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

Saturday June 18, 1904
From the Appeal to Reason: Comrade Morris Reports from Colorado Battlefield

From this week's edition of the Appeal to Reason comes a plea for justice from correspondent, Henry O. Morris, of Pueblo, Colorado. Readers of Hellraisers will remember that General Bell had that city searched last April in an effort to take the intrepid Socialist reporter into custody. That effort, apparently, did not result in the capture of Morris, for he remains on the ground in Colorado, and his reports of the situation there continue to be published in the Appeal.

The following telegram needs no explanation from the Appeal. Suffice it to say that Comrade Morris is facing ruin and imprisonment, even death, in his efforts to familiarize the great public through the columns of the Appeal, of the dastardly crimes being committed in Colorado. The military authorities have offered a reward for the capture of Morris. He could easily step across the Colorado line and thus be free for a time, but he stays bravely at his post, to the end that the great outside world may have a correct idea of the situation in that state. Can you feel that you are true to the working class movement if you fail to do your part in helping to distribute one million copes of this issue of the Appeal, promised to Comrade Morris? I do not believe you can:

Pueblo, Colo., June 11.-I beg and implore you, in the name of justice and truth, to give full and complete publication to the awful story of Colorado's shame. As I write my eyes are blinded with tears and my heart overflowing with bitterness. I have just laid down the paper containing such a horrid assortment of infamies perpetrated by the law and order people in Cripple Creek that I am dazed-dumb with amazement that almighty God does not smite the brutal villains dead. Innocent men murdered, their wives and daughters ravished, their little homes invaded by the Colorado Soldiers and Citizens' Alliance mobs, where hellish lust must be.

Satisfied only when everything of value is destroyed: husbands, fathers and brothers dragged, bleeding to loathsome prisons, denied food, herded like cattle in foul stock cars and sent into exile. Oh! the horror! The pages of Russian and Spanish history can furnish no parallel to the bloody deeds of James H. Peabody and the "Colorado Weyler," Sherman Bell. These two names will ever be accursed by honest men and women. In the name of Jehovah, tell the people our misery and degradation.
                                                                      HENRY O. MORRIS.

Morris's dispatches from Colorado fill the pages of this week's Appeal to Reason, of which we offer a few examples:

"Tear-Stained Women, Plainly Dressed"

Homes invaded, men dragged away to the bull pen in front of wives and terrified children, leads to heart-wrenching scenes at the bullpens of Cripple Creek and Victor:

At Cripple Creek the military authorities have forbidden the Women's Auxiliary of the miners' union to hold meetings. All day Friday, [June 10?] says a news dispatch, "tear-stained women, plainly dressed, besieged the bull pens in Cripple Creek and Victor, begging the armed guards for permission to see husbands, fathers, brothers and sweethearts. Admission was denied, but later the women were permitted to talk to the prisoners in the afternoon, separated after the manner political prisoners are separated in Russia, from their friends and relatives who visit them. And the only crime these men had committed was that of being a member of an organization, formed to protect their interest."

[emphasis added]

Cripple Creek Deportations June 1914
The good people of the town of Holly, Colorado, come to the aid of the deported miners; miner's home threatened; mother and baby taken to bullpen:

Special dispatch to Appeal to Reason.

Pueblo, Colo., June 12.-When the train bearing the deported miners from Cripple Creek, on the way to the desert, where they were dumped after being robbed of their money and valuables, by the brave officers and men of the Colorado National Guards, reached La Junta, the pitiable condition of the exiles drew forth groans and execrations from the brave citizens. Where upon the khaki clad heroes leaped from the train and attacked the bystanders on the platform with their revolvers and rifles. The station agent was brutally beaten. One woman was knocked down with a blow from a revolver in the hands of a brave (?) soldier and one little boy brutally kicked. After the miners had been abandoned on the desert, they walked back along the track to Holly, a small town near the Kansas state line. This is a Salvation army colony and from these Christian people, the exiles received a hearty welcome, food and lodging.

Acted Like Gentlemen.

The mayor of Holly, the town marshal and the citizens, especially the ladies, vied with each other to make amends for the despicable conduct of the soldiers. Mayor of Holly, Mr. J. B. Harden, telegraphed your correspondent, referring to the miners: "they treated us like gentlemen; we treated them the same."

Another Capitalist Dynamite Outrage.

Saturday night an infernal electric machine, heavily charged with dynamite, was placed under the residence of W. B. Easterly, a union miner and an officer of the local union, by a detective in the employ of the Citizens' alliance. Before it had exploded, it was discovered and destroyed by Mr. Easterly, No mention of this has been made in the newspapers. Murder, arson and robbery stalk arm in arm in Colorado. Even the capitalist class are alarmed and well they may be, for the resolve of the miners is "An eye for an eye, a tooth for tooth."

The infernal machine was placed under W. B. Easterly's home presumably by Sterling, the detective who is suspected of blowing up the depot at Independence last Monday.

Wife and Child in Bull Pen.

To what depths of depravity the military mob can sink is illustrated by the arrest, yesterday, of the invalid wife of James Printy, a miner of Cripple Creek. She and her little four-months-old baby, were thrown in the Bull Pen and for two days and nights subjected to the foul abuse of the brave warriors of Colorado. Think of it, citizens of America, the governor and his cowardly adjutant general, making war upon helpless women and children. Hide your heads, you cowards, if you sanction such bestially. Mrs. Printy was compelled to undergo a personal search of her clothing by a miserable brute, clothed in the uniform of the Colorado National Guard. Talk of Weyler, the Spanish butcher, and then take off your hat to Colonel Verdecberg.

