Thursday May 28, 1914
New York, New York - Vivid Testimony of Pearl Jolly and Mary Thomas Counters Claim
of Major Boughton That Gov. Ammons Has "Neutral Attitude"
Mary Thomas, Pearl Jolly, Mrs Champion
Children of Mrs. Thomas: Olga and Rachel
We only ask that our readers remember that it is ultimately Governor Ammons, Democrat of Colorado, who is in command of the Colorado National Guard. And, we might add, we know of no instance when those machine guns were ever aimed at the homes of Rockefeller or of his managers in Colorado, and, to our knowledge, none of them have ever been arrested and held incommunicado in spite of having, year after year, ignored the labor and safety laws of the state of Colorado.
WILL TELL OTHER SIDE OF COLORADO RIOTING
Major Boughton of National Guard to Appear before Industrial Commission
"AMMONS WAS NEUTRAL"
Judge Lindsey Leaves Without Getting to See J. D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Major Edward J. Boughton, who commanded a battalion of the Colorado National Guard during the fights with the striking miners at Trinidad, arrived yesterday to give testimony before the United States Commission on Industrial Relations now sitting here in the matter of the coal strike. His presentation of the incidents of the strike will supplement the testimony given yesterday before the commission by Mrs. Pearl Jolly arid Mrs. Mary Hannah Thomas, wives of striking miners.
While Mrs. Jolly and Mrs. Thomas denounced the militia, Major Houghton will present the situation In a new light. He would not go into details when seen at the Waldorf-Astoria, but he admitted he had come here in answer to a subpoena that he might "tell the people of New York of the real conditions In Colorado."
"I want to correct," he said, "the erroneous impression that prevails here regarding the part taken by the State troops."
Major Boughton was an important factor during the strike trouble. On October 28, when the troops were called out, he served as Field Major. On November 20 he was made Judge Advocate for the military district. While he was Judge Advocate there were 172 cases presented lo the military commission.
"In this controversy between capital and labor," said the Major, "Gov. Amnions has maintained a neutral attitude toward both parties. He did all he could to avert the bloodshed. He did not leave a stone upturned in his effort to have the matter settled amicably by arbitration. He is still doing all he can in this direction."
Mrs. Jolly and Mrs. Thomas asked to be heard by the Commission and there was some objection, Whereupon Mrs. J. Borden Harrlman of the commission, said: "I believe that if there has been gross wrongs committed against these women, they ought to be heard and I represent the women and children of the country on this commission."
There was no further demur. Mrs. Jolly told practically the same story which she gave on Sunday in the Manhattan Lyceum, as did Mrs. Thomas...
Judge Ben B. Lindsey, who has been trying to see John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in an effort to get him to use his influence toward having the Colorado difficulty submitted to a Federal arbitration board, will leave this afternoon for Colorado without having seen Mr. Rockefeller.
"Although I did not see Mr. Rockefeller personally," said Judge Lindsey, "we have communicated. From what I have learned I have reason to hope that Mr. Rockefeller's attitude has changed in regard to the situation and that he will help toward having the matter arbitrated."
Pearl Jolly, Mrs. Lindsey,
Children of Mrs Thomas: Olga and Rachel
New York City, Wednesday, May 1914—10 a. m.
Present: Chairman Walsh, Commissioners O'Connell, Lennon, Harriman, Ballard, and Garretson....
TESTIMONY OF MRS. PEARL JOLLY.
Mr. Thompson. Will you please give us your name?
Mrs. Jolly. Sirs. Pearl Jolly.
Mr. Thompson. Where do you reside?
Mrs. Jolly. At Ludlow, Colo.
Mr. Thompson. And you are married, of course?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Mr. Thompson. Your husband living?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Mr. Thompson. A miner?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Mr. Thompson. What is your age?
Mrs. Jolly. Twenty-one.
Mr. Thompson. Have you any children?
Mrs. Jolly. No, sir.
Mr. Thompson. How long have you been married?
Mrs. Jolly. Just a year.
Mr. Thompson. Where did you live before you went to Ludlow?
Mrs. Jolly. Well, l have spent my life in Colorado. Just before l went to Ludlow l left the Minnequah Hospital. l was there as a nurse.
Mr. Thompson. Where were you born?
Mrs. Jolly. l was born in Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colo.
Mr. Thompson. How long has your husband been a miner?
Mrs. Jolly. l could not tell you just how long; but he has been a miner ever since l have known him, and l have known him for two years.
Mr. Thompson. Has he always worked in Colorado as a miner?
Mrs. Jolly. My husband was born in Scotland.
Mr. Thompson. In Scotland?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir; but came to the United States when he was just a little baby, and
has been in Colorado for about-
Mr. Thompson. How old a man is he now?
Mrs. Jolly. Twenty-two.
Mr. Thompson. You may proceed with your story.
Mrs. Jolly. l want to take up just as little time as l can, so l will tell this story of the
Chairman Walsh. Tell it in your own way, taking up as little time, but giving all the
details that you think are pertinent.
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir. Well, a week previous to the strike my husband went to Trinidad to
do a little shopping down there. When he came back from Trinidad he put on his
clothes and went to the mine on the following morning. They asked him where he had
been. He told them to Trinidad.
Chairman Walsh. Who asked him?
Mrs. Jolly. The superintendent. They wanted to know what his business was in
Trinidad. He told them he was down there on private business. They asked him if he
was a delegate to the convention at Trinidad that the United Mine Workers had held
before there. He said no. They told him that they did not need him there any more;
that he was to get out of camp. l think it was 15 minutes that they gave him to move
his furniture and everything and get out of camp. He moved. l went down to a
farmhouse below and spent the week there, until the Ludlow tent colony. On the 23d
day of September the strike was called and we all moved into the tent colony. From
my first experience in the Ludlow tent colony the gunmen would come there and
would try in every way to provoke trouble. They were trying to cause a battle
between the miners and the gunmen, but we knew that and we did not want to have
any trouble. At one time the gunmen came to the Ludlow tent colony, just as near as
they could get. fired two shots into the tent colony. Our men took their rifles and
went to the hills, thinking that by so doing they would lead the fire that way and keep
them from firing on the colony, where the women and children were. There was no
way to protect the women and children. After that our men took and dug pits under
the tents, so that if the same thing should happen again there would be some means
of escape for those women and children. Following that, the militia came into the field.
