns and went into the arroyo. There were two dead men, and they jumped right top of them. Couple of soldiers came out of the arroyo and was going to kill both of us, and the little boy raised up his hands and said, "Don't shoot, for my mother's sake." I had a machine, and the soldiers took it out, and a lot of other stuff, and took it to the depot and kept it. They stole a trunk full of my clothes; I saw them take it with my own eyes. I had $5 in money that was stolen. They told me that I should be happy that you all were not killed.
                                                                     Ometomica (her x mark) Covadle.
     Subscribed and sworn to before me this 1st day of May, A. D. 1914.
     [SEAL.]                                                        Leon V. Griswold, Notary Public.
     My commission expires September 10, 1917.

[emphasis added]

Ludlow Tent Colony Before The Fire
Maria Chaves witnessed the militia's gunthugs looting the tents before destroying all of the earthly possessions of 1200 men, women and children:

State of Colorado,
           Las Animas County, ss:
     Maria Chaves, being first duly sworn, on oath deposes and states: That her name is Maria Chaves. Early in the morning I seen a woman going to the soldiers' camp, and I think she was a traitor, and as soon as this woman got to the camp the guards came out, and as soon as they reached the camp they started to fire at the camp. When they started to fire at the camp they kept on firing all day, and when they started to fire at the camp we all went into the cellar, about 9 o'clock in the morning. And we stayed in the cellar all day until the soldiers took us out about 3 or 4 o'clock in the p. m. They would come inside of the tents and take the best things and then set fire to the tents. I don't know how they set the fire, but I know that they set the tents on fire. I lost all my personal effects in this fire. I had $250 in the sewing machine that my husband's people had sent, and I lost all of that.
                                                                                               Maria Chaves.
     Subscribed and sworn to before me this 1st day of May, A. D. 1914.
     [SEAL.]                                                         Leon V. Griswold, Notary Public.
     My commission expires September 10, 1917.

[emphasis added]

Children of Ludlow
Josephine Bartolotti standing at the far left in the second row.
Her older half sister Catherine Micheli Poletti in the center of the back row with black bow.
They are the daughter and step-daughter of Martyr John Bartolotti
Mrs. Clorinda Padilla tells of guards who thought that the women of Ludlow "ought to be burned in the tents:"

State of Colorado.
           Las Animas County, ss:
     Mrs. Clorinda Padllla: About 9 o'clock I heard two signal shots fired, and about five minutes after they started to firing with the machine guns, shooting to the tent colony at Ludlow, and then I put my four children in the hole we had made under the tent, and we stayed there in the hole without food and water until about 11 o'clock at night. They were shooting all day long, never stopped a minute. During the day I heard Mr. Snyder say that his boy had been killed. The tents were full of holes, like lace. I came out of the tent for a minute to get something for the children to eat, and while I was out there they began shooting again and a bullet came close to me, and then I went back into the hole. At some time late in the afternoon they started to burn the tents. When the tents were first fired, they did not burn my tent ; later in the evening the soldiers came back to fire the rest of the tents, and they heard my children crying, and they said, "There is a family in there," and they helped me out and took me and the children to the depot. While at the depot three Mexican guards got mad at the women and said they ought to be burned in the tents.
                                                                                         Clorinda Padilla.
     Subscribed and sworn to before me this 1st day of May, A. D. 1914.
     [SEAL.]                                                            Leon Griswold, Notary Public.
     My commission expires September 10, 1917. affidavit.

[emphasis added]

Ludlow Tent Colony, Wire in Well
Wire Thrown into Colony's Water Supply
After Linderfelt Ordered All Wire Fence
Around Colony Cut Down
James Fyler was the secretary of the Ludlow Union. Walter Fink describes his heroism on that day:
James Fyler..was another striker who was murdered while a prisoner of the Hamrock-Linderfelt "militiamen."

Fyler was one of the real heroes of that day. With his life in danger every minute, he remained at the telephone, giving the would the only news of the horror. He was shot with an explosive bullet, which blew out the front of his face. When his body was found, $300 which he had in his pocket that morning was missing.

