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

Saturday February 13, 1904
From the Appeal to Reason: "The Socialist Lecture Van in America"

The Appeal has a lecture van operating around the area of Girard, Kansas, where the Socialist newspaper is published, and another is the prize in a contest of subscription gathering. The van is pulled by a team of two horses, and advertises, with brightly painted sides, free street meetings on the labor problem. In the latest issue, G. H. Lockwood relates his own adventures traveling in a Socialist Lecture Van over several years. We pick up the story in Toledo in 1898:

At Toledo the best looking girl in old Tennessee came up and joined the mission, and after that the Lockwoods had complete charge of the destiny of the van.

We took our wedding trip in the van and were only prevented from being married in it by the collection of a crowd of curious people from whom we took refuge in the friendly home of Rev. Geo. Candee, who married us without money and without price-fact is that I was about as near broke at that time as-as a Socialist agitator generally is...We spent four years of active service with it covering over five thousand long, weary miles of country, dispersing Socialist philosophy and recitations interspersed with music and supplemented with literature sales...

It was a hard life, especially for a woman, but the Spirit of the great Social Revolution was on us; we had seen the vision of the "New Heaven and the New Earth," and the old one could no longer satisfy us. Day after day, week after week, month after month, we hit the trail, seeking new fields in which to plant the seeds of social discontent that might some day, we knew not when, blossom into our beloved Co-operative Commonwealth. That we did good work will be attested by thousands of comrades in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, who first heard of Socialism through the medium of the old "White Elephant" as the boys nicknamed our van...

There is room for 100 vans in this country. The van, aside, of course, from the weekly Socialist papers, is the cheapest and most effective method of propaganda yet devised. If, seven years ago, two people could invade the enemy's country and carry on an active and successful propaganda without the aid of organizations and at a time when the question of Socialism was not in the public mind, what a field the country now offers for this kind of work backed up by a powerful organization and a quickened public interest.....

A Socialist Van won't run itself; it must be operated, and it is certainly important that the right kind of people operate it. But we already have plenty of bright young Socialist agitators who are capable of doing good work with this kind of tool and the Appeal is going to give them a chance to get an outfit that is complete in every particular.

Nothing that the Appeal has done, or can do, in my estimation, in the way of premiums can equal the one it is now offering. And the conditions of the contest are such that every one has an equal show to get out and hustle...

"Yours For The Revolution"
The Appeal To Reason, 1895-1922

-ed by John Graham
U of NE Press, 1990

Friday February 13, 1914
From The New York Times: Baldwin-Felts Detective On Machine Guns and Death Special

Death Special, large
Detective the Victim, Witness Tells
Committee Sifting Colorado Strike.

DENVER, Feb. 12-A direct charge that George W. Belcher, a detective, was murdered in Trinidad by United Mine Workers of America at the instigation of A. B. McGary, an Organizer of the union, was made today by A. C. Feltz [sic], superintendent of a detective agency. The killing of Belcher took place Nov. 20 last. Feltz, the first witness of the day before the House committee investigating the Colorado coal mine strike, said that Louis Zancanelli had confessed the murder.

The "Death Special," an armored automobile used by the mine guards, greatly interested the committee. Feltz testified that at least one machine gun and some ammunition were paid for by Vice President Babcock of the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company. This gun, he said, was sent to him from the West Virginia coalfields, where it had figured in the Federal investigation of the strike there. Other machine guns, besides rifles and ammunition, he said, were purchased by him for the mine operators.

The correct name of the Detective is A. C. Felts who is the co-founder of the Baldwin-Felts Detective agency along with his brother. The Death Special was built at the command of A. C. Felts from a a car supplied to him by the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company, using steel plates from Rockefeller's CF&I's Pueblo steel plant, in a CF&I garage at Sopris.

Belcher was the mine guard who gunned down UMW organizer Gerald Lippiat and who took part in the attack upon the Forbes Colony in which striking miner Luka Vahernik was killed. The Death Special was used in that attack.


The New York Times
(New York, New York)
-of Feb 13, 1914

Blood Passion
The Ludlow Massacre and Class War
In The American West

-by Scott Martelle
Rutgers U Press, 2008

See Also:
Conditions in the Coal Mines of Colorado: Hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on mines and mining, Hous 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 Albert C Felts on page 327, page number of actual investigation,
     not of scroll bar.

Photo: The Death Special


Thursday February 13, 2014
On the Death of Albert C. Felts, Baldwin-Felts Gunthug

Albert C Felts lived by the gun and died by the gun. He met his demise at Matewan on May 19, 1920:

In the Matewan battle, Albert Felts, wearing a badge as a "deputy sheriff" of Harlan County, Kentucky, fired the first shot but was killed by Matewan Chief of Police Sid Hatfield. Hatfield had warned the thugs that they had no legal warrants to evict the citizens of Matewan and that he would not permit eviction without proper legal procedures. Felts then attempted to forcibly arrest the Chief of Police. Felts had been one of the chief gunmen used by the coal operators in the Ludlow, Colorado massacre in 1914, in which twenty persons were killed, including twelve women and children who were burned alive in their tents.
United Mine Workers of America

Hazel Dickens: It's Hard to Tell the Singer from the Song-An Excerpt

Cecil Roberts, President UMWA talks about Hazel Dickens
 & Hazel sings.

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Thu Feb 13, 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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