When the militia came in there we made them welcome; we thought they were going
to treat us right. They were escorted into the camp with a brass band. They
attended all of our dances. They came down and took dinner with us two or three
different evenings, but when they were in there two or three days they turned, and
we could see that, but we did not want to have any trouble with them. One of the
women, l believe, told them that they could not be on two sides at once. So following
that they would come into our tent colony and searched about once a week or more.
When they came there our arms were all turned over to the militia.
Chairman Walsh. What is that?
Mrs. Jolly. Our arms and ammunition. They told us they would disarm the others, but
instead they took the arms and ammunition that the strikers had and turned them
over to the mine guards. Then we were searched; our tent colony was searched
about once a week or more. When they came they would bring axes, picks, shovels,
and such things with them. They would search in all the little drawers about this big
[indicating], looking for things. Any thing they could get hold of to carry away without
being seen they would take it. They would take the axes and cut up the floors so that
the union would have to buy new lumber in order to rebuild the floors. Our men had to
stand for that. Finally it got so that every one of the women who went out of the
grounds they would meet with insults, abuse, called vile names, anything that was
possible. One time myself and three or four different women started for the post office
one Sunday morning. When we got about half way there a detail got up in front of us
and fixed their bayonets and their guns and told us we couldn't go any farther. l asked
them why. They told me not to ask any questions, using profane language when they
were telling me this. Not to ask any questions or they would shoot my head off. We
turned and went back to the tent colony. That afternoon we went to the post office.
While we were there they went to search the Ludlow tent colony. This happened in
December, in real cold weather, snowing at the time. One of the women with us had a
baby six months old in her arms. When we started back they would not let us go into
the homes. l don't know why. They were already in the camp searching. They told us
we could not go in there. They put a detail in front of us and kept us out in the field
in the snow. The baby was screaming, it was so cold. She told them she was going in
her house anyway, and had her baby in her arms, going in and warm her baby, that
she would not keep them out and let them freeze to death. One man held a revolver
right on her and hit her and told her to move another step and he would shoot her,
Following that every man who would go out of the boundary line from Ludlow tent
colony, they would come back with black eyes. They were beaten up. Threatened if
they went back to work they would be all right, but if they did not they would be beat
up. On April 19 we had a baseball game. The militia had always been in the habit of
attending the baseball games, but never before had they attended with their rifles. On
April 19 was a Greek holiday, Sunday, and they thought perhaps that they would be
drinking, and those men, if they were to go down there with their rifles, would be able
to stir up some trouble. They stood right in the diamond with their rifles. One of the
men asked them if they would please get out of the diamond. He told them if he
wanted to watch the baseball game it was not necessary to guard them, to put their
guns to their side. They became indignant and made their threats what they could do
and what they would not do. One of the women said to them, in a joke, "Don't you
know if a woman would start toward you with a BB gun you would all throw away your
guns and run." He says, "That is all right, girlie, you have your big Sunday to-day, but
we will have the roast to-morrow. It would only take me and three or four men out
there to clean out all the bunch"; and they cleaned out the bunch on the following
day. They tried every way they could before they left the baseball ground to create
trouble. They would call the different players and want them to come over and talk
and when they refused they said, "Come on, we will take you to the guardhouse and
talk to you." They left the baseball game. Sunday night they came into the tent
colony, but they would not go up to speak to any of our leaders in the camp at all.
When the leaders would start toward them they would go right away, so they
concluded they were trying to blow up the camp. They had made their threat and told
about how they had previously torn down the Forbes tent colony. They put guards in
our camps Sunday night to take care of the camp, but nothing happened. On the
following Monday morning, about 9 o'clock, the same five militiamen who had been at
the baseball game on Sunday came to the Ludlow grounds. They had a paper and
they sent in for Louis Tikas, a Greek and the leader; they handed him this slip of
paper, and it had some foreign name on it of some man that was not in the tent
colony. They told him they wanted to take the man out of the colony; they asked him
if they had a warrant or had been sent there by the civil authorities. They said no,
they had been sent there by the military authorities. They said. "l understand the
military commission is out now." He says, "l would like to talk to Manager Hemrock
[Major Hamrock]," who was in command. So they left the Ludlow tent colony with
a threat that they would be back again. When they met Louis Tikas they went and
called up Manager Hemrock and asked him if he would see him and talk to him. He said
he would. They met at the C. & S. depot. l don't know what the conversation was at
the depot, but l know when Louis Tikas came back he told us the machine guns and
everything were set ready to wipe the tent colony. The next thing we observed was
Louis Tikas coming from the depot waiving a white handkerchief. There was about 200
tents in the tent colony and about 1,000 inhabitants, about 500 women and 500
children. We were all in front in large groups. He was waiving this white handkerchief,
I suppose, for us to get back. While he was running toward us and waiving the white
handkerchief they fired two bombs. Following that they turned the machine gun into
the tent colony and started to firing with rifles. Our men decided if they would take
the hills, take their rifles and go into the hills, that they would lead fire from the tent
colony into the hills and thus protect the women and children in the tent colony.
There was just 40 rifles in the Ludlow camp. They will tell you there was 500 or so.
There was 40 in there, and l would swear to that before any jury in the United States.