In her testimony, Mrs. Fyler remembers a happier day when the colony united to help the Greeks celebrate the Orthodox Easter. The women turned out in their new bloomers, given to them as an Easter present, to take on the men in a friendly game of baseball. The day ended in terror as militiamen-gunthugs rode onto the ball field carrying their rifles:

State of Colorado,
     Las Animas County, ss:
     Mrs. James Fyler, of lawful age, being first duly sworn, on oath deposes and says: That her name is Mrs. James Fyler; the first we know is three soldiers came down and demanded of Louis Tikas that he give them a man that they wanted in the tent colony; that they wanted him; and he asked them who gave them authority to come there, and they said that they came under the military laws, and he told them that the military laws were out, and that they could not have anyone in the tent colony, so then they went away and Louie told them to send Maj. Hamrock down and he would talk with him, and they did not send him and Louie went to the depot to meet Maj. Hamrock, and they had quite a conversation up there and the first we saw of Louie he was coming down waving his handkerchief for the crown [sic, crowd?] to go back, as soon as he got in sight of the tent colony, and when he got to the tent colony Mrs. Dominsky and I were standing there, we were the only two that were out right in the crowd, and I walked over to my husband — he was looking for a pair of field glasses — and I asked if he had saw my boy, and he told me no, he had not; so just then they shot off one of the bombs and one of the machine guns on the D. & R. G. tracks; those were the first shots that were fired, and Louie waved his hand kerchief at us and said, "Good by, I will never see you any more," so then we made our escape to the pump station. That was about 2 o'clock when the shooting started, and we stayed there all day, then, without even any water, food, or anything. Then, about 4.30, I would judge, they turned the machine guns on the tent colony with full force, and I should judge about 6 o'clock the tent colony started to burn, and about 7 o'clock a freight train came in from Aguilar, and we made our escape to the arroyo, and then we made our escape to Mr. Frank Bayes's ranch, and from there he hitched up his team and took us to Wineberg's ranch, and we landed there about 2 o'clock in the morning, and about 12 o'clock the next day we came to Trinidad. We got to Trinidad about 5 o'clock in the evening, and there I learned of my husband's death. I did not know he was killed until that time. The Sunday before, at 10 o'clock, we had a ball game, and we [the women] played the men and we got through about 1 o'clock; then we all went to the Greek's for our dinner, and then after that Louie took our pictures five different ways with our bloomers on; then we went back and played another game of ball in the p. m., about 2 o'clock, and during our ball game there were four of the militia came down, and each one carried a gun, a rifle in their hands, and we remarked about it on account of it being the first time they had ever carried guns at the ball game.
     Affiant further states that from the time the shooting started in the morning there were only four men there on the grounds, the others having fled to the hills.
     Further affiant saith not.                                                     Mrs. James Fyler.
     Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of April, A. D. 1914.
     [SEAL.]                                                            Leon Griswold, Notary Public.
     My commission expires September 10, 1917.

[emphasis added]

Ludlow After The Fire
Mrs. Ed Tonner swore out another affidavit to describe the courage of Mr. Frank Bayes who offered shelter to the women and children as they fled from the Ludlow Tent Colony on that terrible day:

State of Colorado,
           Las Animas County, ss:
     Mrs. Ed Tonner, who is about to become a mother, of lawful age, being first sworn, upon oath deposes and says: That her name is Mrs. Ed Tonner. At about 10 in the morning I was in my front room tent sweeping and I heard the two bombs fired, and I started grabbing for my five children, and to throw them into a cave right under my front tent, and I stayed there until about 8 o'clock at night. All this time from 10 in the morning until 8 o'clock at night the machine guns were going. Mr. Snyder came along and he said " My oldest son, Frank, has half of his head blowed off," and he said " If your children wont lay down, slap them and make them lay down rather than have them killed," he said, and he held out his two arms like that [indicating] and they were full of blood, and it seemed that after he left his tent that the machine guns turned loose all the more. My tent was so full of holes that it was like lace, pretty near. It could have been about 4 when little Frank got his head hurt, and a little while after this they tried to set the tents on fire. I kept bobbing my head up and down, and Mr. Fyler said, "For God's sake keep your head down, or you will get it blown off." About 6 o'clock they turned around and tore the tent between the two tents, and they set the broom on fire with coal oil, and they set the tent on fire, with me right underneath with my five little children, then Gusta Retlich she helped me out with the children, grabbed them up, and then we run to a Mexican lady's tent farther down, and then Louie the Greek helped me, he helped lay down into a hole and threw water in my face as I was fainting with all the children, and then Louie the Greek heard some Mexican baby cry, and he said, " I must go and see what I can do for it," and then after that he says "You people had better hit it for that ranch over the Bayes," and we stayed there until the next night; they were shooting at the ranch house, although we had a white flag out, but they shot just the same. Mr. Bayes then took us to another ranch called Powell's ranch. They let Mr. Bayes then take us to another ranch called Powell's ranch. They let Mr. Bayes through all right and back all right, but when he got back to his ranch they fired on him and hit one of his mules in the thick part of the leg, and the next morning we went from Powell's ranch to Aguilar. I was not expecting anything like that and I had very little clothes on. A thin skirt and a mother-hubbard apron, and my oldest shoes. Everything that I had in this world was lost. I lost a $35 watch, $8 chain of my own; gold watch of my husbands, worth about $25; and then I had a hair chain of my own hair, worth $5; watch charm of my children's hair, worth $5; $16 pair of glasses; bracelets of my little girl's, worth $5; opal ring, $7; $10 in money. Not a thing left in the world.
     Further affiant saith not.
                                                                                            Mrs. Ed Tonner.
     Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of April, A. D. 1914.
     [SEAL]                                           Leon V. Griswold, Notary Public.
     My commission expires September 10, 1917.

