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An added objection, the use of blacks in the coal mines of Washington, 1880-1896 Campbell, Robert A. 1978

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AN ADDED OBJECTION:  THE USE OF BLACKS  IN THE  COAL MINES OF WASHINGTON, 1880-1896 by ROBERT A. B.A.,  University  CAMPBELL  of California,  A THESIS SUBMITTED  Santa Cruz,  IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department o f H i s t o r y  We  a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g to the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August,  ©  1975  197 8  R o b e r t A. C a m p b e l l ,  1978  In  presenting  this  an a d v a n c e d  degree  the  shall  I  Library  f u r t h e r agree  for  scholarly  by  his  of  this  written  thesis at  the U n i v e r s i t y  make  that  it  purposes  for  freely  permission may  representatives. thesis  in p a r t i a l  financial  is  of  British  2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  by  for  gain  Columbia  shall  the  requirements  Columbia,  I  agree  r e f e r e n c e and copying  of  this  that  not  copying  or  for  that  study. thesis  t h e Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t  understood  of  The U n i v e r s i t y  British  for extensive  permission.  Department  of  available  be g r a n t e d  It  fulfilment of  or  publication  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t  my  ABSTRACT  Although not as important as timber, the c o a l mining industry did  p l a y a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n Washington's economic  development o f the 1880's.  But c o a l mining was not an easy  business i n which t o make a p r o f i t . medicore;  The product i t s e l f was  c o s t s were high, and competition  was s t i f f .  The  l e a d i n g independent c o a l company, the Oregon Improvement Company  (OIC), s u f f e r e d from c o n t i n u a l f i n a n c i a l problems  and was hampered by poor management. emphasized the f a c t o r o f production to c o n t r o l — OIC  labor.  To reduce c o s t s the OIC t h a t appeared t o be e a s i e s t  L i k e a l l Washington c o a l o p e r a t o r s , the  o f f i c e r s were opposed t o l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s , which they  b e l i e v e d both i n c r e a s e d c o s t s and i n t e r f e r r e d w i t h a company's r i g h t t o conduct i t s b u s i n e s s . The  nature o f c o a l mining and the s t r u c t u r e o f mining  towns made c o n f l i c t almost i n e v i t a b l e between a company and i t s employees.  The mine workers q u i c k l y learned  that  organi-  z a t i o n was not o n l y e s s e n t i a l t o p r o t e c t t h e i r i n t e r e s t s i n an i r r e g u l a r and dangerous i n d u s t r y , but a l s o t o c o u n t e r a c t the overwhelming i n f l u e n c e o f the company. organizers  When Knights o f Labor  appeared i n Washington i n the e a r l y 1880's, they were  e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y r e c e i v e d by the mine workers, and l o c a l assemblies o f the Knights were e s t a b l i s h e d throughout Washington' mining  regions.  A company l i k e the OIC wanted t o mine c o a l and  economically  efficiently  without any i n t e r f e r e n c e from employees or  labor organizations.  In order to i n h i b i t the i n f l u e n c e  o r g a n i z e d l a b o r the OIC  of  encouraged f a c t i o n among i t s employees,  with the i n t e n t of keeping the workers d i v i d e d and q u a r r e l i n g among themselves.  To the OIC o f f i c e r s i t appeared  t h a t the  workers c o u l d be permanently d i v i d e d along r a c i a l l i n e s .  Their  experience w i t h p l a c i n g low-paid Chinese workers i n the mines had  shown them t h a t t h e i r white-employees completely  the p r e v a i l i n g r a c i a l s t e r e o t y p e s . workers opposed to Chinese  accepted  Not o n l y were the mine  i n the mines, they became l e a d e r s  i n the movement to expel the Chinese  from Washington.  animosity and a f e a r of cheap l a b o r prevented  Racial  the mine workers  from seeing what they had  i n common as workers w i t h the  Chinese.  In t h i s sense the Chinese  l a i d the groundwork f o r the f a r  more s u c c e s s f u l use of b l a c k s i n the mines. The  f i r s t b l a c k mine workers i n Washington were  from the Midwest i n 1888  imported  by the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company.  With the use of b l a c k s the company broke a s t r i k e l e d by Knights.  In 1891  the OIC decided t o f o l l o w the example of  the Northern P a c i f i c , and b l a c k workers were imported c o n t r a c t to work i n the OIC mines. the OIC b e l i e v e d i t c o u l d conduct and  the  under  With cheap b l a c k l a b o r i t s business more e c o n o m i c a l l y  suppress o r g a n i z e d l a b o r by encouraging  racial  hostility  among the workers. The OIC's use of b l a c k s p r e c i p i t a t e d the complete d e f e a t of union mine workers i n Washington.  A n a t i o n a l t r a d i t i o n of  anti-Negro p r e j u d i c e enhanced by the West's more v i r u l e n t and the minimal  racism,  p a r t i c i p a t i o n of b l a c k s i n the d e v e l o p i n g l a b o r  movement, a l l c o n t r i b u t e d to t h e i r s u c c e s s f u l use i n the Washington mines.  R a c i a l animosity and h o s t i l i t y t o cheap l a b o r  kept the b l a c k s and whites d i v i d e d . the  retaliatory  I n i t i a t e d by the K n i g h t s ,  s t r i k e of the white mine workers f a i l e d , and  mining unions disappeared from Washington f o r over a decade.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS  CHAPTER I The C o a l M i n i n g Economy and L a b o r I n Washington Notes  t o Chapter  1  I  24  CHAPTER I I Coal Mining Notes  t o Chapter  . II  29 .50  CHAPTER I I I R o s l y n and t h e N a t i o n  54  Notes  74  t o Chapter  III  CHAPTER IV The  D e f e a t o f t h e Mine Workers  Notes  t o Chapter  IV  ....78 108  BIBLIOGRAPHY  112  APPENDIX  .....119  v  LIST OF TABLES  TABLE I Washington C o a l P r o d u c t i o n 1875-1895  5  TABLE I I P o i n t s o f O r i g i n o f Coal Shipped t o San F r a n c i s c o , C a l i f o r n i a , 1880-1895  6  TABLE I I I Coal Mines of Washington, 1888  vi  8  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  Without the a s s i s t a n c e and support o f a number o f people, it  i s l i k e l y t h i s paper would have never been completed.  N a t u r a l l y , I alone am t o be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t s f i n a l form, but I owe much t o many o t h e r s . Ready a v a i l a b i l i t y , endless p a t i e n c e , a s t u t e and u s e f u l criticism:  any one o f these q u a l i t i e s would be a p p r e c i a t e d  i n a t h e s i s a d v i s o r , but P r o f e s s o r Norbert MacDonald o f f e r e d them a l l and much more.  H i s kindness  and sense o f human  compassion are a t t r i b u t e s t h a t are not commonly found academic  i n the  world.  I owe a s p e c i a l debt t o P r o f e s s o r Marvin Lazerson F a c u l t y o f Education  a t UBC.  i n the  He was not my a d v i s o r , i n f a c t  he had no formal o b l i g a t i o n t o me whatsoever. took many hours from h i s h e c t i c schedule  Yet he f r e e l y  t o d i s c u s s race and  c l a s s i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s , and he guided me through many t h e o r e t i c a l mazes. is a rarity. and  L i k e P r o f e s s o r MacDonald, P r o f e s s o r He does not l e t i n t e r - d e p a r t m e n t a l  j e a l o u s y i n t e r f e r e with s c h o l a r s h i p .  Lazerson  competition  P e t t i n e s s and p o l i t i c s  abound i n any i n s t i t u t i o n , but Marvin helped me simply because he wanted t o .  Walking over t o h i s o f f i c e was always very  refreshing. L i k e i t s author t h i s paper has an i n t e r n a t i o n a l c a s t . was l a r g e l y researched Vancouver.  