The men who had rifles went to the hills, and the others, too, so that there would not
be any men in the camp, thinking in that way they would attract the fire away from
the women and children. Then if no men were there they would not fire. They did not
follow the men into the hills; they were too cowardly; they wanted to fight with the
women. They kept the machine guns turned on the camp all day, more or less. The
women and children, too, could run out of the camp, but there were so many women
there expecting to become mothers, and also many that had such a large family of
small children that they could not possibly get out. l had been the nurse in the tent
colony. Louis Tikas came to me and told me if l was not afraid he wanted me to stay
in the camp and take care of the wounded and the women and children. When they
kept continually shooting into the camp the women asked me to put a white dress on
with red crosses. l was afraid to do it, but l did it and went out to the front and
pinned a red cross on each arm and one on my chest; they could not help but see it.
When l got out there they took it for to be a good target and shot at me as hard as
they could. l started to run for protection, and one of the bullets took the heel off my
shoe. l thought at first it had shot my foot off. A little while later l went into my tent.
There was four men in the tent—Louis Tikas and three others. Those were laying on
the ground and had slipped in the tent and taken the telephone out through and had
it on the ground and were sending messages to Trinidad, trying to get help,
reinforcements. They asked if l would stay in my tent and make some sandwiches.
The firing was all coming from this way. Just opposite the door l had a dresser with a
large mirror on it, and l think they could see my reflection in the mirror going into the
kitchen. They opened fire on the tent and they were pretty good marksmen, because
pretty near every time they hit the works. Soon l lay on the floor, supposing that they
would think l was dead and quit shooting. When l finished my sandwiches and started
to give them to the men they saw me again and started shooting at the tent next
door. The men said, "For God's sake, stay away from here; you are a hoodoo." They
thought it would be better if l would go home and take off the red crosses, because
they could see me better. Another time that day there was a wounded man in the
camp, and l was trying to get to the dispensary to get some dressing for him. l
couldn't get there at first, because the bullets were coming in there like hail. The
second time they decided that if Louis Tikas would go with me and unlock the door
quick l could get in there quick. He went out, and they saw us when we got about
half way and opened fire. There was a small coal pile there, but that was no
protection for even one man, but we both dodged behind it. We lay still for two or
three minutes and thought they would stop, and they did stop, but they started
again; but they were setting the machine gun on us, and we didn't have sense
enough to know it. In about three minutes there were three men lying there with us
back of the coal pile. We were laying there flat on the ground behind this little coal
pile. They kept the machine gun on us l don't know how long, but it seemed like an
awful long time, but l think it was about an hour steady. The bullets were hitting just
about a foot on the other side of us. They did not have the range right. l don't
understand how we ever got out of there alive at the time the machine gun was
trained on us. There was a little 12-year-old boy shot in the tent colony. The father
came out to tell us. When he came out he took the machine gun off of us long enough
to chase him back to the tent, and that is how we made our escape, through that.
From about 3 o'clock on it was worse than ever. They got the machine gun set better
and at better range, for it was terrible how those bullets came in there; it does not
seem possible to tell how they were coming in. They would say if the bullets were
coming in like that, why were there not more shot? Simply because the caves were
there and the dogs and chickens and everything else that moved were shot. Between
5 and 6 o'clock they set fire to our tents. When they set fire to our tents we decided
that we would go from cave to cave as fast as we could. They could see us going
through, and we had to dodge their bullets. We were going from cave to cave, getting
the women and children together, and let them out, and took chances on being shot.
We had about 50 together whenwe saw one little Italian woman, and who came with us to Washington, but she was simply grieving herself to death. She is not sane, I don't think. She is killed, they say. Her three children were killed out there.Mrs. Petrucci, far right.
"Grieving herself to death."
We knew and her three children were in the cave. We could not understand how they got the three and herself there, but we afterwards moved into the hills. So Louis Tikas told me that if we would get them together and lead them down the arroyo—we didn't know that there was any men there—we thought it was she and her children. While he was on his way—
the screams; l believe you could hear them for a mile. The screams of the women and children—they were simply awful.When he was on his way to the cave they captured him and took him prisoner. AfterThe children of Mary Petrucci.
The eldest died of illness a month before the Ludlow Massacre
after guards refuse to allow his mother to take him to see the doctor in Trinidad.
they took him prisoner, they couldn't decide for a little while how they wanted to kill
him. Some contended to shoot him; some contended that he should be hanged.
Finally, Lieut. Linderfeldt went up and hit him over the bend with a rifle, broke the
butt of the gun over his head, and then made the remark he had spoiled a good gun
They stepped on his face. We have a photograph. l don't believe we have it
here, but it shows plain the prints of the heel in his face. After he fell, he was shot
four times in the back. There were three of our men captured and murdered while
they were trying to rescue those women and children. Two out of the three did not
have revolvers. One of the men had a rifle. He had been out and came back and got
his wife and family out. At the time this fire broke out our men quit camping
altogether. They thought l had made a run for the tent—meant to get the children out
-and l made my way leading to this farmhouse. When this little boy was shot, his
mother said they had not had a bite to eat that day. None of us had any breakfast
that morning. Yet, not one-half of the people in the tent colony were up and dressed.
If we were planning a battle like they say we were, it is most certain that the women
would have been dressed and ready to get out. Those little children run around
without shoes and stockings and half of them were without clothes.
Mrs.Snyder had six children, and none of them had anything to eat. At 5 o'clock the firing ceased, so she came up out of the cave and brought her children. She had two tents, a kitchen and bedroom. She threw the children in the last corner and set them all in a bunch till it would be possible for her to get something for them to eat. She had been there about two minutes when the oldest boy, 12 years old—he was turned with his back to the firing, he was just over like this is an effort to caress his little sister when the top of his head was blown off, and his brains were pattered over all the little children in front of him.
The mother had to take the five little children into the cave, and they had to look at
that sight until 12 to 1 o'clock at night. She said even though the boy had not been
dead, there would not have been any chance to have done anything for him. They
had to leave him laying there riddled. Between 12 and 1 o'clock they came to her
She said she would rather be shot than burned to death. She threw the cellar door open and hollered, "For God's sake, come and help me. l have a dead boy in here." They made a reply that it was too damned bad they were not all dead.
