Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
- Colorado History -
The Wrath of Governor Peabody
Marshall Law in the Cripple Creek District
The pro-union newspaper, The Victor Record, was closed down, and editor George Hyner, was arrested. The newspaper office was vandalized with sledge hammers and put out of business. Bell shut down transportation routes, both roads and railroads were barricaded. Union stores and meeting places were destroyed and a mass hanging was suggested by citizens. Only cool heads and the militia presence kept vigilantes from stringing up union bodies on the power poles of the district.
Instead of mass lynchings by the "Local Uplift Society," mass arrests of known union members and sympathizers took place. Bull pens, with armed guards were established to contain the "trouble makers."
By the end of July, Bell's commission had questioned 1569 men. Of these it was recommended that 238 be banished. Military personnel carried out the expulsions, shipping the prisoners by train to Denver, and points close to the Kansas and New Mexico state lines. It was also recommended that charges be filed against forty-two persons and that 1289 be released.
I (Mr. Sedivy) will let General Bell speak for himself:
"...So we arrested the worst men in camp; gave them a fair hearing; picked the sheep out from the goats, loaded the latter into a special train, put aboard guards, canned beef, hardtack, buckets for drinking water; ran ‘em down to within two miles of the Kansas line; unloaded ‘em and marched ‘em to the state line. We gave each man a can of beef, a dozen hard tack, and a half a can of beans. They disappeared over the prairie. And that was the end of the Western Federation of Miners and the reign of terror in Cripple Creek. If I had to do it again, I'd do it just the same way, only I'd do it a damned sight quicker."
Tacked up on a telephone pole within a stones throw of the ruined station at Independence read as follows:
"Hence take notice, that on and after Sept. 16, 1901, anyone working in and around the mines, mills or power plants of the Cripple Creek District who cannot show a card of membership in good standing of some local union of the Western Federation of Miners will be considered a 'scab' and an enemy to us, himself and the community at large and will be treated as such. By the order of the Cripple Creek executive board of the W.F.M. ... John Curry President."
The blood-splattered railway station nearby stood as evidence of what was meant by "will be treated as such."
The Strike Is Over
Cause of the 1903 - 1904 Labor War
Cripple Creek District Labor Strikes:
Early Cripple Creek District
- Colorado History In Depth
The Cheyenne Social Club
Colorado's Role in the US Civil
More Colorado History
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Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
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