It  i n S e a t t l e and e n t i r e l y w r i t t e n i n  In S e a t t l e , Dr. Richard Berner,  U n i v e r s i t y of Washington, i n i t i a l l y vii  A r c h i v i s t a t the  l e d me t o extremely  valuable  sources and  saved me  endless hours of f r u i t l e s s  search.  a l s o g r a t e f u l to Robert M i t t e l s t a d t i n the Manuscripts at the U n i v e r s i t y of Washington. thorough concern  f o r my  sense of humor.  I can thank Bob  I am Division  I not only a p p r e c i a t e d h i s  photocopies,  but a l s o h i s d e s e r t - d r y  P o t t s and Mary S c o t t f o r much  more than a p l a c e to stay, even i f they don't b e l i e v e i n h e a t i n g t h e i r house i n January. To R a n d a l l , Anna, and Andrea I can say l i t t l e thanks.  except,  They were always there and t h a t ' s what counted most  of a l l . M e r c i HeTene.  Tu s a i s pourquoi.  C'est t r e s  simple.  Since he too i s always c l o s e by and never at a l o s s f o r something t o say, I should l e t Huck F i n n have the l a s t words: "So there a i n ' t nothing more to w r i t e about, and  I'm  g l a d of i t , because i f I'd knowed what t r o u b l e i t was wouldn't a t a c k l e d i t and a i n ' t agoing  to no more."  Robert Campbell  rotten ... I  REFERENCE  MAP  OF  STUDY  AREA WASHINGTON  A R F  '78  THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR STRIKE We're brave and g a l l a n t miner boys That work i n underground For courage and good nature None l i k e us can be found We work both l a t e and e a r l y , And get but l i t t l e pay To support our wives and c h i l d r e n , In f r e e America Here's to the Knights o f Labor That brave and g a l l a n t band That Corbon and o l d Swigard Is t r y i n g to disband But s t i c k and hang brave union men We'll make them rue the day They thought t o break the K. of L. In f r e e America I f Satan took the b l a c k l e g s I'm s u r e ' t would be no s i n What peace and happiness ' t would be For us workingmen E i g h t hours we'd have f o r l a b o r E i g h t hours we'd have f o r p l a y E i g h t hours we'd have f o r s l e e p i n g In f r e e America —  W r i t t e n i n 1885 by John Hornby. From P h i l i p Foner, American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century, p. 202.  They [the mine workers] seem to regard the i n t r o d u c t i o n of negro l a b o r i n much the same l i g h t as t h a t of the Chinese, and f e a r t h a t i t w i l l embitter l a b o r c o n t r o v e r s i e s by i n j e c t i n g race p r e j u d i c e i n t o them. Of course among workingmen g e n e r a l l y the sentiment would be a g a i n s t imported men of whatever race, but here the c o l o r of the men seems to be an added o b j e c t i o n . —  S e a t t l e P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 18 May  x  1891  CHAPTER I THE  COAL MINING ECONOMY AND LABOR IN WASHINGTON  The purpose o f t h i s paper i s t o d i s c u s s the nature o f d i s p u t e s between Washington c o a l mining o p e r a t o r s and t h e i r employees i n the 1880's and e a r l y 1890's.  The focus o f t h i s  d i s c u s s i o n i s on the r o l e o f race and r a c i a l animosity i n such disputes.  S p e c i f i c a l l y I am i n t e r e s t e d i n how the use o f  b l a c k s i n the mines c o n t r i b u t e d t o the demise o f mining  unions.  T h i s chapter, which i n p a r t can be c o n s i d e r e d an i n t r o d u c t i o n , attempts t o answer three g e n e r a l q u e s t i o n s . the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the c o a l mining mining  companies?  F i r s t , what were  i n d u s t r y and the c o a l  The l a t t e r p a r t o f t h i s q u e s t i o n d e a l s mainly  with the Oregon Improvement Company, upon which t h i s study i s based. mining  Second, what was the p o s i t i o n o f organized l a b o r i n the industry?  And t h i r d , how d i d the use o f Chinese  i n the  mines a f f e c t employer/employee r e l a t i o n s and pave the way f o r the use o f b l a c k s ? U n t i l the 1880's Washington played an i n s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t i n the n a t i o n a l economy. some mining,  The l o c a l economy was based on timber,  and the r a i s i n g of wheat and hops.  d e c i s i o n o f the Northern  But w i t h the  P a c i f i c R a i l r o a d (NPR) t o complete  i t s road t o the Puget Sound, which would l i n k the T e r r i t o r y to the n a t i o n , Washington experienced development.  a p e r i o d o f unprecedented  The "boom" o f the e i g h t i e s was f u e l e d by timber,  2  mining, r a i l r o a d s , streamship t r a f f i c shown i n the Appendix, between 1880 of  and a g r i c u l t u r e .  and 1890  As  the p o p u l a t i o n  Washington i n c r e a s e d by a f a c t o r of f i v e , and S e a t t l e grew  from a q u i e t c i t y of t h i r t y - f i v e hundred to a b u s t l i n g one of over f o r t y thousand. p r o s p e r i t y was  I t should be noted, however, t h a t  this  marred by a d e p r e s s i o n from 1884-1886 which  was  a r e s u l t of a f i n a n c i a l panic i n the E a s t and h i g h unemployment with the completion of the NPR  i n 1883.''"  I t should a l s o be noted t h a t t h i s d i s c u s s i o n n e c e s s a r i l y emphasizes c o a l mining w h i l e v i r t u a l l y i g n o r i n g the e c o n o m i c a l l y more s i g n i f i c a n t timber i n d u s t r y .  In 1880  one hundred and  s i x t y m i l l i o n board f e e t were c u t i n Washington. l a t e r timber p r o d u c t i o n had per year. men  A decade  surpassed one b i l l i o n board  While the timber i n d u s t r y supported ten  i n 1890  and c o u l d boast a $15,000,000 annual  thousand  product,  c o a l mining o f f e r e d employment to fewer than three men  feet  thousand  and c o u l d d e l i v e r l e s s than 20% of the timber i n d u s t r y ' s 2  annual  product.  Still,  c o a l p r o d u c t i o n was  an important, i f awkward p a r t  of Washington's but p a r t i c u l a r l y S e a t t l e ' s development. S e a t t l e was it  founded  i n 1852,  there was  to d i s t i n g u i s h  from other Puget Sound communities such as Olympia and P o r t  Townsend. timber.  A l l were b l e s s e d w i t h good harbors and access t o What d i d d i s t i n g u i s h S e a t t l e was  began almost as soon as the town. was  little  When  d i s c o v e r e d i n 1853  Seattle.  The  i t s coal trade that  f i r s t c o a l i n King County  by Dr. M. Bigelow on the Black R i v e r near  He opened a mine but had t o abandon i t because of h i g h  3  transportation discovered  costs.  In 1863  P h i l l i p Lewis and  Edward Richardson  c o a l on a creek l a t e r named Coal Creek, about twenty-  m i l e s from S e a t t l e .  A mine was  p a r t of the Newcastle mines. Bellingham Bay, producer, and  opened which e v e n t u a l l y  By  1875  Newcastle had  Washington's o l d e s t mine, as the  became  replaced  leading  coal  p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of Newcastle's c o a l went to  A few more c o a l mines were opened i n the opened during  1870's, but most  the boom of the e i g h t i e s , and,  I, c o a l p r o d u c t i o n i n c r e a s e d  dramatically  Seattle.  as shown i n Table 3  during  t h i s decade.  Though important to the Washington economy, the c o a l mining i n d u s t r y was  hampered by a number of f a c t o r s .  Washington was  expensive.  g e o l o g i c a l r e g i o n s and techniques and  The  F i r s t , mining i n  c o a l beds were i n complex  s u c c e s s f u l mining r e q u i r e d  s k i l l e d engineering.  sophisticated  In a d d i t i o n , the  best  c o a l f i e l d s were i n i s o l a t e d areas which r e s u l t e d i n high transportation g e n e r a l was  low  costs.  