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

Wednesday January 27, 1904
Independence, Colorado - Horror at Stratton's Independence Mine,

A horrific accident occurred at 2:35 a. m. yesterday at the Independence mine when, apparently, Engineer Gellese was not able to control the engine he was running. A cage carrying sixteen men hit the sheave wheel hurling the men inside to their deaths.

Mrs. Emma F. Langdon reports from Victor:

The victims were mostly men of family, and a majority of them were new men in the district. Early in the morning hundred of people rushed to the mine to ascertain if their relatives were among the victims...the military were hastened immediately to the scene and took complete control, not even allowing press representatives near enough to gain facts. As near as the writer could learn particulars they are as follows:

Frank T. Gellese, engineer from Cour D'Alene, was on duty during the night and had experienced no difficulty with his engine, he stated, and at 2:30 he started to hoist the machine men from the sixth, seventh and eighth levels. Sixteen men were on the cage and started for the top. At the seventh level the men noticed that the cage was acting peculiar, and it appeared as if the engineer had lost control of it as it advanced in an unsteady manner. They soon reached the top and were hoisted about six feet above the collar of the shaft and suddenly lowered about thirty feet, then up they went to the sheave wheel and the disastrous accident was the result.

It is believed that the men were thrown against the top of the cage, from the force of the sudden stop, that they were knocked unconscious and knew but little, if anything, after that took place; that in the drop of the cage the speed was so rapid that through the force of the air pressure they were thrown out against the walls of the shaft, which caused them to be literally torn to pieces. When the cage struck the sheave wheel it not only threw Bullock (the only one saved) out, but also threw out a man by the name of Jackson and killed him.

No one aside from the engineer saw the accident. A miner stepped into the shaft house just after the the accident and saw a number of hats laying around. He then looked up and saw Jackson in the timbers with the sheave wheel on top of him.

The military and Manager Cornish were immediately notified and hastened to the mine. Engineer Gellese was arrested and held for investigation.

The remainder of the force, numbering about 200 men in the mine, were obliged to be taken out on a small cage that would accommodate but two men at a time, and they did not all succeed in getting out until about 6 a. m.

Most of the men killed fell to the sump below and it was twenty-four hours [early this morning] before all the bodies could be found. There were portions of them found from the top to the 1,400 foot level The bodies were almost all beyond recognition, heads, legs and arms being torn from the trunks. It was a gruesome sight.

We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the men killed in this horrific accident.

Coroner Doran will convene a coroner's jury to investigate the cause of the accident. The Mine Owners' Association and the Citizens' Alliance are already spreading rumors placing the blame upon the striking miners of the Western Federation of Miners.

The Cripple Creek Strike
-by Emma F Langdon
(Part I, 1st pub 1904)
NY, 1969

Tuesday January 27, 1914
Salt Lake City, Utah - Joe Hill Visited by Sky-Pilot in County Jail, Offered "Salvation"


Displays No Interest in Salvation and Refuses Further Explanation of His Wound.

“Yes, I believe I have heard about him,” was the laconic answer yesterday of Joseph Hillstrom, when in his cell in the county jail he was told by a minister that through faith in Christ lay salvation for the truly repentant.

As he made the remark the man held as a participant in the slaying of John G. Morrison and his son, John A. Morrison, smiled derisively. Though the conversation was pressed by the churchman, Hillstrom refrained from taking part further. He listened without comment to the exhortation addressed to him, but made no sign that he was repentant for anything he had ever done or that he craved salvation through forgiveness for sin.

So far Hillstrom has vouchsafed no other explanation of the bullet wound in his side, from which he was suffering when taken from the Esilus home in Murray, than that first offered, that it was suffered on the night of January 10, the night of the Morrison murders, in a quarrel over a woman. The identity of the woman he still stubbornly refuses to divulge, posing in the heroic attitude of being determined to keep her name from being smeared.

When addressed he listens indifferently to whatever is said to him, whether addressed by jailer or minister. It makes little difference whether the subject be repentant of robbery or murder, it is said. He remains unmoved and usually without comment, unless for an occasional remark, such as quoted above.

Salt Lake Tribune
(Salt Lake City, Utah)
-of January 27, 1914

Photo: Joe Hill


Monday January 27, 2014
Featured song of Joe Hill:

The Preacher and the Slave

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.

The starvation army they play,
They sing and they clap and they pray
'Till they get all your coin on the drum
Then they'll tell you when you're on the bum:

Holy Rollers and jumpers come out,
They holler, they jump and they shout.
Give your money to Jesus they say,
He will cure all diseases today.

Workingmen of all countries, unite,
Side by side we for freedom will fight;
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafters we'll sing this refrain:

You will eat, bye and bye,
When you've learned how to cook and to fry.
Chop some wood, 'twill do you good,
And you'll eat in the sweet bye and bye.

"The Preacher and the Slave" also known as "Pie in the Sky," was first included in the "Little Red Songbook" which was published by the Spokane Local of the Industrial Workers of World on July 6, 1911. The song was mistakenly attributed to songwriter F. B. Brechler and was advertised as "Long Haired Preachers." In the fifth edition of March 6, 1913, this error was corrected, and Joe Hill was given credit as the songwriter. Note that "Little Red Songbook" was the nickname given to the IWW's songbooks. The name printed on most covers was: "I. W. W. Songs," and the subtitle, "To Fan the Flames of Discontent," was often used.

The Big Red Songbook
-ed by Archie Green, David Roediger,
  Franklin Rosemont, & Salvatore Salerno

See also: link below to Folkway Archive

Photo: I. W. W. Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent
The above Songbook was published in Chicago, not Spokane. Used here to represent Little Red Songbooks in general, edition of photo above is unknown at this time.

The Preacher and the Slave-Utah Phillips

Long-haired preachers come out every night
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right
But when asked how 'bout somethin' to eat
They will answer in voices so sweet:

You will eat bye and bye
In that glorious land up in the sky.
Work and pray and live on hay
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.

                    -Joe Hill

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM PST.

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

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