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Please begin with an informative title:

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

-Mother Jones

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Wednesday February 10, 1904
From The Coffeyville Daily Journal: Mine Guards Kill Four in Strike Troubles in Tennessee

A STRIKE TRAGEDY.
----------
Four Men Killed and Three Wounded in Tennessee.

Knoxville, Tenn., Feb. 9.-A bloody tragedy was enacted today in the little mining town of Coal Creek, Tenn., forty miles northwest of Knoxville, as the result of which four lives were snuffed out and three persons wounded, one perhaps fatally. The clash was the culmination of the trouble between union and non-union labor. Three of the dead men were killed by guards employed by the Coal Creek Coal company, while the fourth victim, a deputy sheriff, was killed by a guard he had gone to arrest. The dead:

MONROE BLACK, miner, aged 24 years; married; leaves wife.

W. W. TAYLOR, miner, aged 31; leaves wife and four children.

JACOB SHARP, section hand; a bystander, aged 35; leaves wife and six children.

DEPUTY SHERIFF ROBERT S. HARMON, killed by Cal Burton, a guard at the Briceville mine.

The wounded are:

A. R. Watts, merchant of Coal Creek, an innocent by stander, shot through both cheeks.

Mote Cox, miner, shot through the left arm.

Jeff Hoskins, engineer on the Southern railway; slightly wounded.

When the wage scale was signed in district 19, United Mine Workers of America, the Coal Creek company refused to comply with the demands of the men. They refused to resume work in the Fraterville and Thistle mines, and for several months these two mines were shut down. Efforts were made to resume with non-union men, but these were either induced to join the union or were chased away, presumably by union men. The aid of the courts was invoked to oust families of union miners from the houses owned by the company. Scores of arrests were made for trespassing, and ill feeling was thus engendered. Recently a dozen guards, in charge of Jud Reeder, who served as lieutenant of police in this city for many years, were employed to guard the mines and protect the men who had been induced to go to work.

Non-union men were being brought to the mines every few days and Reeder and his guards would go to the railroad station and meet them. Today the crowd of idlers around the station was increased. Reeder and twelve guards came from the mines to meet a few non-union men who were to arrive on the morning train. When the non-union men got off the train, they were seen by a number of small boys, who began yelling, "Scab." The killing grew out of this taunt. It is hard to tell what the provocation was, but the miners must have crowded up and attempted to take away the non-union men bodily or offered some direct insult to the guards.

Reeder and another guard drew their pistols and began shooting, Reeder doing the most of it. Miners and bystanders were taken by surprise and before they could realize what had happened the guards had climbed into their wagons and driven back to the mines.

About 12 o'clock a dispute arose between Deputy Sheriff Bob Harmon and Guard Cal Burton. Burton shot Harmon twice, killing him instantly.

Interesting to note here, that this news account supplies the guards with a reason for opening up gunfire on the protesters. Seems the reporter could not believe that company gunthugs would murder striking miners and bystanders for no other reason than that some small boys hollered "Scab." Why the Deputy Sheriff was murdered, we do not know, but we will offer our own speculation: perhaps the Deputy Sheriff was attempting to arrest the guards for murders at the railroad station.

SOURCE
The Coffeyville Daily Journal
(Coffeyville, Kansas)
-of Feb 9, 1904

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Intro

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Tuesday February 10, 1914
From The Indianapolis Star: Hearings Open in Mine Districts of Michigan and Colorado

House Subcommittee Rules That
Michigan Strikers Must First Prove Existence of Alleged Conditions.
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STORE DEALINGS BIG POINT
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Attorney for Union, Stating Case, Declares Men in Debt for Groceries Were
Kept Virtually in Slavery Until Strike.
----------

HANCOCK, Mich., Feb. 9.-Federal investigation of the conditions in the copper country was formally instituted today by Representatives Taylor of Colorado, Casey of Pennsylvania and Howell of Utah, members of the house subcommittee on mines and mining.

Meeting in the public hall of this little mining city, into which had gathered persons of every nationality present in this region, the inquisitors disposed of the formalities of organization in brief time and then got down to business of taking testimony.

Must Prove Conditions First.

The committee decided to take up the subjects of inquiry in regular order, Chairman Taylor and Mr. Howell both expressing the opinion that the existence of the conditions alleged should be proved before they could properly inquire into the causes.

William J. Richard [Rickard], president of the Calumet local of the Western Federation of Miners, was the first witness. He had barely begun his narrative when the committee adjourned until tomorrow morning.

"We are prepared to show," said O. N. Hilton, attorney for the miners, in his opening statement, "that for a long number of years there have been engaged in the mines boys from 12 to 16 years of age and that there has been an unparalleled condition of affairs.

Slaves of Company Stores.

"We will show that it has been impossible for men to get work unless they traded at certain stores. When they were hopelessly in debt they were denied to patronize these stores. We will show that the wages paid have been lower and meaner than those of the underpaid labor of the old world. Conditions so startling will be revealed that they seem to us a complete justification of the strike."

Mr. Hilton declared the rate of mortality in these mines was among highest known in mining; that human life was taken and "considered as less than that of a mule." He said many of the miners were compelled to "work in a veritable inferno" and often had to be taken out unconscious.

----------
DENVER SESSION IS STORMY.
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Federal Investigators Hear Charges of Anarchy in Mine Districts.

DENVER, Col., Feb. 9.-Charges of peonage, illegal imprisonment and anarchy were met by counter charges of violence and insurrection at a stormy session of the Federal strike investigation committee this afternoon. State officials and labor leaders were the witnesses.
SOURCE
The Indianapolis Star
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
-of Feb 10, 1914

Photo: Miners shopping at company store.
This photo is from Kentucky. Used here to represent company stores in Michigan and Colorado. I have not read of black miners in Michigan, but there were black miners in Colorado, and at least one African-American family living at the Ludlow tent colony that I know of.
http://kycoal.homestead.com/...

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Miner's Life-Kilshannig

Soon this trouble will be ended,
Union men will have their rights,
After many years of bondage,
Digging days and digging nights.
Then by honest weight we labor,
Union miners never fail;
Keep your hand upon the dollar
And your eyes upon the scale.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Feb 10, 2014 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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