Sunday February 21, 1904
Cripple Creek District, Colorado - "District Union Leaders on Trial"
The trial of Sherman Parker, W. F. Davis, and Thomas Foster for "train wrecking" in connection with an alleged plot to derail trains last November got underway last Friday. They are charged with other crimes also, too many to keep track of. The mine owners seem determined to saddle these hard working miners with every crime ever committed in the district since the strike began. The three men are all members of the Western Federation of Miners, and leaders of that organization in the Cripple Creek District.
Mrs. Emma F. Langdon reports from the courthouse:
The court room was crowded with interested spectators and the trial was attended by crowds until its completion . Attorneys Crump and Temple were for the prosecution and Attorneys Hawkins and Hangs for the defense. The main witnesses for the "persecution" were Chas. McKinney, D. C. Scott, Sleuth Sterling, Gleason, Mrs. McKinney and a fellow named Beckman and his wife. Witnesses for the defense were over forty in number, inclusive of the defendants.The trial will continue on Tuesday when star witness No. 2, Charles Beckman, will testify.
McKinney, the star witness for the "persecution," was claimed to have turned state's evidence. He is not and the records show that he has never been a member of the Western Federation of Miners, but when he was arrested the Federation rendered him every assistance in its power, because they thought him innocent of the crime for which he was arrested, and in charity tried to shield him from persecution! The writer believes that McKinney was not in the scheme and that he did not help the sleuths pull the spikes, but was induced to make false testimony in the hope of reward and like the traditional viper, turned his poison on those who had warmed and fed him! That he became entangled with Scott and Sterling and for a paltry money consideration, entered into the plot to send innocent men to the penitentiary after the alleged "attempt" at train-wrecking.
McKinney's record is alleged to be a cattle thief in Kansas and Nebraska, run out of Utah for horse stealing, the blood of one man on his hands, a traveler under God knows how many aliases, a self-confessed perjurer, a self-confessed thief. As a witness he proved himself a monster, utterly without conscience, and was shown up to public view as a human weakling, a mental and moral degenerate. He is more to be pitied than censured, for it is utterly impossible for this miserable, trembling creature to tell an intelligent lie, and he is apparently irresponsible for his speech and actions. His only hope of escape from the penitentiary seems to be in the promises of Sleuths Scott and Sterling, who are alleged to have promised him a pardon through the influence of the Mine Owners' Association with Governor Peabody and $1,000 in cash for trying to swear away the liberty and manhood of the union leaders....
McKinney's testimony drew Sleuths Scott, Sterling and Beckman (all star witnesses in the "persecution"), into the meshes and showed them up to appear as arch conspirators in a premeditated attempt to railroad innocent men to the penitentiary! He testified that he and Beckman attempted to wreck a train, and that Beckman advised administering poison to the "scabs," thereby suggesting wholesale murder! Attorneys Hangs, Richardson & Hawkins demanded the arrest of Beckman as a conspirator and protested to Henry Trowbridge and J. C. Cole, district attorney and his deputy: "We protest against the partiality shown in this case and demand that you do your duty at once."
The Cripple Creek Strike
-by Emma F Langdon
(Part I, 1st pub 1904)
Saturday February 21, 1914
Trinidad, Colorado - Testimony of Sarah Slator, 16, Kicked, Foot Smashed, Jailed
Sarah Slator, a witness produced and sworn before the committee, on oath testified as follows:SOURCE
Examination by Mr. Brewster [Attorney for the Miners]:
Q. Your name is Sarah Slator ? — A. Yes.
Q. You spell your name S-l-a-y-t-o-r ? — A. S-l-a-t-o-r.
Q. S-l-a-t-o-r?— A. S-l-a-t-o-r.
Q. Where do you live, Miss Slator? — A. At — on 818 East Main
Q. In what city? — A. Trinidad.
Q. Colorado? — A. Colorado; yes, sir.
Q. How old are you? — A. I am 16.
Q. Were you born in Trinidad ? — A. Yes, air.
Q. Is your father living? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. What do you do ? — A. I attend school.
Q. And you have been to school this morning ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Just got in ? —A. Yes, sir.