What really happened at the Portland Mine, and why; ALL union men must go; the "law and order" of the Citizens' Alliance; detective of Mine Owners' Association suspected in Independence Depot explosion:

                                                                             Pueblo, Colo., June 10, 1904
Appeal to Reason, Girard, Kansas.

The Portland mine at Victor, Colorado, the greatest mine in Colorado, and owned by the James Burns syndicate, employes 800 union miners. During all the trouble raised by the Citizens' Alliance mobs and scab herder soldiers "Jimmy" Burns has been loyal to his union men and the union men have been loyal to him. This made the Portland mine a source of trouble to the organization of law breakers known as the Colorado Mine Owners' Association.

Last night the militia and deputies, armed with Krag-Jorgensen rifles, and a mob of Citizens' Alliance thugs, also armed with state arms invaded the mine and closed it. The mob was in command of the swash buckler hero suspect, Sherman Bell.

The miners were ordered to leave the county or be shot, and Jimmy Burns who is now in Denver, was wired to stay in Denver to escape hanging.

The crime for which he is to be executed is employing union miners.

All Union Men Must Go.

Yesterday afternoon the officers of ALL the unions, cooks, waiters, carpenters, blacksmiths, masons, clerks, electricians, drivers, hod carriers, railroad employes, engineers, firemen, barbers, etc., numbering in all something over seven thousand men, were told to take their choice of swearing allegiance to the Citizens' Alliance, leave the county or be hung or shot.

The employers were visited by an armed mob of Citizens' Alliance members and compelled to sign a declaration to employ no more union help, or hang.

I have not the least doubt many of the readers of this will question the truth of this statement, but I solemnly assert before the ever-living God what I have here written is the truth. But it is not the whole truth, because, should I write all I know it would be too horrible for any decent citizen to believe.

The Victor Record plant, which was destroyed by the Citizens' Alliance mob, was valued at eight thousand dollars.

Many Unreported Murders Committed.

Many murders have been committed by the soldiers and the Citizens' Alliance that have not been published to the world. Homes have been invaded, women ravished, children kicked ad beaten and every species of deviltry known to the Citizens' Alliance indulged in without let or hindrance. No law save the law of brutes and cowards now governs the beautiful state of Colorado, and the chief thug and author of all is James H. Peabody, the accident governor.

Publish his deviltry that the workers of the world may read of the infamy of decaying capitalism.

Citizens' Alliance Guilty.

Yesterday a prominent attorney of this city and a brother of a United Senator told me that the evidence pointed almost conclusively to the detectives employed by the Mine Owners' Association as the authors of the dynamite explosion at the Independence depot. It was certainly not committed by miners. Considering the assassinations and mobbings perpetrated in the name of law and order, I feel sure that the attorney is correct.
                                                                                           HENRY O. MORRIS

Appeal to Reason
(Girard, Kansas)
-of June 18, 1904

See also:
Hellraisers, April 24, 1904, "MILITIA LEADERS SEEK A SOCIALIST"

It appears that Morris was also the author of:
Waiting for the signal: a novel
- by Henry O. Morris
The Schulte publishing co., 1897

1). "To W. F. of M., GET OUT!"
From Appeal to Reason, June 18, 1904
2). Cripple Creek Strike Deportations

Workers of the World Awaken

Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might
Take the wealth which you are making
It belongs to you by right
No one will for bread be crying
We'll have Freedom, Love and Health
When the Grand Red Flag is flying
In the Workers Commonwealth.

            -Joe Hill (words and music)


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

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

    by JayRaye on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 11:00:32 AM PDT

  •  Excellent JayRaye. The solidarity of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Joe Jackson, Black Mare

    people of Holly to these desperate workers was moving. And Henry O. Morris's brave reporting was too. It is sickening the way the Citizens' Alliance worked, forcing people to sign up as mercenaries. Reminds me of what happened in Germany beginning less than 20 years later. This pressure to people to turn their heads to human suffering in exchange for not suffering themselves was totalitarian, under cover of the state. I don't doubt that the Citizens' Alliance goons were on a continuum with their brown-shirted progeny.

    By the way, I know in the South the Citizens' Alliance was often synonymous with the KKK and oppressed African Americans mercilessly too. They used the same techniques against any whites who did not go along with their cruelty. Nationalistic mob capitalism ever aimed at solidarity.

    Three questions:

    Who published Appeal to Reason?

    Was Morris likely acquainted with Debs?

    Did the Portland mine stay closed after this?

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 03:21:47 PM PDT

    •  Also, thank you for the heads up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, Joe Jackson

      about Henry O. Morris and his novel. I went to the link and have downloaded the book for free. It looks quite interesting. Seems to include his socialism, which seems to be both scientific and religiously-inspired. I will hopefully read it. When I do, if it seems worthwhile and pertinent to the labor hero he would become, I will do a review for Hellraisers Journal.

      garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

      by Galtisalie on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 05:02:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Appeal to Reason: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I could find no record of Morris meeting Debs, but of course that doesn't mean that their paths never crossed. Esp if Morris was ever delegate to Conventions of the Socialist Party of America at the same time that Debs attended.

      If I remember correctly, the Portland soon opens up non-union, but we shall see, I review old research and do some new research as we move along..stay tuned to Hellraisers for further developments!

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

      by JayRaye on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 05:26:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you so much for sharing so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        generously with all of us. It is truly a wonderful contribution you are making. I cannot imagine the hard work, concentration, and skills you have to employ, and know it can only be a labor of love for those who labor, just like Mother Jones.

        garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

        by Galtisalie on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 07:49:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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