Skip to main content

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

Monday October 26, 1903
Indianapolis, Indiana - Mother Jones Bringing Report from District 15 of U. M. W. of A.

Keeping track of the whereabouts of Mother Jones is not always easy as she storms about the country on behalf of the United Mine Workers of America. Mother has been busy these past two weeks. On October 12th she was Illinois speaking at a memorial for the Virden Martyrs. On October 16th a Cincinnati newspaper printed an interview that she granted them while in that city, and the paper then indicated that she was on her way to Chicago. Yet on October 19th, the Denver Times reported:

Labor's Joan of Arc in This City.
Reports from Colorado indicate that she met with President Charles Moyer and Secretary Big Bill Haywood of the Western Federation of Miners. She stated her admiration for these two leaders, and her hope that Solidarity would hold the two miners' unions firm in their alliance. She even offered the olive branch to Governor Peabody, although her optimism that the Governor will stop his war on organized labor is not shared by those who have felt the full effects of that war.

We have also received reports that, while she was in the Southern Coalfields, Mother went dressed as peddler into the coal camps. By way of that disguise, she was able to get past the mine guards, travel the company roads,  and visit with miners and their families in the wretched shacks which the coal companies offer as housing for their employees.

Mother  has stated many times that the  miners and their families live "in practical slavery to the company." The company owns their houses and all the land on which the company towns are built. If a miner loses his job, he also loses his home, and is summarily thrown out by the brutal company guards. The miners are paid in scrip, and must shop at the company store, at prices set by the company. The miners must send their children to company schools and worship in company churches.

The men are cheated in the weighing of coal by the agent of the coal company. That representative of the miners, chosen by the miners, should act with the company agent as a check weighman, is a demand long ignored by the coal operators. There are also numerous health and safety grievances which concern the companies not at all, knowing full well that the lives of miners are cheaper than props.

At this time, Mother Jones is reported to be on her way back to Indianapolis where she will report directly to John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers of America. Mother has indicated that:

The time [is] ripe for revolt against such brutal conditions.

Mother Jones
The Most Dangerous Woman in America

-by Elliott J Gorn
NY, 2001

The Autobiography of Mother Jones
-ed by Mary Field Parton
Charles H Kerr Pub, 1990
Pittston Strike Commemorative Edition

See also: Hellraisers Journal
-of Oct 13 & 17, 1903


Sunday October 26, 1913
Ludlow Tent Colony, Colorado - Miners Defend Colony from Deputized Gunthugs

The miners of the Ludlow Tent Colony lined up yesterday at the union's office tent and waited their turn as John Lawson and Louie Tikas handed out the strike-pay. At about 1:30 p. m., a call came from Adolph Germer in Walsenburg to warn the striking miners that a train full of deputized gunthugs was headed south toward the tent colony. John Lawson sent several Greek miners north to defend the colony. Fighting soon broke out between the Greeks and the gunthugs, and continued throughout the night.

The woman and children took shelter in cellars under the tents, which were dug for that purpose after the last attack on the colony. Lawson also moved many of the women and children to to a tent down in a deep arroyo located behind the camp.

Lt Karl Linderfelt
We have received word that Karl Linderfelt, a Lieutenant in the Colorado National Guard, is working as a mine guard, and has also been deputized. He was apparently leading some forty guards on this latest attack on the Ludlow Tent Colony. At about 2 a. m. this morning, about twenty guards retreated up the canyon, and twenty guards were pinned down in the power house trying to keep warm as it started to snow. These guards eventually escaped from the power house and also made their way up the canyon. Two deputized guards have been killed in the battle, John Nimmo and Tom Whitney.


Buried Unsung
Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre

-by Zeese Papanikolas
U of Utah Press, 1982

Out of the Depths
The Story of John R. Lawson, a Labor Leader

-by Barron B. Beshoar
(1st ed 1942)
CO, 1980

Photo: Colorado Bar Association



Saturday October 26, 2013
More on Lieutenant Karl E Linderfelt:

...Lieutenant Karl Linderfelt, born in Janesville, Wisconsin in 1877.  At age seventeen he dropped out of Beloit College, came to Colorado and joined an uncle mining in Cripple Creek.  He then enlisted in the Fourth U.S. Cavalry, served in B Troop throughout the Philippine Insurrection of 1890-1900.  In addition, Linderfelt joined a group of mercenaries and Mexican insurgents who followed Francisco Madero across the Rio Grand in revolt against President Diaz in 1910.  Shortly after, he returned to Colorado and became the head of mine guards for CF&I in Cripple Creek.  He played a role in the crushing of the miners’ strike in Cripple Creek in 1904 both as the chief of mine guards as well as a member of the Colorado militia....
Read more here:

There Is Power in the Union-Utah Phillips

If you want nothing before you are dead,
Then shake hands with your boss and look wise.
                         -Joe Hill

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM PDT.

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

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site