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

Sunday April 3, 1904
From The San Bernardino County Sun: Military Despotism Continues in Colorado


Moyer Will not be Allowed Freedom.
Orders are That Habeas Corpus Shall not be Accepted-
Conditions in the Trinidad Coal Fields Continue Deplorable-
Families Being Evicted.

by Associated Press to THE SUN.

DENVER. April 1-General Bell commanding the State troops at Telluride, this morning telephoned Chief of Police Armstrong to detail detectives to watch every movement of Secretary and Treasurer Heywood [sic] of the Western Federation of Miners, who is under arrest on a warrant issued by a local court, charging him with desecration of the American flag.

Bell insisted that Heywood be returned to Telluride, no matter how many local warrants were issued and when the time came, a sufficient number of soldiers will be sent from the camp to arrest him, or the Denver troops will be called out to take him.

President Moyer of the Federation last night was removed from the bull pen to the new city jail. He was then locked in a cell and denied all privileges. He is being fed only two meals daily. The Governor has ordered Bell to refuse to accept service of habeas corpus for the release of Moyer. He must stay in custody until the case is taken to the Supreme Court.


TRINIDAD, April 1.-Fully a dozen influential men among the strikers in Las Animas county have been deported in the last three days by order of Major Hill. The wholesale eviction of strikers in Gray Creek has begun. The military is refusing to allow the people evicted to settle in other parts of the country.

Almost penniless men and their families are compelled to walk long distances to reach points where assistance can be obtained. Many evictions are reported in other camps of the county and much suffering has ensued.

Western Federation of Miners Desecrated Flag Poster
Mrs Emma F. Langdon sends this report from Colorado:
Moyer was arrested on the 26th day of March, 1904, at Ouray, and taken to Telluride, charged with desecration of the flag. He was released under $500 bond only to be immediately re-arrested by the military authorities. A warrant was also sworn out charging Secretary-Treasurer Haywood with the same offense, but before it was served a similar one had been sworn out in Denver and Haywood remained in custody of the Denver officers. Governor Peabody, when interviewed concerning the re-arrest of Moyer, disclaimed any knowledge of the facts, but stated that it was the intention to rearrest Moyer every time he secured his release on bonds.
Mrs Langdon repeats the question raised by the "Desecrated" Flag Poster:
Is Colorado in America? If you consult the map you will find it there. If you read the facts in this recent industrial struggle in the light of American history and traditions, you will find nothing to recall memories of our country's youth or the hopes that led strange people across the sea to stretch wider the boundaries of a land where none were so strong as to be above the laws and none so weak as to be beneath their protection. There is nothing in recent history, save by the way of contrast, to recall the fact that ours is the Centennial state marking more than one hundred years of progress under the idea that ''all men are created free and equal with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

It is an unpleasant awakening from thoughts like these to a realization of such facts as were inscribed upon a symbol of the flag and burned into the hearts of thousands of Colorado's citizens.

Desecration of the flag? Was it not the deeds done under it and not the truths inscribed upon it that constituted the desecration?

[emphasis added]


The San Bernardino County Sun
(San Bernardino, California)
-of Apr 2, 1904

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

Photo: Western Federation of Miners Desecrated Flag Poster


Thursday April 3, 2014
More on the "Desecrated" Flag and Big Bill Haywood:

Big Bill Haywood, 1904
Big Bill Haywood, about 1904
When word came that there was also a warrant out on him for "desecration" of  the flag, Big Bill Haywood looked for way to avoid being taken by the military to Telluride.  

A plan was devised whereby Big Bill was charged by local authorities with desecration of the flag and arrested in Denver:

That afternoon the warrant was sworn out and served on me and the following morning the case came up for trial.

[Attorney] Hawkins said that it would take him some time to prepare the case and asked the judge to fix bond, which he did to the sum of three hundred dollars. I told his honor it would take me some time to get that amount of bond together. Calling one of the Constables, he said:

"Connolly, you go with Mr. Haywood and stay with him until he gets the bond."

I left the court and took Connolly to the office. He stayed with me night and day, and when the time limit was up, we went back to the court and I asked the judge for more time, which he granted without hesitation.

When my case came up before Judge Hynes I came into court with all kinds of specimens of advertisements using the American Flag. Unknown friends had sent me these in every mail. I must have had twenty or thirty samples; tobacco sacks, cigar boxes, labels from tomato cans, the flag of a colored men's political club with announcements written on the stripes, and business card of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, with the all-seeing eye surrounded with flags, the principal among them being the Stars and Stripes. The case was dismissed. Some time later the use of the flag in advertising was prohibited by law.

The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood
(1st pub 1929)
International Pub, 1983

Photo: Big Bill Haywood, about 1904

Popular Wobbly-Utah Phillips

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, 1920

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 11:00:17 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Jay (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, No Exit

    for the "breaking" news from my favorite town, Ouray. My place is in the same block as Chief Ouray's house BTW...

  •  thomas jefferson... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever...

    i was just saying that we've forgotten today how prevalent socialism was in the late 19th early 20th...

    and all because labor wanted the "right" to negotiate with capital in order to mitigate the worst of excesses.

    the nerve!

    If you didn't care what happened to me, and I didn't care for you, we would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain, occasionally glancing up through the rain, wondering which of the buggers to blame, and watching for pigs on the wing. R. Waters

    by No Exit on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 06:56:34 PM PDT

    •  sad but true, No Exit! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit

      Governor Peabody and General Bee actually considered a strike for the right to bargain collectively to be an "insurrection!"

      Thank you for commenting at Hellraisers, hope to see you here again.

      God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

      by JayRaye on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 03:43:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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