Q. Now, do you remember the parade A. Yes, sir.
Q. The women's parade? -A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you see a man known as Gen. Chase on that day? — A. Yes,
Q. Now, begin and tell in your own way where you were when you first saw Gen. Chase, and what happened to you thereafter ?- A. Well, I was in front of Dr. Espey's place when I first — - —
Q. Dr. Espey's place is on the corner of what street ? — A. Of Main - and Walnut.
Q. Main and Walnut? As related to the post office, where is it? — A. It is a block east of the post office.
Q. A block east of the post office. That is, this way from the post office? — A. That way [pointing apparently north].
Q. Oh, Espey's place is beyond the post office? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. I see. Now, tell where you were standing and what happened? — A. I was standing in the middle of the car tracks this side of Espey's when I first saw Gen. Chase, and he was on horseback: and there was also another officer on horseback, and they were running through the ranks backward and forward, and trying to make the women return toward West Main; and I was standing alone watching the women go ; and then Gen. Chase came up on horseback, and he rushed right by me on his horse, and he said, "Get back there," and I was somewhat dazed by the horse running up against me, and I stood there, and he kicked me and told me to get back.
Q. Now, where did he kick you? — A. He kicked — his foot went right up this way on me [indicating breast].
Q. Well, go on. — A. And then he told me to go back ; and then the other officer came to him to help him to make me go back.
Q. Wait a minute. It needed two — was this Gen. Chase that you speak of a small man? — A. No, sir.
Q. Is he a pretty large man? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. And it needed another officer to help him — to make you get back? — A. Evidently; because the other officer came up to him.
Q. Well, what happened then ?— A. Well, then a good number of women had passed, and they gave a sort, of a triumphant yell as they passed ; so both the officers turned to attend to the other women, and got past; and then Gen. Chase's horse became frightened at some thing — I don't know what it was — and it ran into a horse and buggy that was there, and he fell off the horse.
Q. That is, Gen. Chase fell off the horse ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Go ahead. — A. And he had been treating us so mean that everybody screamed and laughed at him, and that made him angry; and he gave the order that they were to "ride down the women."
Q. What, precisely, were his words? — A. Well, I didn't hear all of his order, but I heard that — "Ride down the women," and "Make them get back." So then the cavalry that were stationed in front of Maoluff's place — that is a little bit beyond Walnut Street — they commenced to try to get the women to return to Main Street, or to Commercial Street.
Q. By the way, how did you know this was Gen. Chase ? — A. Well, I didn't
Q. Describe him? — A. I didn't know him then, but I met him afterwards.
Mr Brewster: Describe him also.
Chairman Foster [U. S. Representative, Chairman of Committee]: She needn't do that.
Q. You met him afterwards ? — A. Yes, sir. So they then came up, and then when they started in I went — stepped on the sidewalk then — I had been in the middle of the street — and then I saw the soldiers take the flag from a woman — I don't know who the woman was — and that made the women angry, and those that had banners, they tried to hit the militia that had the swords, and I saw several of the hats that the women had that were thrown in the mud in front of Maoluff's place; and then I stepped up on that little platform in front of the printer's place there, and of course the horses could not come up on the platform, and we stood there for a few minutes; and then they sent the infantry to make us get off the platform. And after that I attempted to try to go up Walnut Street to return home, and then they ordered me back to Main Street; one of the militia was on horseback — he tried to hit me with his sword.
Q. Now, what happened when he tried to hit you with his sword ? — A. He was just trying to order me back to Main Street, and I was standing there watching him, and he came up and he attempted to hit me with his sword, and I stepped behind a telephone post, and he hit the telephone post instead of me.
Q. Was it a light tap [tapping] ? — A. No ; he hit it pretty hard — if it had hit me. Then I said to him, "Break your sword ; I don't care," and he again attempted to hit me, and he hit the telephone post twice after that. And then I went across the street — that is, to the north — southwest corner of Walnut, and I was there met by a militiaman on horseback, who was talking to a woman, and he told them — she asked them what right they had to chase women away like cattle, and he said, "When the women sink beneath our respect, they need to be treated like cattle," and I asked him how we had "sunk beneath his respect," and he didn't answer me. Then I went up Main Street, and I was left alone, practically, until I got to Kuver's, and when I was in front of Kuver's there, there was three militiamen came up to me and told me to move on. I had been going at a pretty slow rate; so I went on, and I got in front of the — in front of Zimmerman's, I saw two militia — I mean four militia, with two women, taking them to prison; and I shamed them for having to take four militia to take two women.