And they went to the cave to tell them to get out of there, and if they wanted to get
out, to get out quick—only that is not the language that they used; but they told
them to get out of there in a hurry. She asked them if they would please help her out
of there, and she says one of the men drew his revolver and held it in her face while
he gave her his hand to help her out, and she said that she thought that if her
husband came out last maybe it would protect him: and then they ordered him to
come out, and he came out, and they grabbed him by the shoulder there and threw
him on the ground, and they says, "There is one of the red necks we are looking for,"
and told him, when the mother begged him not to shoot him on account of the dead
one of them turned around and pointed at the little boy and said, "Well, you can take that damned thing and get out of there." They said that of his dead boy.
They said, "We will let you go." He said that he thought if he could get some one to
help him carry this boy to the depot that would be protection, and they would not
shoot him on the way to the depot. He asked him to please help him with the body of
the boy, and they told him no; he could do it himself; and he took his boy over his
shoulder and took his baby over in the other arm and started away to the depot. And
pretty nearly every 5 yards there would be a gun pointed toward him and they would
tell him they were going to kill him. And he had to stay there under that condition until
6.30, when a train came through there that he could get to Trinidad. l got away from
there between 8 and 9 o'clock and got to a farmhouse in that neighborhood on
Tuesday morning about 2 o'clock. And along about 4 o'clock there was an automobile
drove up to this house and stopped, and two doctors in it came to see if anybody
was wounded. And they immediately opened fire on the farmhouse. And the bullets
would go through and through that house. Most of their bullets that they used were
explosive shells. Every one l seen was. l seen one steel jacket that they had taken
and split and notched it this way and then across this way again, so that when it hit
it would explode. They opened fire about 5 o'clock on this morning—Tuesday morning.
And there was an old man ill there; he had pneumonia; and there was a telephone in
this farmhouse, and l couldn't find out who was dead or what had happened or
anything, so we decided we would eavesdrop over the telephone—not a very nice
thing to do, but they tell me that at a time of war everything goes. So we
eavesdropped over the phone, and we heard Dr. Curry's wife and the superintendent's
wife having a talk. Dr. Curry is a doctor for the Victor Fuel Co., and at that time he
was wearing a militia uniform; and his wife was talking over the telephone to the
superintendent's wife. And she says to her, "Why, what do you think of yesterday's
work? Wasn't that fine?" Then she mentioned about them killing this old man Feiler
[Fyler]. He was an old, gray-haired man, 55 or 60 years old. He was our financial
secretary in the camp, and he had went back into the camp to get the money. l think
there was $300 of it he had in there that he had in his tent. And he went in there and
got the $300, and had the sack, and while he was making his efforts to escape a
bullet went through the back of his head and came out, taking his face with it—an
explosive bullet—and you never in your life seen anything like that. So she says,
"They got that old Jim Feiler and they got Louis, the Greek." And she says over the
phone," Wasn't that fine? "She says, speaking now of the time of the burning of the
tent colony, "We burned down that dirty tent town, and you know there are 28 of the
dirty brutes roasted alive in it." That was as much as I could stand. l think when she
said that there were 28 of them roasted in there alive she knew what she was talking
about. We got only 13 out; but l think if the coke ovens around there could tell their
story, there would be a much clearer story. We made our escape that night from the
farmhouse; we didn't have anything to eat in the farmhouse. This Frank Bays owned
the farmhouse, and he thought if he would take a Continental Oil wagon and get out
of there that they would not shoot him. He drove this oil wagon, and he took the oil
wagon and went out and he was afraid they would shoot at him, but they were too
busy and they didn't notice him coming out. But when he came back in, about 5
o'clock, they opened fire on him and shot one of his mules that he was driving, and it
made them mad and more furious than ever because they could not shoot him. Then
we left that house and went back. So Mrs. Bays went to the telephone and asked for
and called up Sheriff Gresham and asked him, and he said he couldn't do nothing, that
he had nothing to do with those men down there, but to call up one of the captains.
So she called up one of the captains of the militia and asked him his name, and he
would not tell. And l don't blame him for that. l would not have told it, either. She
"Can't you protect or guarantee us some protection down here?" And he said, "l don't see why l should," and she said, "There is nothing down here but women and children," and he says, "Well, that is not my men shooting down there; that is the red necks."She said, "l know better, because they are in uniform and they are coming toward us," and he said, "l will see what l can do; but the best advice l can give you is to lay low, because anything that is seen moving will be shot at."
We took his advice and lay low until it got dark, and then we made our escape out of
there that night. And after we had made our escape they went to this farmhouse and
looted it, and took everything, and before they left they left a note on the table and
it read, "This is what you get for harboring strikers. Cut it out or we will get you." And
it was signed with the initials of the Baldwin-Fells detectives and the National Guard.
We made our escape that night from the farmhouse and went to another house about
5 miles below and got there Wednesday morning, and they took this old man and the
baby that had the pneumonia to the hospital in Trinidad there when we got to
Trinidad. And they wouldn't let anyone go down there to get these bodies in the tent
colony. They turned the dead wagon back as fast as it started to go there. So we
got permission from Gov. Ammons and the secretary, and went out as Red Cross and
started and we were met about halfway, when we met about 35 men—half of them in
uniform and half in civilian's clothes, and l never in my life was abused like they did. l
never was slandered like l was that day, and l never heard the language used that
they used that day.
And they escorted us into the tent colony and took us to one certain cave there, and there were the bodies of 11 little children and 2 women in this cave. There was one 12-year-old child and the rest of them was from 1 month to 4 years. They told us that was all the dead that was in the camp; but would not let us go around and see for ourselves. We were under guard; we were allowed to go only certain places.
While we was there there was an automobile going through the prairie and they
turned up their machine guns on the automobile, and one of them come up and he
says to them, "That is all right, old boy, you have got them stopped. We have wiped
them off the face of the earth like we did the day before." And another one says,
"You see, when we got after them we get them. But the very means of escape have
proved to be their death traps." And they would try to frighten us, and they would
shoot dogs or chickens while we were there, trying to frighten us. Sometimes l don't
think they would shoot at anything, but they were just trying to frighten us to death.