J u s t as s i g n i f i c a n t , Washington c o a l i n  q u a l i t y and  because the c o a l contained a h i g h  percentage of f o r e i g n matter, i t r e q u i r e d and  cleaning  b e f o r e i t could be  s t i f f c o m p e t i t i o n from other  Although much of the c o a l mined i n Washington ended  up on the docks of S e a t t l e , the c h i e f market was Outside of some.local sources San four l o c a t i o n s : Great B r i t a i n . to San the  screening  sent to market.  F i n a l l y , Washington c o a l faced sources.  expensive  Francisco  San  received  Francisco. c o a l from  Washington, B r i t i s h Columbia, A u s t r a l i a Washington c o a l had  Francisco,  but,  and  the advantage of being  more important, i t was  imported-coal t a r i f f of s e v e n t y - f i v e  not  subject  cents per ton.  close to  Though  4  B.C.  c o a l was  s u b j e c t to the t a r i f f ,  i n q u a l i t y to Washington c o a l . I s l a n d had  lower production  i t was  generally  superior  F u r t h e r , mining on Vancouver  c o s t s because c o a l was  e a s i e r to  mine; the c o l l i e r i e s were l o c a t e d near the Nanaimo habor which reduced t r a n s p o r t a t i o n c o s t s , and  the operators  b e n e f i t t e d from  the use of cheap Chinese l a b o r throughout the 1880's. A u s t r a l i a n and Washington c o a l .  B r i t i s h c o a l was  Coal  also usually superior  from these areas was  brought as  ballast  i n otherwise empty wheat s h i p s . When the wheat crop was i n the United  to  good  S t a t e s , B r i t a i n and A u s t r a l i a c o u l d o f t e n f l o o d  the market i n San  F r a n c i s c o w i t h r e l a t i v e l y cheap coal."*  Although Washington c o a l was  protected  by a t a r i f f ,  San  F r a n c i s c o purchased on the average l e s s than a t h i r d of i t s c o a l from Washington (see Table I I ) . and  B r i t i s h Columbia, A u s t r a l i a  B r i t a i n u s u a l l y c o u l d o f f e r s u p e r i o r c o a l at  prices.  competitive  When there were l a b o r problems abroad which c l o s e d  the  mines, or when wheat crops were poor which r e s u l t e d i n l e s s b a l l a s t c o a l at San In g e n e r a l ,  F r a n c i s c o , then Washington c o a l s o l d w e l l .  however, the Washington mines operated s p o r a d i c a l l y ,  most o f t e n i n the f a l l and w i n t e r months when l o c a l demand increased. With high operation,  and  f i x e d c o s t s , an i n d i f f e r e n t product, i n t e n s e competition,  business i n which to make a p r o f i t . mining company had  c o a l mining was  sporadic not an easy  In the long run, a s u c c e s s f u l  to be on a sound f i n a n c i a l b a s i s , conduct i t s  business with e x p e r t i s e , and  keep c o s t s to a minimum.  Oregon Improvement Company (OIC), the l e a d i n g  The  independent  5  ! I - WASHINGTON COAL PRODUCTION 1875 -1895*  YEAR  TONS  YEAR  TONS  1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885  99,568 110,346 120,196 131,660 142,666 145,015 196,000 177,340 244,990 166,936 380,250  Source:  U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1900, p. 691.  1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895  423,525 772,601 1,215,750 1,030,578 1,263,689 1,056,249 1,140,575 1,208,850 1,131,660 1,163,732  Coal production figures for Washington are notoriously unreliable. Figures from newspapers, company records, mine inspector reports, and Mineral Resources might vary from each other by as much as ±35.1%-. By relying on the U.S.G.S. Mineral Resources, I have at least erred with consistency.  6  TABLE II - POINTS OF ORIGIN OF COAL SHIPPED TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 1880-1895  PERCENT COAL RECEIVED FROM YEAR  WASH.  B.C.  AUST.  1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890** 1891** 1892** 1893** 1894** 1895**  18.9 19.0 27.0 36.3 31.6 35.7 25.3* 45.4 40.7 32.7 33.9 22.0 24.0 29.0' 25.9 24.6  25.9 17.6 17.9 14.8 29.5 23.2 25.1 21.9 22.0 31.3 36.7 38.3 34.8 37.8 42.3 39.4  9.2 14.0 18.0 20.0 19.3 21.4 28.4 13.5 19.6 25.6 16.7 18.9 19.7 13.7 13.9 16.3  ** *  Includes Includes  Sources:  BRITAIN 10.2 31.3 21.4 17.6 13.2 19.7 17.9 9.1 8.5 3.8 3.1 11.8 14.8 11.5 11.5 12.4  OTHERS 35.9 18.1 15.7 11.2 6.4 0 3.4 10.2 9.2 6.5 9.8 9.0 6.7 8.1 6.4 7.3  all California ports Coos Bay, Oregon  Calculated from U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1882, pp. 97-98; 1883-84, p. 20; 1885, p. 15; 1886, p. 242; 1887, p. 211; 1888, p. 225; 1889-90, p. 168; 1891, p. 203; 1900, p. 354.  7  c o a l mining company i n Washington i n the 1880's, u l t i m a t e l y c o u l d not achieve these ends, and d u r i n g i t s s i x t e e n years o f o p e r a t i o n the OIC went i n t o r e c e i v e r s h i p twice and c o l l a p s e d a f t e r t h e Panic o f 1893. The Oregon Improvement Company was e s t a b l i s h e d by German financial October  wizard Henry V i l l a r d and s i x Oregon c a p i t a l i s t s i n  1880.  V i l l a r d had organized a number o f P a c i f i c  Northwest companies, and he e n v i s i o n e d the OIC as a l a r g e h o l d i n g company dominating Northwest.  the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and c o a l market i n the  Under OIC c o n t r o l V i l l a r d p l a c e d four s m a l l  roads, a streamship company, and the Newcastle  rail-  c o a l mines,  6 which he a l s o purchased Particularly  i n 1880.  with mining, the f u t u r e looked p r o f i t a b l e  f o r the OIC i n the b e g i n n i n g . c a s t l e accounted ton,  In 1883 the output from New-  f o r n e a r l y 80% o f the c o a l produced  i n Washing-  and from t h i s revenue the OIC was able t o develop i t s  F r a n k l i n f i e l d s , some t h i r t y m i l e s southeast o f S e a t t l e .  The  F r a n k l i n Coal Company was i n c o r p o r a t e d i n 1884 and went i n t o p r o d u c t i o n the f o l l o w i n g year.  As i l l u s t r a t e d i n Table I I I many  companies opened mines i n the 1880's, but the output from Newc a s t l e and F r a n k l i n assured the p l a c e o f the OIC as the l e a d i n g 7 independent  producer.  But success proved the OIC.  fleeting  f o r V i l l a r d and e v e n t u a l l y f o r  In January 1884 V i l l a r d , who was a l s o p r e s i d e n t o f  the NPR a t the time, f e l l v i c t i m t o h i s many enemies on the NPR  board and l o s t c o n t r o l o f both the NPR and the OIC.  Smith l e f t the NPR and became p r e s i d e n t o f the OIC.  Elijah  He moved  8  TABLE I I I :  COAL MINES OF WASHINGTON - 1888*  COUNTY  MINE  Whatcom  Bellingham Bay  King  Newcastle Franklin Black Diamond Cedar Mountain • Gilman (Issaquah) Talbot Renton  OPERATOR IN 1888  MINE .OPENED  PRODUCTION 1888 (TONS)  Black Diamond Coal Co.  1854-1878  Oregon Improvement Co. Oregon Improvement Co. Black Diamond Coal Co. Cedar River Coal Co. S e a t t l e Coal and Iron Co. Renton Coal Co. Renton Coal Co.  1871 1884 1885 1884 1887 1875-1879 1874-1885  155,000 86,966 148,000 41,662 14,907  Pierce  Carbonado South P r a i r i e Wilkeson Wilkeson  P a c i f i c Improvement Co.(CPRR)1880 South P r a i r i e Coal Co. 1882 Tacoma Coal and Coke Co. 1876 Wilkeson Coal and Coke Co. 1887  213,145 40,934 12,877 10,000  Thurston  Bucoda  Northwestern Coal & Trans.Co.1887  42,000  Kittitas  Roslyn  Northern P a c i f i c Coal Co(NPR)1885  220,000  Source:  *  U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States 1883-84, p. 381; 1886, pp. 364-365; 1887, pp. 369,371; 1888, p. 381.  By 1888 the patterns of Washington mining were established. It also in 1888 that blacks were first brought to Washington thus beginning three years of intense strife between operators and employees.  was  9  its  head o f f i c e from P o r t l a n d  o f f i c e s i n S e a t t l e and  San  to New  York and  e s t a b l i s h e d branch  Francisco.  With the departure of V i l l a r d the shaky f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n of the OIC  became apparent.  Villard left  the OIC  with a s i x  m i l l i o n d o l l a r debt with which to face the economic downturn in his  1884.  