Q. How did you shame them ? — A. I said, " Shame on you. Does it take four men to take two women ?" That is what I said to them. Then, there was five militiamen came up behind me, and they told me to move on. I turned, then, and my right foot was placed out, and one of the militiamen — I don't know which one it was — brought down the butt end of his gun on my foot, and it hurt me so that I didn't look up to see who did it. Then I turned, and they told me to go on, and I couldn't walk fast, it hurt me so bad that I could only just merely crawl along, you might say, because I walked so slow, and they kept telling me to move on. Well, one of the militia said, "If you don't move on, you can come to the rear with me." I didn't answer him then. He and another one came and took me to the rear, and that meant to go to prison. When they got to the piano store
Q. Where was it — did you see a girl with a baby ? — A. I saw the girl with the baby in front of that Dr. — what's his name — I don't know his name — he lives on East Main Street, between Bloom's and that adobe place on the — right in that block.
Mr. Austin [U. S. Representative, member of Committee]: Well, you saw a girl with a baby.
The Witness. I saw this girl with a baby, who was probably about 3 years old, and he was too heavy for her to carry, and so she couldn't walk very fast, and the militiamen were threatening to stick her with the bayonet if she didn't move on. And she says, "You don't dare do it," and he says, "Oh, do you think I am afraid to?" And that made me angry, and I says, "No; you are so low that you would do anything," and then I went on then. Well, then, in front of Zimmerman s, there was when I had my foot hurt. Then, I got to that picture place in front of Hughes Bros, there, I heard — that was where the militia arrested me and took me along East Main. Well, then, when I got in front of the piano store there was an officer came up, and he took me and let the others go, and he said — well, he didn't have a gun, so I thought — well, I will try to get away. So I got away from him, but I was kind of surprised at getting away from him, I guess, and I didn't run, and he got me again.
Q. How did he get you ? — A. He caught me by the shoulders.
Q. Pulled off your coat? — A. He tore my coat back there [indicating back]; he ripped the sleeve. He says, "Look here, we mean business." Then, no took me on up Maple Street until we met Mrs. Enberg and three militiamen, and they were taking her to prison, and we went along First Street then to the county jail.
Q. To the county jail ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. A prison ? — A. Yes, sir.
Mr. Austin. Go on.
The Witness. So, when we got to the county jail we were placed in the hands of the jailer, and we were placed in a dirty cell.
Q. Did it have windows ? — A. It had one little window.
Q. What was at the window? — A. There was bars at the window.
Q. Iron bars? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Go on. — A. The cell was only 4 feet wide, about 8 feet long, and it had been occupied that morning by a number of men, and it was just simply filthy. Well, there we remained, and then Mrs. Thomas was put in, and Mrs. Enberg was down at Mrs. Thomas's, and stayed there, and then at 15 minutes after 8 I was called
Q. Now, wait a minute; about what time do you think it was you went up? — A. We were put in at 15 minutes after 2.
Q. Do you know how you happened to get out ? — A. Well, it was at the request of my father and sisters.
Q. How long was it before you were let out, after being put in about 2 ? — A. Fifteen minutes after 8 was when we were let out.
Q. Then you were in there from A. Six hours.
Q. From 2 until 8 that evening? — A. Yes, sir; six hours. And then I went down to the office and there was quite a number of the militia down there, and they were talking and laughing about the fight; and then I was given in charge of Lieut. Chase, and he took me out, and I was put in the automobile and taken to the Columbian Hotel; and there is where I met Gen. Chase. And then I was taken to my father and sisters and I was released on the condition that I would come back on Saturday morning at 10 o'clock to have my trial.
Q. Have your trial? — A. Yes, sir.
Mr. Brewster: That is all.