And there was one woman there, when she left the cave she had her two children—
three children—and they would shoot at her feet as she was taking her three children
and went out of the burning tent to get to the other cave, and a man in uniform
called to her and told her to hurry up, and all the time these men were shooting
around to scare her, and she went into this cave where these bodies were all in
there, and they never went to try to rescue any of them, and we could hear them
screaming, all of us. Never in my life have l heard such screams. And she got in there
and had her little 6-months-old baby in her lap, and she was sitting as close to the
door as she could trying to get away from the smoke so she would not be suffocated.
And she says that on the following morning the next thing she knew when she came
to her three children were lying on the floor dead. And her baby was lying there, too.
She says she went over to her little boy and touched his hand, and it was cold, and
she knew he was dead, and that is the last she could remember. She lost her mind
right then. She don't know how she got out of the cave or how she got to the depot
or any thing of the kind, or who put her on the train or how she got into Trinidad. We
had her in Washington with us to give information to these Senators, and she was
telling her story and some of those Senators broke down and cried. l couldn't tell it as
pitifully as she did.
She [Mary Petrucci] was grieving herself so that we had to put her on the train and send her back home.
On Wednesday they told me that they found 700 guns—and it is just such outrageous
stories as that they tell on the miners in this case, and you have simply got to judge
them yourselves. They told me they had 700 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition in
John B. Lawson's tent. And one of the first tents to burn down on Monday was the
Lawson's. Now, that is the story told. Now, if there had been 700 guns in that tent,
gentlemen, l tell you here, there would not have been quite so many have come
through that day—that is, the militia. If our men had had 100 guns they could have
protected us and there would not have been so many women and children
slaughtered. But they did not have nothing, and they couldn't get anything. The
militia had taken up all our guns and given them to the mine guards. They had, every
one of their men—we speak of the guards as scabs—with their guns and revolvers two
weeks before, and had them at the mines there. And this corporation there, they
were taking these men out, these strike breakers, and taking them to Trinidad and
giving them commissions allowing them to carry a revolver; and at the time of this
battle these men all had commissions and were armed, and our men didn't have
anything and couldn't get anything. l think that is about all my experience; but Mrs.
Thomas can tell just a little bit more.
Chairman Walsh. Wait one moment. Some of the commission may want to ask you some questions.
Commissioner Harriman. Mrs. Jolly, do you know how many of the strikers are Greeks?
That is one statement made, that they were nearly all Greeks and that a great many
of the men had been soldiers in the war.
Mrs. Jolly. Why, l think if l was giving my own judgment about it, l should say probably
about one-fourth of them were Greeks. We had 21 different nationalities in the Ludlow
tent colony. Now, you can imagine how many Greeks out of those; and there was
about 1,000 inhabitants, l should say, probably one-fourth of them Greeks. And l want
to say right here that l never in my life met a finer bunch of men than those Greeks,
and never knew a better and cleaner bunch of men, and l never seen in all the time
there one of those Greeks that was drunk nor heard one of them utter a profane
word; and that is more than l can say for the English or Americans. Never heard them
utter a profane word, and they were a fine set of men. At one certain time there were
two girls found in our camp that went over to the militia or civilians' tent; and when
these girls came back from the tent these Greeks themselves went in a bunch and
told them they would not stand for anything like that, and if they were going to do
anything like that they must leave, because these people were trying to get
something to slander this town with, and they wouldn't stand for it; that they wanted
this town to be the first on the map in the matter of character and morals, and they
wouldn't allow those girls to go away. They had be in there at a certain hour, and we
were not allowed only to do certain things, to keep them from saying such things as
These Greeks are good fighters, and if we could have had our arms and had them to give to the men there would not have been so many dead women and children to-day.
Commissioner Lennon. Did or did not a number of the gunmen and guards fill up the
ranks of the militia as the militia went home?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes; they did.
Commissioner Lennon. You are confident that is true?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir; l am confident. They admit that themselves.
Commissioner Lennon. When they searched your colony what did they do, so fur as
you know, outside of the arms and ammunition? Did they take money or jewelry?
Mrs. Jolly. l know of their taking money, and l know of their taking jewelry from the
tent colony. At one time there they came into our tent colony and searched, and
after the search there was complaints made so many different times that they had
robbed people in there, and one day they had a fine officer with them and he says,
"Well, l will hold up my men now and you may search them so you can see"; and
among those men that were searched there was jewelry and money and little things
—just little souvenirs the people had that were taken from the pockets of these
militiamen right in front of the officer.
Commissioner Lennon. Do you know who fired the first shot after the 23rd day of
September, when the strike began? Have you ever been informed so you believe you
know as to who really fired the first shot. You said here in one place that shortly after
September 30 the first two shots were fired. Do you know who fired those shots?
Mrs. Jolly. They were fired from an automobile that was going by the tent colony.
Commissioner Lennon. Can you explain just where it was?
Mrs. Jolly. In this automobile was this—l suppose you have heard of him—Belcher and a
fellow called Lindsey and two or three other men. And as they went across there were
two or three shots fired from the automobile into the tent colony.
Commissioner Lennon. That was the first of the fighting, so far as you know?
Mrs. Jolly. That was the first, because l had been there all the time.
Commissioner Lennon. Did the officers of the militia as well as the rank and file of the
militia insult the women when they were outside of the tent colony?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir; they did.
Commissioner Lennon. That is all.
Commissioner Ballard. You spoke of Louis Tikas as leader of the strikers?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. Was a Greek also?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. Were most of the Greeks married or single?
Mrs. Jolly. Not one of them married.
Commissioner Ballard. All single men?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir; all single men.
Commissioner Ballard. Was Louis Tikas himself a miner?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. Had he been working in the mines up to the time of the strike?
