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

Tuesday April 12, 1904
From The Arizona Republican: Judge Stevens Orders Arrest of Gen. Bell and Capt. Wells

General Sherman Bell, caricature by B S White

Colorado Judiciary and the National Guard

He and Another Officer of the Militia Have Been Ordered Arrested-Governor Peabody Says no Attention will be Given the Court's Order.

Ouray, Colo., April 11-District Judge Steven today declared Adjutant General Bell and Captain Bulkeley Wells, who command the troops at Telluride, to be in contempt of court in not complying with the writ of habeas corpus requiring them to bring before the court today Charles Moyer, president of the Western Federation of Miners, whom they are holding in confinement at Telluride. The court ordered Sheriff Corbett to proceed to Telluride and arrest the two military officers and bring them before the court. The court severely criticized Governor Peabody and the military authorities.



Denver, April 11-When Governor Peabody was informed of the action of Judge Theron Stevens at Ouray in ordering the arrest of Adjutant General Bell and Captain Bulkeley Wells for contempt of court in disobeying the court's injunction, he said: "We will not recognize the writ of attachment and the military authorities will not appear in court. Neither will we give up Moyer. We will claim that the courts have no right to enjoin or arrest officers or members of the military while they are on duty. They are not subject to attachment or injunction at this time. If the district court at Ouray is to be allowed to interfere in the carrying out of my plans for the military under martial law, there is no reason why justices of the peace might not with equal authority intervene and render the military absolutely powerless and impotent. The court has made known its wishes in the matter and we have stated our position. It is now up to the court to make the next move in the matter. What it will be I am unable to say."

Not having heard from Attorney General Miller, who is representing the military in the habeas corpus proceedings at Ouray, the governor could not say what course he would pursue since Judge Stevens refused to allow his answer to the writ to be filed with the court.



Denver, Colo., April 11-Governor Peabody today ordered all the remaining troops in the Cripple Creek district, about fifty in number, withdrawn and returned to their homes. The men are mostly recruits from Denver and nearby towns.

Since the order abolishing martial law there, these few soldiers have been kept at Camp Goldfield for any emergency that might arise. The usually peaceful conditions prevailing in the district ever since the exodus of the main body of troops has convinced the governor that the soldiers are no longer needed.

The Arizona Republican
(Phoenix, Arizona)
-of Apr 12, 1904


Sunday April 12, 1914
From The Labor World: A. F. of L. President Gompers Decries Contract Convict Labor

Samuel Gompers and Frank Morrison, President and Secretary of AFL
Frank Morrison and Samuel Gompers


Gompers Hits At Iniquitous System In Which Profits Are Main Issue.
How Convict Contract Trust Workers-"No Strikes Occur in State Prisons."

Pointing how debasing and brutalizing is the system of contract convict labor to the inmates of penal institutions, President Gompers of the American Federation of Labor stated before the senate interstate commerce committee that the Booher-Hughes bill was simply an enabling act, which proposed to give each state the right to protect itself against the contract convict labor of other states.

The bill has passed the house, and provides that where convict-made goods are shipped into other states or territories that they must come under the jurisdiction of the laws of that state or territory.

Wardens Oppose Bill.

At the hearing the bill was urged by representatives of the trade union movement, and was opposed by wardens of several penitentiaries and contractors who profit by the trafficking in human beings.

This question is being continually urged by organized labor, which is striving to wipe from our statute books all privileges to contractors to exploit inmates of our penal institutions. Continued publicity of the methods employed by the contractors, together with the effect of this system has on industry, is bearing fruit. This was shown in the case of the bill now pending in the Senate, and is intended to make it impossible for the benefactors of this system to set up the claim that where a state would prohibit the sale of convict-made goods manufactured in other states that this is "and interference with interstate commerce."

Competition Fearful.

