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

Saturday April 23, 1904
From The Labor World: President of A. F. of L. Supports W. F. of M. Strikers in Colorado

Samuel Gompers, 1911
Samuel Gompers
From this week's edition of The Labor World, published each Saturday in Duluth, Minnesota:
Gives Peabody and Bell Some Decidedly Hot Shots.

DENVER, Colo., April 21.-Labor troubles, disputes and differences covering the entire United States came up for adjustment today when the executive council of the American Federation of Labor met in the Windsor Hotel.

For one week the ten labor leaders of the country will be in secret session and in the end threatened strikes will either be ordered or adjusted, and, what is more important to the residents of Colorado, some headway is expected to be made in settling the coal strike of this state.

That the Western Federation of Miners will become a part of the American Federation of Labor there is no doubt. President Samuel Gompers said this morning that it was only a matter of time until the miners were affiliated with the national organization...

Mr. Gompers gave the following replies to a series of questions:

On the labor situation:

The labor movement is certainly going ahead. Here and there we may have our setbacks, but the trend of the labor world is to be up and doing-to go ahead.

We are going to live forever. We may not be making progress today, but we are planning and striving for tomorrow, for next year and the years to come. We are not living in the sky, but right here on earth.

When asked if he believes that the Western Federation of Miners will join the American Federation of Labor, he answered:
I do. They must. Right now they are receiving money from our different unions. Why should they not become members? It may not be today or tomorrow or this year. They are bound to join. We are helping them in many ways.
On what people in the East say of the Colorado strike situation:
The East Stands Amazed.

I voice the sentiment of the East when I say the people there have never heard, never dreamed that the power of the militia would be used to such an extent. It hardly seems possible that the state officials could continue to defy the law as they are now doing. It is working in favor of labor, however, and the time will come when the better classes will understand that a grave mistake is being made, when man and his rights can be trampled upon by a chosen few.
On the likelihood that the A. F. of L. Executive Council will discuss a settlement:
I have no doubt but the matter will come up for discussion. I trust it will. It should be settled and this military rule brought to an end. While we are not associated with the Western Federation of Miners, it is the duty of this council to try at all times to bring around settlements and peace between capital and labor.
On the strikes now underway by the Western Federation of Miners in the districts of Telluride and Cripple Creek:
The miners are making a grand effort for the eight-hour law.

The Labor World
(Duluth, Minnesota & Superior, Wisconsin)
-of Apr 23, 1904

The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood

-by Peter Carlson
NY, 1983

Photo: Samuel Gompers, 1911
(near as I could find to 1904)

Note: The prediction by Gompers that the W. F. of M. would soon join the A. F. of L. turned out to be overly optimistic. The W. F. of M. spurned the invitation extended by the "American Separation of Labor," and, instead went on to help found the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905.

Big Bill Haywood at the preliminary planning conference in in January of 1905:

The miners of Colorado fought alone against the capitalist class of the United States. We don't want to fight that way again.
Source, see Roughneck above.


Thursday April 23, 1914
Trinidad, Colorado - Miners Prepare for Battle, Colorado Unions Issue "Call to Arms"

Fighting continued in the Southern Coalfields of Colorado yesterday as news of the horror of the Black Hole of Ludlow was fully realized across the state and around the nation. Two strikers, Ben Vigil-18 and J. P. Gomes-age unknown, were shot during a battle at the Empire Mine near Aguilar. A mine superintendent and a mine employee were also killed in that battle. At the Delagua Battle, four mine guards were shot and died of their wounds. One C. F. & I. employee died in the fighting at Tabasco.

John Lawson & Louie Tikas
John Lawson, center left, and, with star badge,
Louie Tikas, who died defending the Ludlow Tent Colony.
John Lawson, International Organizer for the United Mine Workers of America along with the other members of the striker's policy committee contacted top union leaders of Colorado yesterday. A decision was made to issue a "Call to Arms" which call is being sent to newspapers and unions organization across the state and nation:

                                                                       Denver, Colorado, April 22, 1914

Gather together for defensive purposes all arms and ammunition legally available. Send name of leader of your company and actual number of men enlisted at once by wire, phone or mail to W. T. Hickey, Secretary of State Federation of Labor.

Hold all companies subject to order.

People having arms to spare for these defensive measures are requested to furnish same to local companies, and, where no company exists, send them to the State Federation of Labor.

The state is furnishing us no protection and we must protect ourselves, our wives and children from these murderous assassins. We seek no quarrel with the state and we expect to break no law; we intend to exercise our lawful right as citizens, to defend our homes and our constitutional rights.

W. T. HICKEY, Secy. State Fed. of Lab.
ERNEST MILLS, Secy-Treas. W. F. of M.

McLennan is the President of District 15, U. M. W. and also President of Colorado State Federation of Labor. Doyle is the Secretary-treasurer of District 15 U. M. W. Ramsey is from the U. M. W. of A. Hoage represents the Denver Printing Press Assistants' Union No 14. While Taylor and Moorehouse both represent the Denver Trades and Labor Assembly.

Offers of armed assistance are arriving at Union Headquarters in Trinidad from around nation.  There is a report that 5,000 Wyoming miners are armed and ready to march into Colorado. The miners of the Southern Coalfields have established their military headquarters at "Camp Beshoar," not far from Trinidad.

Children of the Ludlow Tent Colony
The Children of Ludlow, Happier Days
Mass Funeral at Catholic Church Today

Preparations are underway for a mass funeral to be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Trinidad today. Thousands are expected to attend. We offer our most profound condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the Ludlow Massacre: to Mr. and Mrs. Petrucci who lost their three children, having already lost their eldest son earlier this year; to Mr. and Mrs Pedregone who lost both of their little children; to Pedro Valdez who lost his wife and all four of his children; to the Bartolottis who lost their father; and to all the family and friends of Cedi and Charlie Costa. The entire family died in the Massacre. Charlie died defending the Colony. Cedi and their two children died in the Black Hole of Ludlow. A tiny striker was born to Mrs. Costa post-mortem, and will be placed upon her breast and buried with her.


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

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

Blood Passion
The Ludlow Massacre and Class War
 in the American West

-by Scott Martelle
Rutgers U Press, 2008

The Ludlow Massacre
"Revealing the horrors of rule by hired assassins of industry and telling as well of the thirty years war waged by Colorado coal miners against corporation-owned state & county officials to secure an enforcement of the laws."
-by Walter H. Fink
Williamson-Haffner, printers in Denver, 1914
"Call to Arms"

See also: The Ludlow Massacre by JayRaye

1). Lawson and Tikas
2). Children of Ludlow

Angel Band - The Peasall Sisters

My strongest trials now are past,
My triumph is begun.

           -Jefferson Hascall, pub.1860

The Men, Women and Children Who Lost Their Lives in Freedom's Cause

Honor Roll

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by WE NEVER FORGET, Shamrock American Kossacks, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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