Mrs. Jolly. He came in there from Denver. Up to the time of the strike he had been
working for the mines at Louisville—Louisville, not working in our vicinity, but in the
Commissioner Ballard. And he came down from Denver to help the strikers?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. What did he do in Denver?
Mrs. Jolly. He had previously worked in the mines, and at one time was, l know, in the
insurance company; but just before the strike he had worked in the mines there.
Commissioner Ballard. Well, just before he came down to the strike colony, what had
he been doing in Denver? What was his business in Denver?
Mrs. Jolly. l couldn't tell you. l think he came from one of the mining camps just the
other side of Denver—Louisville—no; Frederick.
Commissioner Ballard. Did he and his brother have a saloon in Denver?
Mrs. Jolly. l don't think so. l never heard of it if they did. l don't know.
Commissioner Ballard. You were in the tent colony the day of the battle, and what day was that; do you remember?
Mrs. Jolly. That was the 20th of April.
Commissioner Ballard. You were in the colony at the time of the fire? Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir. Commissioner Ballard. Did you see anybody with torches yourself?
Mrs. Jolly. l did not; no. Not that day. On Tuesday morning l did, but Monday l did not,
because l was too busy. But one of our women seen one man who did, Mrs. Snyder,
talk with him and gave me his name. l went to school with the man myself. She gives
Commissioner Ballard. The tent in which you were, was that burned on the day of the
battle, or Monday, or Tuesday either?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes; burned.
Commissioner Ballard. What can you tell us about that?
Mrs. Jolly. l left the camp before it was burned. l don't know if it was burned that
Monday night or the next day. The fire in the camp was all night and never went out.
It was a very large camp and there was so much furniture in there; and that fire
lasted about three days before the smoke or anything was gone.
Commissioner Ballard. Were any of the tents burned down on Monday, the day you
Mrs. Jolly. They started between about 5.30 and 6 o'clock. There was about one-half
of them burning when l left the town.
Commissioner Ballard. You didn't see anybody set them afire?
Mrs. Jolly. No; l did not, because l was not at the front.
Commissioner Ballard. You say the financial secretary was an old man?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. He was killed that day?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. What was his name?
Mrs. Jolly. James Feiler.
Commissioner Ballard. You said he came back to the tent to get about $300?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. Where did that $300 come from?
Mr. Jolly. It was the money they allowed them in the camp. Saturday was pay day in
the camp, and this money had been left there, and as the railroad had been sent
back, he had not had any chance to send back any Monday morning; and it was
money that was left there in the tent, because Saturday was pay day.
Commissioner Ballard. They paid every Saturday, then?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes.
Commissioner Ballard. Did he pay all the striking miners that were there?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. What did he give every miner, if you know?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes. The men got $3, each woman $1, and for every child 50 cents.
Commissioner Ballard. Where did he get the money to pay them if they were not
Mrs. Jolly. Why, it was sent in by the United Mine Workers of America.
Commissioner Ballard. Where from?
Mrs. Jolly. Why, l don't know the different men. The union is holding them up.
Commissioner Ballard. The union is holding them up?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes; they are supporting them.
Commissioner Ballard. And then this money came in there every Saturday, then, and
the miners were all paid just the same as though they were at work?
Mrs. Jolly. Yes, sir; every Saturday.
Commissioner Ballard. That is all.
Chairman Walsh. Any other questions? That is all. Thank you, Mrs. Jolly.
[emphasis and photographs added]
TESTIMONY OF MRS. MARY HANNAH THOMAS.
Mr. Thompson. Give us your name.
Mrs. Thomas. Mrs. Hannah Thomas.
Mr. Thompson. And your address.
Mrs. Thomas. Ludlow.
Mr. Thompson. ls your husband living?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, sir.
Mr. Thompson. ls he a miner?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, sir.
Mr. Thompson. How old are you?
Mrs. Thomas. l am 25 next birthday.
Mr. Thompson. How long have you been married?
Mrs. Thomas. l have been married eight years.
Mr. Thompson. Have you got any children?
Mrs. Thomas. l have got two children.
Mr. Thompson. How long has your husband been a miner?
Mrs. Thomas. He has been a miner—he is now 32. He started mining when he was 24
Mr. Thompson. How old is he?
Mrs. Thomas. He is 32.
Mr. Thompson. Of what nationality are you?
Mrs. Thomas. l am Welsh, but my husband was born in America.
Mr. Thompson. How long has he been in the mining work out in Colorado?
Mrs. Thomas. About 10 months. Well, we were in this country two months before the
strike started. He was born in America, but was raised in Wales.
Mr. Thompson. And came back to this country from Wales about two months before
the strike started?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, sir.
Mr. Thompson. How long were you in Colorado before the strike started?
Mrs. Thomas. Two months.
Mr. Thompson. When did the strike in Colorado start—what date?
Mrs. Thomas. In September.
Mr. Thompson. When did this shooting that has been spoken of by Mrs. Jolly take
Mrs. Thomas. Which—the first battle?
Mr. Thompson. Yes; at Ludlow.
Mrs. Thomas. On the 20th of April, this last massacre.
Mr. Thompson. You may tell your story now.
Mrs. Thomas. Ten months ago l came from Wales, thinking we would like to come to
see the country where my husband was born. l had a business there and was doing
pretty well, and was very well situated in Wales. l sold every thing and bought
everything that l needed there and came over to this country—and brought $1,500
with me and 156 wedding presents, being very, very well known in the place l came
from because l had been born and raised in that place from which l came. l had a
silver tea service that was presented to me by the society l was a member of there
when l got married, and things that l couldn't exactly mention. But l had a tremendous
lot of valuable things that—l had a beautiful gold bracelet that had been given to me
on the day that l got baptized, that l was taken a member into the church, and
several other things that l can't mention. l had a Bible that was presented to me, a
very beautiful Bible, by the church there that l had been a member of since 12 years
of age. l also had that in Ludlow where it has been taken or burned, but which was
presented to me by the church that l was a member of. They made a concert for me
the night before l left there, and when l reached here we went straight to Colorado.