Th prospectus issued by the American Fibre Reed company, urging the purchase of stock in this institution, which states that it "manufactures fibre and reed furniture with prison labor," shows the impossibility of free labor competing with products manufactured on a labor basis of 52 cents a day.

As an inducement to purchase stock in the American Fibre Reed company, the management says: "There are no strikes or labor troubles in prisons. Prison contracts are usually made for eight years and generally continue indefinitely. This company pays for its labor 52 cents per man per day; its competitors who employ free labor pay an average wage of about 2 [dollars?] per day. This company is supplied free of rent with factory buildings, storage warehouses and grounds inside the prison walls and with free heat, light and power.

Prison Trust's Boast.

To acquire similar facilities as this company has obtained free with its contracts would necessitate and additional investment of approximately $1,000,000. Having to make no investment for factory buildings, storage warehouses, heat, light or power, the company's funds are kept actively engaged in liquid assets such as raw materials, finished goods and accounts receivable. These are ideal conditions for profitable manufacturing."

In a contract entered in to January 10, 1910, between Michigan authorities and A. C. Tawse & Co., it is provided the company shall employ 100 convicts and pay to the state 40 cents per dozen for each dozen work shirts completed.

Niquity of Contract

This interesting provision is also noted in the contract: "The party of the second part (the company) further agrees that none of the work shirts manufacture under this contract will be sold in the state of Michigan." Under the terms of the Booher-Hughes bill these shirts would be driven out of every other state that passed laws on the subject.

In a speech last month, delivered in the house of representatives, Representative Nolan of California, a member of the labor group, said that the convict labor system prevails in 24 of our states, and that in some cases the contractor pays as low as eight cents a day, although the average price ranges around 50 cents.

How Convicts Are Worked.

Of the 86,036 prisoners, 59.9 per cent of them, or 51,172 were engaged in productive labor in 80 different industries. The total market value of their product was $34,276,205. Of this amount nearly $17,000,000 worth of goods were produced under the contract system in 54 institutions, located in 27 different states. Over $3,000,000 worth of goods were produced under the piece-price system. Ninety-seven per cent of these goods were produced in penal institutions and three percent in juvenile reformatories.

In answer to the question, "Who are the people who have fought this legislation?" Congressman Nolan said: "Tearing away the masks and disguises, we are face to face with the prison contractor himself. We find him in his dual role. On the one hand an exploiter of convict labor, on the other a potent factor-yes; even a high officer-in the councils of the so-called prison reform associations.

Gompers Hits Hard.

"The only opposition and the only voice of protest has been that of the prison contractor, and he has been careful to cloak and to hide his opposition and to use as his mouth piece either the warden or the so-called prison reform association.

"The ramifications of this contract system are so great and the interests so interlocked that I am unable in this brief reference to the the subject to give you the details. However, they are all of record, and a careful perusal of the facts and figures, I am sure, will convince the most skeptical of you.

"The fact remains that these contractors have until recently been in absolute control of the leading so-called prison associations of this country, which are ostensibly in prison reform, but in reality their true object is to exploit the unfortunate prisoner for their private gain and to oppose any form of federal legislation tending to emancipate the convict from the shackles of this iniquitous system. Those are the only motives which have actuated their opposition."

The Reliance-Sterling Manufacturing company entered into a contract with the Rhode Island Board of Control in 1906 for five years for sufficient labor to manufacture 450 dozen shirts a day, at 30 cents a dozen. The contract may be renewed for another five years at its expiration, but in the event of the passage of any law by the United States which would interfere with the sale of the shirts, the company may annul the contract.

The Labor World
(Duluth, Minnesota & Superior, Wisconsin)
-Apr 11, 1914

"Mama Tried" - Merle Haggard

The one and only rebel child
From a family, meek and mild:
My Mama seemed to know what lay in store.
Despite all my Sunday learning,
Towards the bad, I kept on turning.
'Til Mama couldn't hold me anymore.

                  -Merle Haggard


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Sat Apr 12, 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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