He had  put the company i n debt i n order  other ventures, and  In 1883  OIC  stock  the r e s u l t s were n e a r l y  to  disastrous.  s o l d f o r $91.00, but by A p r i l 1884  dropped to $24.00.  The  company was  from i t s mines, but the S e a t t l e kind when i t d e s c r i b e d  the OIC  finance  i t had  saved by the output  Post-Intelligencer as s u f f e r i n g from  was  being  "financial  9 embarassment." But poor f i n a n c e s was  not the OIC's only problem.  According  to an economic post-mortem completed by Thomas Greeve i n the OIC' was  a l s o hampered by q u e s t i o n a b l e  weak management. of the OIC  Greeve r e p o r t e d  diversification  t h a t the s u b s i d i d a r y  were more of a l i a b i l i t y  than an a s s e t .  OlC-owned r a i l r o a d t h a t c o n s i s t e n t l y made money was and  Puget Sound Railway  the OIC  and  companies  The  only  the  Columbia  (CPSR) which operated f i f t y - f o u r  of narrow guage t r a c k between S e a t t l e and CPSR was  1896,  miles  fields.  The  completely dependent on the c o a l market as i t s main  t r a f f i c was  the c o a l from the mines i n King County.  s t a t e d t h a t mining was earnings of the OIC But Greeve had  " a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l " to i n c r e a s e  the  system."^ l i t t l e good to say about the way  conducted its".mining b u s i n e s s . o f f i c e s was  Greeve  He  felt  expensive, i n e f f i c i e n t , and  the  that maintaining hindered  OIC three  cooperation  10  among the abundance of OIC  officers.  In employing mine managers  the OIC  sought economy not q u a l i t y and  price.  More important, the OIC  u l t i m a t e l y p a i d a dear  used poor i n i t i a l  engineering  i n i t s mines which proved to be expensive and made mine maintenance d i f f i c u l t . its  The  OIC  had  the unfortunate knack of  digging  mine entrances i n the wrong l o c a t i o n s which meant they  e v e n t u a l l y had  to be c l o s e d and  redug.  Both Newcastle  F r a n k l i n were handicapped by weak r o o f s and beds, and  both were plagued w i t h f i r e s and  highly  and  pitched  explosions  which i n  p a r t were a r e s u l t of the OIC' s cheap v e n t i l a t i o n systems. "'' 1  I n e f f i c i e n t and * and  c o s t l y business p r a c t i c e s , poor f i n a n c i n g  an extremely competitive  p o s i t i o n during i t was  market kept the OIC  i t s years of o p e r a t i o n .  l i k e l y that  the OIC  o f f i c e r s l a b o r was  kept to an absolute  would emphasize the  f a c t o r of prolabor.  minimum.  The  the  f i r i n g of c e r t a i n employees.  to  be  OIC's problems w i t h i t s  soon broadened to i n c l u d e union r e c o g n i t i o n and  and  To  j u s t another c o s t , a c o s t t h a t had  employees began over wages and working c o n d i t i o n s , but  disputes  precarious  Given these c o n d i t i o n s ,  d u c t i o n t h a t appeared the e a s i e s t to c o n t r o l — OIC  in a  In order  they  the h i r i n g  and  to understand these  t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r a l l mine workers i n Washing-  ton, i t would be h e l p f u l t o b r i e f l y look at l a b o r i n Washington, p a r t i c u l a r l y the Knights of Labor who  organized  the mine  workers. Unions were almost nonexistent  i n Washington before  Up to t h a t time i n d u s t r i a l development was of employer and  1880.  l i m i t e d ; the r o l e s  employee were o f t e n combined, and  the  relation-  11  s h i p between wage earner and wage payer was There was and  no  strong  i n f o r m a l and  flexible.  sense of c l a s s consciousness among workers  no deep d i v i s i o n s between c a p i t a l and  however, d i d change i n the mid became more extreme and  labor.  Attitudes,  1 8 8 0 ' s when d i v i s i o n s of wealth  the f r o n t i e r gave way  to a more d i v e r 13  s i f i e d economy i n r a p i d l y developing  urban areas l i k e S e a t t l e .  For most of the decade the predominant spokesmen f o r l a b o r were the Knights of Labor.  The  Washington from the e a r l y 1 8 8 0 ' s , and  Knights were a c t i v e i n they f i r m l y b e l i e v e d  t h a t there were b a s i c i n e q u a l i t i e s between c a p i t a l and t h a t had  to be r e c t i f i e d .  i n Washington was workers.  The  source of the Knights  t h e i r a b i l i t y to organize  labor  strength  the c o a l mine  I n i t i a l l y the Washington Knights b e n e f i t t e d from the  a s s i s t a n c e of the n a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n under the  leadership  of Terrence Powderly. Terrence Powderly r u l e d the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor as Grand Master Workman from 1 8 8 0 - 1 8 9 3 , and  under h i s  d i r e c t i o n the Knights took advantage of the l a b o r t u r m o i l of 1 8 8 0 ' s and ization.  became the most i n f l u e n t i a l n a t i o n a l l a b o r organBy  1 8 8 6 over seven hundred thousand people belonged  to the Knights, nation.  the  and  l o c a l assemblies were e s t a b l i s h e d across  Powderly reduced the secrecy and  r i t u a l that  the  had  r e s t r i c t e d the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the Order s i n c e i t s founding i n 1 8 6 9 by a group of P h i l a d e l p h i a garment workers. intended  Powderly  to b a t t l e the growing power of c a p i t a l by c r e a t i n g a  h i g h l y c e n t a l i z e d o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t i n c l u d e d a l l wage earners (except  doctors,  lawyers, bankers, s t o c k h o l d e r s ,  professional  12  gamblers, and or sex.  l i q u o r dealers)  As Norman Ware has  i r r e g a r d l e s s of race,  religion,  a s t u t e l y observed:  I t was to f i g h t c o n s o l i d a t e d c a p i t a l t h a t the Order t r i e d to c r e a t e an i n t e g r a t e d l a b o r s o c i e t y to r e p l a c e the c r a f t a l l i a n c e s and conventions of reformers t h a t had preceded. When the Knights began the unions were almost destroyed ... The Order t r i e d to teach the American wage-earner t h a t he was a wageearner f i r s t and a b r i c k l a y e r , carpenter, miner, shoemakers,after; t h a t he was a . wage-earner f i r s t and a C a t h o l i c , P r o t e s t a n t , Jew, white, b l a c k , Democrat, Republican, after. T h i s meant t h a t the Order was teaching something t h a t was not i n the hope t h a t i t would be. i /i  Though a l l were espoused as v i r t u e s and p r i n c i p l e of the Knights was for  the  sexes, the eight-hour  i n s t e a d of s t r i k e s . worker.  not c o o p e r a t i o n ,  p o l i c y , the  basic  equal pay. and  rights  day,  land reform, or a r b i t r a t i o n  Rather i t was  p r o t e c t i o n f o r the /American  P r o t e c t i o n was  meant to be l o o s e l y d e f i n e d , but  for  Powderly i t p a r t i c u l a r l y r e f e r r e d to the e l i m i n a t i o n of cheap, f o r e i g n l a b o r h i r e d on c o n t r a c t by l a r g e companies. was  This  labor  o f t e n used to break or prevent s t r i k e s and more g e n e r a l l y  to suppress wages and  unions.  campaigned f o r a F e d e r a l  Throughout the 1880's Powderly  law p r o h i b i t i n g f o r e i g n c o n t r a c t  labor. Powderly's v i s i o n of a h i g h l y c e n t r a l i z e d l a b o r remained j u s t t h a t —  a vision.  For the most p a r t the  assemblies remained autonomous and needs and  organization  planned a c c o r d i n g  to  local local  c o n d i t i o n s , not the d i c t a t e s of the General Assembly.  P a r t i c u l a r l y i n the West, the Knights were more m i l i t a n t than  13  was  approved  by the General Assembly.  Western Knights c o n t i n u a l l y  v i o l a t e d the n o - s t r i k e p o l i c y of the Order.  Although not having  any more c o n t r o l over miners than other K n i g h t s , the n a t i o n a l body was  a s u c c e s s f u l o r g a n i z e r i n the bituminous  coal  fields.  