When we were going up in the hack someone asked my husband where he was hailing
from, and he said he came from Wales. He says, "l guess you belong to a union?" He
said, "Yes;" and he pulled out his card, and the man said, "For God's sake, put that
back, because if they see that card on you you will go down sooner than you came
up." That means he had to play he was not belonging to the union at all. When we
were in this union mine or this mining camp he put this card up, and from that time
had to play he was not belonging to any union at all, when we were in this mining
camp. It was a nonunion mine and we found the rules there were very very much
different from what they were in the union, and not one man could speak for himself.
If there was $80 coming to a man on pay day, and if they gave him $60, he would
have to be satisfied. They would say he was short weight on his coal; but they never
had a check weighman for the miners, always the operators. No man ever saw his coal
weighed. There was two men there telling me they had been to work one morning and
the fire boss told them to go to work at a place, and when one of them went to work
at that place he could see that the top was almost coming down; and he said that he
could not work there; it was not safe. They handed him his money and told him there
was no other work there; that he could go and not come back again. And when he
came and told me about this, on that very day, that very place fell in, and then he
went to ask for some work, and they said no. And he had to go out of that mining
camp. And when the strike started we all went down to the tents and the men—when
we were going down to these tents, these gunmen just would stand a few yards from
us and would point their revolvers at us as we were going down to Ludlow, and if
anyone dared say a word, he would have been shot there; and that was the very first
time l ever had seen a gun. I never saw any kind of a gun before until l came to
America. When we went to Ludlow there was only four small tents there and one large
tent; and the C, F. & I operators they had delayed the tents, so we would be without
any homes whatever, and all our furniture and everything else was out on the prairie
there that week, and it was snowing and terribly cold and awful wet. It was terrible
weather at that time.
But we determined to stick together there because we had put up with such a lot and believed we would rather suffer anything than go back to work under the conditions that they had been working.
When the militia came in we greeted them, as Mrs. Jolly explained. We greeted them
and invited them down. Several had supper in my tent. And we danced with them,
and one night they came into the tent colony, some of them did, and we refused to
dance with them; and one of their officers came down there and he says, "How is it
you don't dance with our men?" And l says, "Because you can't be on two sides and
we much prefer, if you respect us, in keeping away." " Oh, that's just what l wanted. l
don't want these men to come down here at all." So from that time on they kept
away from there. And they started some dirty tricks against us. Then they had me—
one day when l was going to Trinidad, they had a parade protesting against Mother
Jones being in jail. And l had lost my train, and there was an automobile passing with
three men in it. And l had some important business to do there that day and l wanted
to go badly, so l asked if they could give me a ride down. They said, yes. As soon as l
got in they asked me who l was and if my husband was a miner and different
questions, and they said how sorry they were for these miners that were there
starving and there was plenty of work up in the canyons for them. l says, "No man
there will go back to work unless they get better conditions." Then they saw,
although they kept on asking questions, they couldn't get the answers out of me that
they wanted, so, finally, this man turned around and he never spoke to me any more.
But when we reached Trinidad, on the square where the Columbian Hotel is, he
jumped out before the car stopped and ran in through one door of this hotel—and
what my opinion was, that they were operators. They told me they had been up to
the mines. They could have run in through this door and pointed me out through
another door or through the window. So l wanted to go down the street and l could
see the parade and everything there and that everything was coming back—they had
had a parade; and after the ride down l thought l had better go to my friends house
to wash my face, as l felt dirty; and l went up four steps there, there was a flight of
and l went up four steps there, and one of the militiamen caught me by the collar and pushed me to the floor, and l got up and he knocked me down again, and l
got up and he knocked me down again, and l asked him what it was for three times, and everybody around there started shouting, " Shame," and got quite indignant ; but no man dared to say a word, because he had his bayonet fixed, and he was waving that around as if he would use it.
So when l said that l did not like that, someone jumped up and said, "Arrest that
woman," and two of them caught me and marched me down to the first place, and
they get me there with 50 militiamen around me there, and they had their revolvers
and fixed to shoot, and after I had been there about 10 minutes, when Gen. Chase
came along, and one of these men told him, " This is Mrs. Thomas from Ludlow." He
says," Oh, that is her, is it. Well, you keep her here until l give you further orders."
And they kept me there for four hours, until l was almost fainting, and then they took
me up to the jail—to the original county jail, took my description and size and weight
and the color of my eyes and the color of my hair—and they couldn't decide what
color my hair was; and they asked me what color would l call that, and l said pale
blue. So he put me up in a cell that l was to have, and l went—and when l saw in this
cell it was the most filthy thing l ever was in. And two other women had been
arrested in the parade, and he had these women there, and they were released that
night; and l thought l was going to be released, so l put my things on, but they never
came to fetch me, and the jailer says, "l guess you will have to be satisfied here," so I
got into bed, and it was the most filthy place, and when l got in bed these rats were
running around like horses, and it was the most—l can not describe the filthiness of
that place. Then l wanted to get my children down there. l told them l wanted my
children down. So they said they were going to send the militia to fetch them; and l
put a note out of the window, pushed it out through the bars, trusting someone would
pass it to my husband, and someone did. And in that note l told him not to give his
children out of his charge until he came to me with them. l would not have trusted my
little girls in the hands of any of those dirty militiamen, knowing what they were doing.
And he brought the little girls down to me, and the jailer said he could not come there
to see me; that l was a military prisoner, and to be kept incommunicado, and he says,
"l am going to take these children to her; and if l don't, l can't give them to anybody,"
and he says, "You can't do it." So he was going to turn away with the children. "Well,"
he says, "l better let you go," so he brought him up and the jailer folded his arms, and
he said, "Mrs. Thomas, l have got to hear your conversation," "All right," l says. So we
spoke Welsh and so he couldn't understand it. And he left me stand there for about
three to five minutes, then he ordered my husband away; and then after l got my
children in with me for about three or four days they were crying something terrible.