Capt. Danks. Did you go back.
Mr. Brewster. Did you go back?
The Witness. We went back, but Gen. Chase had gone to Denver and Capt. Smith was there, so I didn't have my trial.
Mr. Austin. That was a busy day for you ?
The Witness. Yes, sir.
By Capt. Danks [Representing "the military organization of Colorado":
Q. Do you think you saw the whole show on that day ? — A. Well, I don't think I saw everything; no, sir.
Q. You saw a great deal ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. You went after the soldiers some? — A. No, sir; I never went after any of the soldiers.
Q. Did you talk pretty mean to them ? — A. I said — sassed them back when they talked mean to me.
Q. When you saw them going along, leading — three or four soldiers with one woman — you shamed them, did you ? — -A. Yes, sir.
Q. You went after them some, then ? — A. I shamed them. I said "Shame on you. Take four men to take two women. How many does it take to take a man?" [Laughter.]
Q. Throw any sticks at them? — A. No, sir; I never threw any thing.
Q. Don't remember having a bottle that you threw at them? — A. No, sir; I never threw anything.
Q. Do you recall getting pretty close to some of the soldiers at times? — A. When they came up to me; yes, sir.
Q. Do you remember spitting in one of their faces? — A. No, sir; I never spit in any of their faces.
Q. You are right sure of that ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. What did you do to them ? — A. I never did anything to them I just came along Main Street and I suppose I was arrested because I wouldn't move along faster, and I couldn't when my foot was hurt.
Q. There was a large crowd? — A. I don't know about the large crowd.
Q. People all around you? — A. No.
Q. Streets crowded some when they were trying to turn the parade back? — A. Oh, yes, down in front of Espey's; there was a big crowd down there.
Q. The soldiers were trying to disperse the crowd, I suppose ? — A. Yes.
Q. You were there and talked back whenever you thought the occasion required it? — A. I didn't answer them back as much as I should have done.
Capt. Danks. That is all.
By Mr. Byrnes [U. S. Representative, member of Committee]:
Q. Let me ask you, how old did you say you were ? — A. I am 16.
Q. Who went with you on the street that day ? — A. I was with Mrs. Gartside.
Q. Mrs. who? — A. Gartside.
Q. Was she with you all the time ? — A. Not all the time. She was only with me until — well, until I started to get into trouble, you might say.
Q. How long after you got there before you started to get into trouble ? — A. Almost as soon as I turned in front of Espey's, that is when Chase came up to me.
Q. You say Chase came up to you ? — A. Yes.
Q. You say he kicked you ? — A. Yes, sir; he did.
Q. Where did he kick you ? — A. He kicked— his foot hit here [indicating breast] and went up that way [indicating shoulder].
Q. Did he kick you hard ? — A. Well, no, because the stirrup prevented him from doing so.
Q. He kicked you intentionally? It wasn't an accident? — A. He kicked me intentionally.
Q. Just deliberately kicked you ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did it hurt you ? — A. No, sir; didn't hurt me.
Q. Didn't it frighten you — a man of that size deliberately kicking at you ? — A. No, sir; I was angry and that didn't frighten me then.
Q. That didn't frighten you, notwithstanding you were kicked at? — A. No, sir.
Q. How soon after that did this man pull the sword on you? — A. It was only a few minutes after that.
Q. Did he hit you with the sword in the scabbard or did he pull out the sword ? — A. He pulled out the sword.
Q. And hit at you ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. What did you do? — A. I got behind a telephone post, and he hit the pole instead of me.
Q. If he had hit you, he would have killed you, don't you think? — A. Probably so.
Q. Did that frighten you, a man whirling his sword at your head like that ? — A. No, sir.
Q. It didn't frighten you ? — A. No.
Q. What did he tell you when he hit the sword on the telephone pole? — A. I told him he could fire ahead.
Q. You told him to fire ahead ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. You just stayed on the street ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was Mrs. Gartside with you then ? — A. No, sir; I was by myself then.