C o a l miners were one of the f i r s t groups to j o i n the Knights and one of the l a s t t o l e a v e .  In January 1890  Order, though on i t s deathbed,  was  the n a t i o n a l  instrumental i n e s t a b l i s h i n g 16  the U n i t e d Mineworkers of In ton  the summer of 1881  America. Knights o r g a n i z e r s a r r i v e d i n Washing-  and e s t a b l i s h e d a l o c a l assembly  c a l l e d i n Washington) a t Newcastle. i n i t i a t i v e of l o c a l mine workers, F r a n k l i n , Black Diamond, Gilman (Carbon H i l l ) ,  (or lodge as i t was o f t e n By 1888,  l a r g e l y a t the  lodges were e s t a b l i s h e d a t  (now Issaquah),  Carbonado  Wilkeson, Roslyn, and Cedar Mountain.  important t o note t h a t the Knights' c o a l mining of  both miners  and mine l a b o r e r s .  in  t h e i r a b i l i t y to o r g a n i z e a l l workers, 17  to  dominate the l o c a l  It i s  locals consisted  The K n i g h t s ' s t r e n g t h l a y although miners  assemblies.  The Knights and the c o a l o p e r a t o r s became almost antagonists.  immediate  A l l the c o a l o p e r a t o r s , but e s p e c i a l l y the  were keenly concerned with c o s t s . of  tended  They argued t h a t the demands  o r g a n i z e d workers not o n l y i n c r e a s e d c o s t s , they  w i t h a company's r i g h t t o conduct  OIC,  interfered  i t s business as i t saw  On the other hand, the Knights viewed  h i g h e r wages, b e t t e r  c o n d i t i o n s , and e v e n t u a l l y union r e c o g n i t i o n not as with the company's a b i l i t y t o conduct  fit.  interfering  i t s b u s i n e s s , but as  o f f e r i n g the bare minimum of p r o t e c t i o n f o r i t s workers.  Each  14  s i d e adamantly conflicts in  order  Knights  defended  i t s position,  and t h e r e s u l t i n g  s h a l l be d i s c u s s e d i n t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s . t o more f u l l y  understand  t h e d i s p u t e between t h e  and t h e o p e r a t o r s , one a d d i t i o n a l  Certain  Yet  f a c t o r must be c o n s i d e r e d .  c o a l o p e r a t o r s , t h e OIC p r o m i n e n t l y  among them,  used r a c i a l  m i n o r i t i e s t o k e e p c o s t s down and t o s u p p r e s s  agitation.  First  operators racial along  it  appealed  animosity racial  organized  with  i s important  and t h e n w i t h b l a c k s t h e  t o the white workers' deeply  and t h u s  The o p e r a t o r s  f a i l e d with  t o d i s c u s s that, f a i l u r e  Chinese  "forty-niners"  first  i n t h e i r mad r u s h  occupations, Chinese  they  the  found  particularly  t o complete  thousands o f Chinese completion  i n t h e mines. States to j o i n the  to the C a l i f o r n i a  their little  timber,  search  fishing  fields.  i t s road  as white  into  other The  l a b o r e r s , and when t h e  to the P a c i f i c ,  i t hired  l a b o r was i n s h o r t s u p p l y .  But  an E a s t e r n  and no l o n g e r was t h e r e a s h o r t a g e  Unemployment was h i g h and w h i t e p e o p l e  Chinese  L i k e most  and r a i l r o a d s .  o f t h e NPR i n 1883 c o i n c i d e d w i t h  f i n a n c i a l panic,  gold  f o r wealth.  g o l d and d r i f t e d  were o f t e n employed a s l o w - p a i d  NPR d e c i d e d  paved  i n W e s t e r n O r e g o n i n 1852, many  headed northward t o c o n t i n u e fortune hunters,  the Chinese, but  f o r the Chinese  came t o t h e U n i t e d  When g o l d was d i s c o v e r e d  workers  e l i m i n a t i n g the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of  t h e way f o r t h e s u c c e s s f u l u s e o f b l a c k s The  ingrained  i n hopes o f p e r m a n e n t l y d i v i d i n g  lines  labor.  the Chinese  labor  increasingly  of labor. resented  18 the competing'presence o f t h e Chinese. The  Chinese  had n e v e r been warmly welcomed b y t h e p r e d o m i n -  15  a n t l y white r e s i d e n t s of Washington. a c t s of the f i r s t was  are  initial  Washington  e l i m i n a t e the Chinese and b l a c k s from the  E s s e n t i a l l y Washington  i t had Chinese.  one of the  l e g i s l a t u r e of the T e r i t o r y of  to s p e c i f i c a l l y  franchise.  In 1853  In 1870,  had a n t i - C h i n e s e laws b e f o r e  the e a r l i e s t year f o r which  figures  a v a i l a b l e , there were o n l y 234 Chinese i n Washington,  roughly 1% of the p o p u l a t i o n .  By 1880, however, w i t h the  i n c r e a s i n g employment of Chinese by the NPR,  they c o n s t i t u t e d  4% of the p o p u l a t i o n , a n o t i c e a b l e and alarming i n c r e a s e t o 19 white r e s i d e n t s . For the  white Americans  i n Washington  Chinese i n t h e i r s o c i e t y .  t h e r e was  no p l a c e f o r  The Chinese belonged to a d i f f e r e n t  and hence i n f e r i o r race; they had a d i f f e r e n t language d i f f e r e n t customs. and s e t a p a r t . selves apart.  L i k e b l a c k s , they were easy to d i s t i n g u i s h  F u r t h e r , the Chinese o f t e n chose t o s e t themMost viewed t h e i r time i n America as  and few Chinese men men  and  temporary,  brought t h e i r f a m i l i e s w i t h them.  The  c l u s t e r e d i n urban areas, e s p e c i a l l y S e a t t l e a f t e r the  completion o f the NPR, Chinese s t o r e s .  r e a d i n g Chinese newspapers and p a t r o n i z i n g  T h e i r packed boarding houses i n S e a t t l e  were viewed by the l o c a l press as s o r d i d p l a c e s , f i l l e d w i t h gambling, opium, and b o i l i n g bones being prepared t o be sent to China.  Even the dead d i d not wish to remain, in America,  no one was  s o r r y t o see them go.  and  The P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r p r o u d l y  s a i d " i f t h e r e i s anything upon which t h e r e i s p r a c t i c a l unanimity o f o p i n i o n p r e v a i l i n g i n a l l c l a s s e s on the P a c i f i c coast,' i t i s t h a t the Chinese are not welcome nor needed  here  ..."  16  For  l a b o r e r s r a c i a l h o s t i l i t y was  competition.  i n t e n s i f i e d by  economic  The Chinese worked t o g e t h e r and they worked hard.  Because they saw t h e i r time i n America as l i m i t e d ,  they would  take almost any job and at lower wages than whites would work. Many u n s k i l l e d  jobs, e s p e c i a l l y  i n laundry and cooking, became  known as "Chinese jobs" and whites would r e f u s e to take them. Worse f o r the Chinese though was  the f a c t t h a t they were regarded  as t o o l s of t h e i r employers, an e f f e c t i v e way and keep wages down.  I f a white man  to break  strikes  r e f u s e d t o work f o r a  certain  wage, t h e r e were always many Chinese w i l l i n g to take the job f o r an even lower wage.^  1  The Chinese were p e r c e i v e d as a g r e a t e r t h r e a t when the economy slowed down i n 1884,  not so much because they were  t a k i n g jobs r e s e r v e d f o r whites but because unemployed whites now wanted what had been p r e v i o u s l y regarded as Chinese jobs i n a p e r i o d of l a b o r s c a r c i t y . but  they were not w i l l i n g t o accept Chinese wages, which were  c o n s i d e r e d both an economic the  The whites wanted t h e i r jobs  and s o c i a l i n s u l t .  They demanded  end to Chinese immigration and "white-men's wages" f o r 22  those who  took Chinese jobs.  Washington  and C a l i f o r n i a were the s t r o n g e s t advocates of  a F e d e r a l Chinese e x c l u s i o n law.  A f t e r much debate between  Congress and P r e s i d e n t Chester A. A r t h u r the f i r s t Chinese Restriction suspended was  A c t was  signed i n t o law i n May  1882.  The a c t  the immigration of Chinese l a b o r e r s f o r ten years and  extended f o r another ten year p e r i o d i n 1892.  however, was  not s t r i c t l y e n f o r c e d .  The a c t ,  Only $5,000.00 was  allocated  17  to pay f o r p a t r o l l i n g the e n t i r e P a c i f i c c o a s t , continued The  and the Chinese  t o be smuggled i n t o Washington from B r i t i s h Columbia.  