They would throw the food in to me as if l was a dog and leave it on the floor, and
they gave them little children the same kind of food as the worst criminal in America.
And they were unable to go out of there and they could not eat anything and they
complaining and kept on asking me. "Mamma, why do they have these bars ?" And
they wanted to put on their hats and coats dozen of times and would try to run out
when the jailer opened the door and he would push them back just like dogs. And
when l had been in there for about four days and was breaking my heart to see the
children in there and crying so much to get out, l sent a letter to Gen. Chase and
asked him what did he have me in there for and what was the charge against me, and
if he would give me a trial l could prove that l had never done anything that was
wrong. So he never heeded my letter and kept me in there until he felt like letting me
out and he kept me in there 11 days; and then he released me without any trial
whatever, and l don't know even yet what l was confined in there for.
Another time there were 20 of our men going out for a walk; and it was a very fine
day, and there was a regiment of these militiamen ahead of them, and they took them
up to the mining camp at Berwind. and then when they got them there they gave
them an offer to go to work there, and they said, "No, they would not go." And they
said if they didn't go to work they would be put in jail. And they said they would
rather that than go back to work; that they would not go back to work under the
conditions down there. And they beat these men and they were bruised something
bad; and then they gave them again an offer to go to work there; but they would
they [militiamen] kept them [strikers] until the next day without any food in a dark cell; and the next morning they beat them up, and lined them up against the wall and put a cannon before them, and gave them to understand they were going to shoot them, and gave them, an offer again if they would go back to work; and they said, "No, they would not." And those men were as white as death, for they did think they were going to be shot, because these militiamen were capable of anything. And when this cannon was before them and they enticed them to go back to work, and they would not. and they beat them up again and drove them back with whips right back to Ludlow. They were on their horses and had whips. They whipped them right back to Ludlow.
And before the congressional committee they said they only did that for fun—put that
cannon before the miners—and that they were only joking. Another time they took a
man off the street and put him in jail and never let him know what he was in there for
and they gave him a chance to go back to work, and he would not go. and they made
that man dig a piece of ground there and gave him to understand that it was his
grave, and that he was to be shot the next day. And he asked if he could not see his
wife and children before he would get shot. They said no, they could not grant any
privilege whatever. So they gave that man to understand that he was to be shot,
well, he got very ill, and they had to send for the United Mine Workers to get him out,
and then they had him out, and then this man said he had had a horrible experience.
And there was another man there they put in jail, and it was in a damp cell, and they
kept him in that damp place until he died of heart trouble, and he died within four
days. That was a healthy man before he went in there.
And the women that have been insulted in Ludlow—it is terrible. It can not be stated. It can not he stated—the insults the women have had to undergo. And since these militiamen have been there there's dozens of young girls who have had to go to homes expecting to become mothers. There is one woman there— a German woman—and two militiamen came down there, knowing that her husband was away, and they came down to the tent colony and tried to get her to drink some whisky with them, and she says she would not; and they told her they were going to arrest her and take her up to their tents-
Chairman Walsh (interrupting). Mrs. Scott has just informed me that your time is up,
and that if the commission should wish to ask you any questions will have to ask them
now, because you have to leave on the train at a certain time. Are there any
questions you would like to ask, Mrs. Harriman?
Commissioner Harriman. No; l think not.
Commissioner Ballard. When did your husband come to the mines to work at Ludlow?
Mrs. Thomas. It was in July.
Commissioner Ballard. And the strike occurred in September?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. So he had been working there about three or four months?
Mrs. Thomas. About two months: something like that.
Commissioner Ballard. Do you remember how much wages your husband made a month?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes. '
Commissioner Ballard. During that three or four months?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes.
Commissioner Ballard. About how much?
Mrs. Thomas. About $70 a month.
Commissioner Ballard. And he had been a miner in Wales?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, sir.
Commissioner Ballard. What did he make over there?
Mrs. Thomas. He made about $40 to $50 a month, but we could live on half the wages
in Wales. If l could have that wages in Wales l could save half of it. But when we
were in Colorado l could save nothing, because it all went to the company store.
Commissioner Ballard. Were you compelled to trade in the company store?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, sir ; we were compelled to trade in the company's store—made to
buy everything there—and most of the men were in debt there, so that they did not
see what was the color of money; did not know what was money, only taking their
check from the company—only a slip of paper from the mine when they were having a
pay day, and they would have to take that slip of paper right to the store and then
deduct anything that the man owed. If he owed $70 and he only had $60 coming to
him, they would take the whole $60 and wouldn't give him any money.
Commissioner Ballard. Did you have to pay in the company store more than in the
ordinary stores in Trinidad and Ludlow?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes. In these company stores they would give you scrip and they would
say on the scrip—it would say you could purchase anything in the company's stores in
the mining camp; but not at the same store belonging to the same company at
Trinidad, because in Trinidad they had to compete with other stores.
Commissioner Ballard. Cheaper in Trinidad than up at the mines?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, Sir.
Commissioner Ballard. This day that you went to town, was it Pueblo or Ludlow where
you were arrested?
Mrs. Thomas. Trinidad.
Commissioner Ballard. And that day there was trouble?
Mrs. Thomas. Yes, sir
Commissioner Ballard. What was this parade?
Mrs. Thomas. They were protesting against Mother Jones being in the San Juan Hospital without any charge whatever.
Commissioner Ballard. That is all; thank you, Mrs. Thomas.
Chairman Walsh. Call your first witness, Mr. Thompson.
The New York Tribune
(New York, New York)
-of May 28, 1914
United States. Commission on Industrial Relations,
-Frank P. Walsh, Basil Maxwell Manly
U.S. Government Printing Office, 1916 -
-search preview with name and/or page number:
Judge Lindsey and Women of Ludlow X2
"Grieving herself to death."
The Tacoma Times of May 25, 1914
Children of Mary Petrucci
Which Side Are You On-Florence Reese