Q. No older person with you ? — A. No.
Q. No man or woman ? — A. No.
Q. The next thing, you say, some man attempted to stick somebody with a bayonet — a woman with a baby ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you told him, "Shame on you"! — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then, you say, some fellow hit you on the foot with the butt of a gun ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did he do that intentionally? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. How hard did he hit you ? — A. Well, I don't know. He hit me mighty hard. It felt like it was paralyzed for a minute.
Q. Were you able to stand on the foot afterward ? — A. I was able to stand on it; but toward the afternoon I couldn't walk on it — when I was in prison I couldn't walk.
Q. It hurt you pretty bad ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you see him look at your foot when he put the gun down ? — - A. No, sir; I never saw the man's face at all.
Q. All you know is that the gun hit you ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then you went on and they arrested you ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. You talked to them about it? — A. No, sir; I didn't answer them then; I never spoke to them after that, after I shamed the men for taking the women ; I never spoke to them.
Q. You went on up to the jail? — A. Yes.
Q. Did you communicate with your father? — A. No, sir; they wouldn't let me.
Q. When did you communicate with him? — A. I didn't communicate with him until after I had seen Gen. Chase. I was taken into a little side room in the Columbian Hotel.
Q. That was the next day? — A. No; that was that evening.
Q. How did you get word to your people ? — A. I asked the matron at the county jail to call up my father and tell them that I was there, and that I didn't know whether I could get out or not; and they asked the matron if they could come to see me, or could help me in any way, and she said she thought not; and they couldn't come to see me, or I couldn't go down to speak to them.
Q. Was Mrs. Thomas in the cell with you ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you hear her talking any? — A. Yes, sir; I heard her talking to the — well, it was an elderly man in the next room.
Q. Was she talking out of the window ? — A. Well, some ; yes, sir.
Q. What did she say about the soldiers then? — A. Well, she didn't say anything about them. She was addressing the guards out there.
Q. What was she saying to them ? — A. Well, we found some old pancakes in the room, and we asked them if they weren't hungry.
Q. Wanted to give them the pancakes — you wanted to give the soldiers the pancakes? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you hear Mrs. Thomas — somebody said something to you about using profane language. Did you hear Mrs. Thomas use any profane language ? — A. No, sir.
Q. She didn't speak to anybody out of the window, or on the street ? — A. She spoke to the militia just as I said.
Q. That is just about those pancakes ? — A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. Brewster:
Q. You did make an effort to get home, as I understand it, up the street A. Yes, sir; I did.
Q. And ran back ? — A. Yes, sir ; I tried to go up Maple.
Mr. Byrnes. Then, it was before all this trouble that you tried to get home?
Mr. Brewster. Yes; before all the later trouble.
The Witness. That was when the man tried to hit me with a sword.
By Capt. Danks:
Q. You go to school? — A. Yes.
Q. Why weren't you at school that afternoon? — A. Because I thought if the parade was going to do any good, I would be there.
Q. As a matter of fact, you were playing truant that afternoon ? — A. No, sir.
Q. Whom did you get permission from ? — A. From my teacher.
By Mr. Sutherland [U. S. Representative, member of Committee]: Q. You started out with a married lady ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. You expected to stay with her all the time ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. When did she — why did she not continue with you ? — A. Because she became sick, and she sat on Bloom's steps.
Q. It wasn't your fault, then, that she wasn't with you? — A. No, sir. I expected to stay with her all afternoon.
Q. Unexpectedly, then, you were thrown on your own resources ? — A. Yes, sir.
Q. Then you suffered these troubles that you speak of ? — A. Yes, sir.
Mr. Sutherland. That is all.
Conditions in the Coal Mines of Colorado: Hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on mines and mining, House of Representatives, Sixty-third Congress, second session, pursuant to H. res. 387, a resolution authorizing and directing the Committee on Mines and Mining to make an investigation of conditions in the coal mines of Colorado
-United States. Congress. House. Committee on Mines and Mining
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1914
Vol. 1, p.1-1477
Testimony of Sarah Slator begins on page 987.
(page number of actual Investigation, not of scroll bar)
Photo: Women March for Mother Jones, Trinidad, CO, Dec 1913
The Rebel Girl-Mats Paulson