S e a t t l e Knights condemned the government as beholden t o  corporations  which d i d not want to have cheap Chinese  eliminated.  Increasingly,  labor  l a b o r l e a d e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the Knights,  demanded t h a t the Chinese be e x p e l l e d s i n c e i t was f e l t  they  23 were now r e s i d i n g i n Washington  illegally.  At f i r s t glance i t might seem i n c o n s i s t e n t t h a t the Knights would advocate the e x p u l s i o n  o f the Chinese.  In f a c t , one might  t h i n k , c o n s i d e r i n g the Knights p o l i c y o f r a c i a l t o l e r a t i o n and the d e s i r e f o r one c e n t r a l i z e d l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n , they would have worked hard a t o r g a n i z i n g the Chinese. official  p o l i c y o f the Knights i s not c l e a r .  j o i n e d the Knights, coast.  N a t i o n a l l y the Few Chinese  but then few Chinese' l i v e d beyond the West  Some Knights seemed t o be i n favor o f e s t a b l i s h i n g a  separate o r g a n i z a t i o n Assemblies decided of r e s i d e n c e  f o r the Chinese, y e t three  General  t h a t the Chinese were not "considered 24  worthy  i n America."  On the other hand, Terrence Powderly's a t t i t u d e s toward the Chinese are q u i t e c l e a r .  To him they were a s e r v i l e  race  and  a t h r e a t t o American l a b o r .  T h e i r acceptance o f low wages  and  poor working c o n d i t i o n s , and the ease w i t h which they were  manipulated by t h e i r employers p l a c e d p o s i t i o n as other  imported l a b o r .  the Chinese i n the same  As Powderly c o r r e c t l y noted  the Chinese were o f t e n imported under c o n t r a c t . To him: T h e o r e t i c a l l y , i t sounded very w e l l t o extend a welcome t o a l l t o a s h a r e . i n the p r o t e c t i o n to be d e r i v e d from o r g a n i z a t i o n , but i t was  18  soon d i s c o v e r e d t h a t to c a r r y out the p r a c t i c e would leave t h i s country w i t h men to whom the American l a b o r e r c o u l d extend no a i d , and who were too i g n o r a n t to help themselves. Thus, the s e r v i l e Chinese were not o n l y a t h r e a t to American l a b o r but a l s o h e l p l e s s and c o u l d not be "considered ... proper 25 persons t o become Knights of Labor." The a t t i t u d e s of the Knights i n Washington b a s i c a l l y r e f l e c t e d those of Powderly, but the l o c a l Knights were even more m i l i t a n t w i t h t h e i r a n t i - C h i n e s e f e e l i n g s .  Washington  Knights not o n l y r e f u s e d t o o r g a n i z e the Chinese, they were l e a d e r s i n l a b o r ' s campaign t o expel them from the T e r r i t o r y . In 1885  the Knights were i n the best p o s i t i o n t o l e a d the  anti-  Chinese campaign as they were the o n l y w e l l - o r g a n i z e d l a b o r group i n Washington.  Under the d i r e c t i o n of D a n i e l C r o n i n , a  Knights r e c r u i t e r from C a l i f o r n i a , the Knights q u i c k l y l e a r n e d t h a t a n t i - C h i n e s e sentiment c o u l d be used as an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l method.  Operating from the p l a t f o r m t h a t l a b o r had t o take  the l e a d i n the Chinese e x p l u s i o n , C r o n i n r e c r u i t e d enough new  Knights to have D i s t r i c t Assembly 115 accepted i n t o the 26  n a t i o n a l Order i n September  1885.  A n t i - C h i n e s e h o s t i l i t y was i t was  the mine workers who  widespread  among l a b o r e r s , but  became the "shock t r o o p s " of the  a n t i - C h i n e s e movement i n Washington.  Chinese l a b o r i n the  mines had never been popular w i t h the white mine workers.  They  accepted the p r e v a i l i n g r a c i a l s t e r e o t y p e s and wanted nothing to do w i t h the Chinese.  They were a l s o w e l l aware t h a t the  Chinese c o u l d be used to suppress wages and break  strikes.  19  But  i n 1885 a more p e r t i n e n t c o n s i d e r a t i o n was the f a c t  that  mine l a b o r e r s were not so d i s c r i m i n a t i n g about what work they would do.  With a s l u g g i s h economy the l a b o r e r s were w i l l i n g  to become screeners  and p i c k e r s , jobs t h a t Were p r e v i o u s l y  c o n s i d e r e d . f i t only f o r Chinese and boys.  They wanted the  Chinese jobs, but they were not w i l l i n g t o accept the lower Chinese wages.  With the support o f the miners, the l a b o r e r s  demanded t h a t the Chinese be f i r e d and t h a t whites r e c e i v e 27 higher wages f o r Chinese work. As one might guess, c o a l operators relinquish  cheap Chinese l a b o r .  were r e l u c t a n t t o  John Howard, General Manager  of the OIC i n San F r a n c i s c o , was r e s o l v e d not t o g i v e i n t o h i s employees' demands.  For s i x t e e n years Howard r a n the OIC  c o a l department, and he r a r e l y gave i n t o anyone over Howard would c u t any corner company p r o f i t s . indictment  anything.  t o p r o t e c t h i s p o s i t i o n and i n c r e a s e  When he d i e d i n 1914, he was r i c h and under  f o r fraud.  Howard considered  Chinese from B.C. a "laudable  business"  the smuggling o f and i n 1885 o f the  approximately two hundred workers a t Newcastle, between t h i r t y and  f i f t y were Chinese, w h i l e eleven Chinese were employed  at F r a n k l i n . coal pickers  F o r the most p a r t the Chinese were h i r e d as (those who separated  rock from c o a l ) ,  tedious  work f o r which they r e c e i v e d between $1.00 and $1.45 per day, 28 or about h a l f of what a white l a b o r e r earned. In the s p r i n g o f 1885 the Newcastle mine workers became i n c r e a s i n g l y adamant i n t h e i r demands t h a t the Chinese be fired.  Some Chinese were l e t go, but Howard s a i d he would  20  not f i r e any more u n l e s s the whites were w i l l i n g to accept the same low wages.  As the summer passed r e l a t i o n s between  the OIC and i t s employees  d e t e r i o r a t e d and some of the e a r l i e s t 29  v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t the Chinese occurred a t Newcastle. A n t i - C h i n e s e v i o l e n c e , which occupied the P a c i f i c f o r s i x months, began i n September 1885.  Northwest  What s t a r t e d out as  a s e r i e s of i s o l a t e d i n c i d e n t s q u i c k l y e s c a l a t e d i n t o a determined e f f o r t to r i d the T e r r i t o r y of the Chinese. high between the OIC and i t s employees,  i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g  t h a t Newcastle q u i c k l y became a hot spot. 11 September f o u r t e e n masked men  With t e n s i o n s so  On the evening of  drove the Chinese from t h e i r  q u a r t e r s at C o a l Creek, two m i l e s from Newcastle. who  were employed  The Chinese,  at Newcastle, f l e d to the woods w h i l e t h e i r  a t t a c k e r s burned t h e i r boarding houses to the ground. white men  were r e c o g n i z e d as workers from Newcastle,  The including  30 at l e a s t one prominent Knight. W i t h i n a few weeks the a n t i - C h i n e s e leaders, not o n l y were b o l d e r but more o r g a n i z e d . which was men.  An A n t i - C h i n e s e Congress was  l a r g e l y a c o a l i t i o n of  labor  formed,  groups and small b u s i n e s s -  Spurred on by the K n i g h t s , the Congress f l e x e d i t s muscles  at the opening meeting.on  28 September.  The Knights demanded  t h a t a l l employers throughout the T e r r i t o r y d i s c h a r g e t h e i r Chinese or face the consequences.  The Knights were s e r i o u s .  The next morning, a t about 2:00 A.M., men  another group of masked  roused the Chinese at F r a n k l i n and gave them twenty-four  hours to l e a v e . The Chinese w i s e l y h i d u n t i l dawn and departed . . on *.u the morning t r a i.n . 