[emphasis added]

Congressional edition, Volume 6937
United States. Congress
U.S. G.P.O., 1916
"Final Report and Testimony
Presented to Congress by the
Commission on Industrial Relations
Created by the Act of
August 23, 1912"
Search preview with either page numbers or names:

The Ludlow Massacre
-by Walter H. Fink
Williamson-Haffner, Denver, Colorado

Buried Unsung
Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre

-by Zeese Papanikolas
U of Utah Press, 1982

See also:
HJ: Families of Ludlow Martyrs Remember Their Heroes after 100 Years of Silence

1). Children of the Ludlow Tent Colony
2). The Ludlow Tent Colony Before The Fire
3). Daughter and Step-Daughter of Martyr John Bartolotti
4). Wire in the Well of Ludlow Tent Colony*
5). The Ludlow Tent Colony After The Fire
*Note: man at well is unidentified, used here to represent Brother Fyler and all that the leaders of the Colony had to contend with leading up to the Massacre.

The Red Flag - Songs of Irish Labor

Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.
                            -Jim Connell

The Men, Women and Children Who Lost Their Lives in Freedom's Cause

Honor Roll

See also:


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy, WE NEVER FORGET, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:00:22 AM PDT

  •  To give some perspective on the losses... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, poco, Galtisalie, YucatanMan

    ...from theft and vandalism...

    In 1914,
    Price of a Model T Ford: $550.
    Price of a loaf of bread: $.01
    Price of Sirloin Steak: $.24

    Weekly wages in 1914 for...
    Carpenter: $28.73
    Plumber: $30.36
    Farm Hand: $21.05

    Bank deposits were not federally insured in 1914. No credit cards in 1914. It was a cash economy. Many working class folks carried their savings with them.

    Just thought I'd throw this in for those readers not exposed to the historical realities of life in the first part of the 20th Century.

    Sources: Wikipedia, the Historical Text Archive

    Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

    by rbird on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:21:07 PM PDT

    •  Thank you rbird. (5+ / 0-)

      I haven't been able to find much about pay, by the year, for the miners. Of course it would vary as they were paid by the ton. "Difficult" miners might be punished by being given a bad room that would produce little.

      It would also depend on how many days in a year they actually worked. Lay offs were common.

      Also they were not allowed to shop at the stores in Trinidad, they could be fired for that. They had to shop at the company store were prices were higher. This is from Mary Thomas and other sources.

      Freedom to shop were they pleased was one of the demands of the strike which was already state law, but unenforced.

      I'm still making my way thru the House and Senate investigations of the Colorado strike, so I might yet come across more info regarding average yearly pay of a miner in the Southern Colorado Coalfields just prior to the strike.

      But suffice to say that the $250 stolen from the family above was a lot of money at the time.

      God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

      by JayRaye on Mon May 05, 2014 at 04:44:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should have mentioned... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, Dirtandiron

        ...those are union wages from the New York City area, I think.

        The miners probably received pay more in line with the farm hand wages.

        What makes the forced shopping at company stores more onerous, their prices were sometimes higher than non-affiliated stores and they were geared toward forcing debt upon the worker. You couldn't quit your job until the debt was paid off.

        I grew up listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford, my parents loved him. They had this exact record.  But I understand those who prefer Johnny Cash. Here's the link to his cover of the song:

        Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

        by rbird on Mon May 05, 2014 at 07:49:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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