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

Thursday March 3, 1904
Cripple Creek District, Colorado - Verdict Unanimous! Parker and Foster Not Guilty

Emma F Langdon
The farcical trial of local leaders of the Western Federation of Miners came to end yesterday with a unanimous verdict of "not guilty" being reached on the first ballot. Emma F. Langdon sends this report from the courtroom:
[Yesterday] vindication came, and on the first preliminary ballot of the jury! The corrupt house of cards has fallen— shattered by honesty and truth! And now I am proud to give to the world the verdict of the jury of peers, as follows:

"The people of the State of Colorado vs. Sherman Parker and Thomas Foster—No. 785. Verdict—We, the jury, find the defendants, Sherman Parker and Thomas Foster, not guilty.
                                                                                E. A. EISWORTH, Foreman.

"The people of the State of Colorado vs. Sherman Parker—No. 784. Verdict—We, the jury, find the defendant, Sherman Parker, not guilty.
                                                                            E. A. EISWORTH, Foreman."

The above verdicts were reached by the unanimous agreement of the jurors, after a single ballot had been taken, within five minutes from the time the jury retired! "Out of courtesy to the court," as one of the jurors expressed it, "we remained out nearly an hour before announcing our verdict."

Mrs. Langdon further offered a few words of commentary:

Thus have the despicable machinations of the Mine Owners' Association and Governor Peabody's "constitution preservers," aided by that workingman's foe—the Citizens' Alliance—fallen to the ground! Out of the hundred or more arrests, villainies unsurpassed in the history of the United States, not one conviction secured! The Record forces' cases all nolle prossed and all other cases either nolle prossed or found not guilty by a jury of peers! An expense to Teller county of over $8,000; an expense to the state of over half a million; a loss to the mine owners of many millions; an unremovable smirch on the fair name of Colorado and an expense of thousands to the Western Federation.

And what has been accomplished? It has been proven that the Western Federation of Miners is composed of men of honor, that their leaders are patriots and martyrs, that crime is foreign to their nature and that they have suffered as did the Christians in the time of Nero!

That the Peabody administration is a remorseless enemy to labor, a supporter and abettor of injustice, no respecter of the courts or laws and a militant usurper of the constitutional rights of the masses!

Oh God, workingmen, union or non-union, will we endorse such atrocities, such unjustness in our high places of honor, such tyrannical treatment of our brother man, such despotism, such serf-creating usurpation of our constitution of liberty, to the foul ends of such a class of greed and corruption? No, a thousand times no! Will ALL labor unite and forever overthrow by peaceable ballot an oligarchy that dooms us to slavery? Yes, a thousand times, yes!

And from the Telluride strike zone we have received this disturbing report of brutality from Guy Miller, president of the local miners union:
[Tuesday] thirty-four men were arrested in the justice court on the charge of vagrancy, twenty-seven of them were fined $25 and costs and given until two o'clock [Wednesday] to pay their fines, leave the county or go to work. Sixteen reported for work...they were taken to the jail by Willard Runnels and put to work on the sewers of the town. One of the men, Harry [sic] Maki, refused to work. Runnels led him to a telephone pole, compelled him to put his arms around the pole, then fastened handcuffs on his wrists. The wind was blowing a gale and the snow filled the air. He was left standing chained like a beast for several hours. After many protests had been made against this cruel treatment Runnels took him to the jail..
Brother Maki remains in jail at this time and has not been given anything to eat since his ordeal began.  

Brother Miller describes the type of men brought in by the mine owners to lead the fight against the Western Federation of Miners:

Runnels and Robert Meldrum were imported from Wyoming by the mine managers for the avowed purpose of discovering the murderer of Arthur Collins. But their only contact with the union was when some man was held up on his way to town and searched for stolen ore, without warrant or any process whatever. Runnels and Meldrum were pals of Tom Horn, the leader of a band of desperadoes who had been hired by the cattle ranchers to fight the sheep ranchers. Horn was hanged at Cheyenne, Wyoming, in November, 1903, for the murder of little Willie Nickell, the twelve-year-old son of a sheep rancher. The evidence indicated that he received $600 for the murder. It was characters like these who lead the "law and order" brigade for the Mine Owners and Citizens' Alliance—men skilled and reckless in the use of the gun. When a corporation pays fancy prices for skilled labor of any kind—carpenters, electricians, engineers or man-killers—it expects the employe to give value received for the wages paid, and they never pay for anything they do not expect to need.
The Cripple Creek Strike
-by Emma F Langdon
(Part I, 1st pub 1904)
NY, 1969


 Henry Maki chained to pole, Telluride 1904

Mrs Emma F Langdon

The Popular Wobbly - The Grand Industrial Band

Oh, the "bull," he went wild over me.
And he held his gun where everyone could see;
He was breathing rather hard, when he saw my union card,
He went wild, simply wild, over me.

                        - T-Bone Slim

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Mar 03, 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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