31  21  John Howard, who was i n S e a t t l e a t the time o f the r a i d s on C o a l Creek and F r a n k l i n , observed the meeting o f the A n t i Chinese Congress.  A f t e r the meeting he r e l u c t a n t l y gave the  Post-intelligencer  an i n t e r v i e w .  He t o l d a r e p o r t e r t h a t he  had nothing a g a i n s t the Knights as long as they r e s p e c t e d the r i g h t s . o f p r o p e r t y and people and caused no more harm than other b e n e f i c i a l s o c i e t i e s such as the Masons and the Odd F e l l o w s . A few days e a r l i e r , however, he had w r i t t e n P r e s i d e n t Smith and assured him t h a t the OIC would not be " d i c t a t e d t o " by " a l o t o f demagogues and scum."  Howard s a i d he would r a t h e r c l o s e  the mines than have h i s employees decide whom the company c o u l d 32 h i r e and f i r e . Howard wanted t o r e t a i n h i s remaining Chinese  employees,  and he l o a t h e d the thought o f g i v i n g i n t o the white demands.  workers'  But w i t h the growing power o f the a n t i -Chinese  movement, he r e a l i s t i c a l l y had few o p t i o n s .  He c o u l d c l o s e the  mines, which the company c o u l d not a f f o r d , or he c o u l d d i s c h a r g e the Chinese and r e p l a c e them w i t h whites a t h i g h e r wages.  Out  of sheer n e c e s s i t y he s e l e c t e d the l a t t e r o p t i o n and d i s c h a r g e d the Chinese,- which he estimated would add an a d d i t i o n a l $2000 to $2500 t o the monthly  payroll.  3 3  The o t h e r mine o p e r a t o r s who employed Chinese succumbed to the same f a t e as the OIC.  Chinese workers were d i s c h a r g e d  or d r i v e n from Black Diamond, Wilkeson, and Carbonado. v i c t o r i e s encouraged  Such  the p r o - e x p l u s i o n f o r c e s o f the T e r r i t o r y ,  and they expanded t h e i r f i e l d  of a c t i o n .  In November the  Chinese were d r i v e n from Tacoma, and Governor Watson Squire had  22  to request three hundred  and f i f t y F e d e r a l troops to p r o t e c t  p r o p e r t y and the Chinese i n S e a t t l e .  The troops a r r i v e d i n  l a t e November but were soon withdrawn when i t was d i s c o v e r e d that they were p h y s i c a l l y a s s a u l t i n g the Chinese whenever they 34 saw them i n the s t r e e t s . But the v e r y success o f the a n t i - C h i n e s e movement r e s u l t e d in a conservative reaction.  Increasingly, Seattle c i v i c  business l e a d e r s became l e s s concerned about removing Chinese and more concerned about workers and d i s r e g a r d i n g law and o r d e r . a divided c i t y .  The  "moderates",  and  the  t a k i n g to the s t r e e t s  By the end of 1885  Seattle  was  l e d by Mayor Henry Y e s s l e r ,  wanted the Chinese removed p e a c e f u l l y and a c c o r d i n g to the law.  The s o - c a l l e d " r a d i c a l s " , spearheaded  by, l a b o r e r s ,  demanded t h a t the Chinese be removed immediately, p e a c e f u l l y or otherwise.  Caught somewhere inbetween were the Chinese.  agreement reached the f l a s h p o i n t on 8 February 1886  i n the famous  1  Seattle " r i o t " .  Dis-  P r e s i d e n t Grover C l e v e l a n d d e c l a r e d m a r t i a l  law 35  and F e d e r a l t r o o p s were s t a t i o n e d i n S e a t t l e f o r t h r e e months. But the Chinese were gone. i n King County and 957 Chinese was  In 1885  i n P i e r c e County.  there were 967 In 1887  counted i n P i e r c e County and 142  Chinese  o n l y one  i n King  County.  Though most d i d remain i n the T e r r i t o r y , the Chinese p o p u l a t i o n d e c l i n e d from 3276 t o 2584 between 1885  and 1887.  In the  decade 1880-1890 the number of Chinese m a r g i n a l l y i n c r e a s e d , but t h e i r t o t a l percentage of the p o p u l a t i o n f e l l  from  4.2%  Although the Chinese were gone, t h e i r e x p l u s i o n was i n to 0.9%. 36  23  p a r t a hollow v i c t o r y f o r the OIC mine workers.  More than ever  the OIC o f f i c e r s were determined t o r e s i s t the demands o f t h e i r workers.  S u f f e r i n g from c o n t i n u a l " f i n a n c i a l  embarass-  ment" and o p e r a t i n g i n an extremely c o m p e t i t i v e c o a l market, the OIC was opposed t o any measure which i n c r e a s e d c o s t s .  But the  e x p l u s i o n o f the Chinese exposed two more b a s i c i s s u e s .  First,  the white workers responded t o the Chinese with f e a r and d i s l i k e ; f e a r f o r t h e i r economic s e c u r i t y and d i s l i k e o f the Chinese as human beings.  No attempt was made t o understand what the whites  and Chinese might have i n common as workers. d i v i d e d along r a c i a l l i n e s .  The workers had  Second, men l i k e John Howard and  E l i j a h Smith were not going t o be " d i c t a t e d t o " by t h e i r employees.  A c c o r d i n g t o them the company would o f f e r decent  c o n d i t i o n s and a f a i r day's pay f o r a f a i r day's work.  The  employee, as an i n d i v i d u a l , c o u l d accept or r e j e c t t h i s nothing more.  offer,  No c o l l e c t i v e o r union c o u l d speak f o r the  workers, f o r groups such as the Knights were regarded as b e n e f i c i a l s o c i e t i e s , o r g a n i z a t i o n s which e n t e r t a i n e d members and p a i d f o r t h e i r f u n e r a l expenses.  their  Whom the company  h i r e d and f i r e d were matters t o be decided by the company, and the company alone.  These i s s u e s would become i n c r e a s i n g l y  important as the problems between the company and i t s employees became more pronounced.  NOTES  Dorothy 0. Johansen and C h a r l e s M. Gates, Empire o f the Columbia: A H i s t o r y of the P a c i f i c Northwest (New York, 1967), pp. 305-332. T h i s i s the standard t e x t on the P a c i f i c Northwest. See a l s o , A. Norbert MacDonald, " S e a t t l e ' s Economic Development, 1880-1910," (Phd. d i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y o f Washington, 1959). Johansen and Gates, Empire of the Columbia, pp. 320-322; U.S. Department o f Commerce Bureau o f the Census, Compendium of the E l e v e n t h Census, 1890, P a r t I I , p. 486. MacDonald, " S e a t t l e ' s Economic Development," pp. 9-18. For more d e t a i l e d accounts of Washington's e a r l y c o a l mining i n d u s t r y see F r e d e r i c k Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Mining Industry w i t h S p e c i a l Reference t o the I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n Problems," (M.A. t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of Washington, 1931), pp. 4-10; C H . Bagley, H i s t o r y of S e a t t l e (Chicago, 1916), I, pp. 123-128; C. W i l l i a m Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r C o a l Country," (M.A. t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of Washington, 1965), pp. 7-26; M a r i l y n Tharp, "Story o f Coal a t Newcastle," P a c i f i c Northwest Q u a r t e r l y 48 (October 1957): pp. 120-126. Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," pp. 2124. For a thorough a n a l y s i s o f the Washington c o a l f i e l d s see U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census o f the U n i t e d States , 1880, v o l . 15, Report of Mining I n d u s t r i e s of the United S t a t e s , pp. 759-771. See a l s o , W.H. Ruffner, A Report on the Washington T e r r i t o r y , (New York, 1889), pp. 94-146. There were three g e n e r a l types of c o a l found i n Washington. Using the terminology of the day, the f i e l d s around S e a t t l e were l i g n i t i c , the poorest q u a l i t y of c o a l , and contained h i g h percentages of moisture and ash. The Green R i v e r f i e l d s near F r a n k l i n were c l a s s i f i e d as b i t u m i n o u s - l i g n i t e s , and o f f e r e d good steam c o a l . True bituminous c o a l was l a r g e l y found o n l y i n the Wilkeson-Carbonado area i n P i e r c e County. See U.S. Department o f the I n t e r i o r . U.S. G e o l o g i c a l Survey. M i n e r a l Resources of the U n i t e d S t a t e s 1883-1884, p.99. S e a t t l e P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 19 A p r i l 1884, 1 January 1885; Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," pp. 49, 55; Melder, "A Study of the Washington C o a l Industry," pp. 25-29; Thomas Greeve t o John Waterbury, 9 March 1896, Oregon Improvement Company Records ( h e r e a f t e r QIC Records), Box 53a, F i l e 2 (53a:2), U n i v e r s i t y of Washington L i b r a r y . For a good comparison of Washington and B.C. mining see, M i n e r a l Resources of the United S t a t e s 1886, pp. 367-369.  25  6.  7.  The other c a p i t a l i s t s were J.N. Dolph, C H . Lewis, Simon Reed, Joseph Simon, and Thomas F. Oakes. The OIC r a i l roads were the P a c i f i c Coast Railway, the S e a t t l e and Northern Railway, the Port Townsend Southern Railway, and the Columbia and Puget Sound Railway. The OIC a l s o owned the P a c i f i c Coast Steamship Company. The best source on. V i l l a r d ' s a c t i v i t i e s i n the P a c i f i c Northwest i s s t i l l James B. Hedges, Henry V i l l a r d and the Railways of the Northwest (New York, 1930). See a l s o , Greeve to Waterbury, ' 9 March 1896, OIC Records 53a:2; MacDonald, " S e a t t l e ' s Economic Development," pp 23-30; Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r C o a l Country," pp. 20-40. M i n e r a l Resources of the U n i t e d States 1887, p. 369, 1905, p. 691; John Howard t o E. Smith, 18 September 1884, OIC Records, 55:6. By 1888 the mines of the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company a t Roslyn and those o f the P a c i f i c Improvement Company exceeded the output of e i t h e r F r a n k l i n or Newcastle. But the c o a l mined by the Northern P a c i f i c C o a l Co., a s u b s i d i a r y of the NPR, and the P a c i f i c Improvment Co., a s u b s i d i a r y of the C e n t r a l P a c i f i c R a i l r o a d , went to f u e l the locomotives of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e r a i l r a o d s . The OIC remained the l e a d i n g independent producer. T e c h n i c a l l y John Howard, the OIC General Manager a t San F r a n c i s c o , owned the F r a n k l i n Coal Company as he s e c r e t l y c o n t r o l l e d 2475 of i t s 2500 shares. Only twentyf i v e shares were p u b l i c a l l y d i s t r i b u t e d . The OIC was t r y i n g t o hide i t s involvement i n the F r a n k l i n C o a l Co. because a good p a r t of i t s land was claimed by the NPR. The d i s p u t e , which was e v e n t u a l l y s e t t l e d i n the OIC's f a v o r , l a s t e d u n t i l 1891. See Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," pp. 41-46.  8.  Johansen and Gates, Empire of the Columbia, pp. 310-312.  9.  P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 23.;-April 1884, 13 May 1884; "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," p. 39.  10.  Greeve t o Waterbury, 9 March 1896, OIC Records, 53a:2.  11.  Ibid.  12.  In the n i n e t e e n t h century a "miner" was not anyone who worked i n a mine. As s h a l l be d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter Two, a miner was a s p e c i a l type of worker i n the mine. Other workers were g e n e r a l l y c a l l e d " l a b o r e r s , " but each had h i s own t i t l e a c c o r d i n g to the job he d i d . In t h i s paper I s h a l l r e t a i n the d i s t i n c t i o n between "miner" and " l a b o r e r " when necessary. When speaking o f both miners and l a b o r e r s , I s h a l l r e f e r t o them as "mine workers," "workers," or "employees."  Thorndale,  26  13.  M e r y l Rogers, (M.A. t h e s i s , 94-99; Harry i n the P a c i f i c (June 1 9 4 6 ) : Development,"  "The L a b o r Movement i n S e a t t l e , 1885-1905," P a c i f i c L u t h e r a n U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. 1-3, S t o n e , "The B e g i n n i n g o f t h e L a b o r Movement N o r t h w e s t , " Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y 47 pp. 155-157; MacDonald, " S e a t t l e ' s E c o n o m i c pp. 286-291.  14.  Norman Ware, The L a b o r Movement i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s (New Y o r k , 1929; r e p r i n t e d e d . G l o u c e s t e r , Mass., 1 9 5 9 ) , xviii. On t h e f o u n d i n g o f t h e K n i g h t s s e e pp. 23-44, 55-72, 80-91. See a l s o , T e r r e n c e P o w d e r l y , T h i r t y Y e a r s o f L a b o r ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1890; r e p r i n t e d e d . New Y o r k , 1967), passim.; P h i l i p T a f t , O r g a n i z e d Labor i n American H i s t o r y (New Y o r k , 1 9 6 4 ) , pp. 84-92, 97-108.  15.  P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 21 A u g u s t 1888; o f L a b o r , pp. 127-129, 218-229.  16.  Ware, The  17.  F r e d e r i c k M e l d e r , "A S t u d y o f t h e W a s h i n g t o n C o a l I n d u s t r y , " pp. 53, 55-56. M e l d e r ' s b e s t s o u r c e i s an i n t e r v i e w w i t h F r a n k T e r r a c e , a N e w c a s t l e m i n e r and M a s t e r workman o f t h e K n i g h t s f r o m 1881-1885. T h e r e a r e no r e c o r d s o f t h e K n i g h t s a t F r a n k l i n b e f o r e December 1885. For e a r l i e r K n i g h t s i n t h e P a c i f i c N o r t h w e s t s e e H a r r y S t o n e , "The B e g i n n i n g o f t h e L a b o r Movement i n t h e P a c i f i c N o r t h w e s t , " p. 159.  18.  The e x p u l s i o n o f t h e C h i n e s e f r o m W a s h i n g t o n i s a t a l e t o l d many t i m e s , and I c a n o f f e r l i t t l e t h a t i s new. Most o f t h e a c c o u n t s a r e b a s e d on t h e i s s u e s o f t h e P o s t I n t e l l i g e n c e r and t h e S e a t t l e D a i l y C a l l . The " P - I " i s by f a r t h e more c o m p l e t e s o u r c e . The two b e s t g e n e r a l a c c o u n t s o f t h e C h i n e s e i n t h e West a r e R o b e r t Wynne, " R e a c t i o n t o t h e C h i n e s e i n t h e P a c i f i c N o r t h w e s t and B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , " (Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y o f W a s h i n g t o n , 1964) and A l e x a n d e r S a x t o n , The I n d i s p e n s i b l e Enemy: L a b o r and t h e A n t i - C h i n e s e Movement i n C a l i f o r n i a , ( B e r k e l e y , 1971). See a l s o , J u l e s K a r l i n , "The A n t i Chinese Outbreaks i n S e a t t l e , " P a c i f i c Northwest Q u a r t e r l y 39 ( A p r i l 1 9 4 8 ) : pp. 103-129; W.P. W i l c o x , " A n t i - C h i n e s e R i o t s i n W a s h i n g t o n , " W a s h i n g t o n H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y 20 ( J u l y 1 9 2 9 ) : pp. 204-212; M e r y l R o g e r s , "The L a b o r Movement in Seattle"; M u r r a y Morgan, S k i d Row (New Y o r k , 1 9 5 1 ) , pp. 85-102; Roger S a l e , S e a t t l e : P a s t t o P r e s e n t ( S e a t t l e , 1 9 7 6 ) , pp. 37-48; F r e d e r i c k Grant, H i s t o r y of S e a t t l e W a s h i n g t o n (New Y o r k , 1 8 9 1 ) , pp. 187-212; Clarence Bagley, H i s t o r y o f S e a t t l e , I I , pp. 455-477.  19.  See A p p e n d i x and Wynne, " R e a c t i o n t o t h e C h i n e s e , " pp. 4448. The Oregon T e r r i t o r y w h i c h i n c l u d e d t h e p r e s e n t day s t a t e s o f O r e g o n , W a s h i n g t o n and p a r t s o f I d a h o , Montana,  Powderly,  L a b o r Movement i n t h e U n i t e d  States,  Thirty pp.  Years  213-218.  27  and Wyoming t e r r i t o r i e s were o r g a n i z e d i n 1863, 1864, and 18 67 r e s p e c t i v e l y . Oregon became a s t a t e i n 1859 and Washington i n 1889. Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana a l l became s t a t e s i n 1890. 20.  See, f o r example, the a r t i c l e s on the Chinese i n the PostI n t e l l i g e n c e r 15, 16, 28 A p r i l 1882, 30 January 1884; and Saxton, The I n d i s p e n s i b l e Enemy, pp. 208-210.  21.  Saxton, The I n d i s p e n s i b l e Enemy, pp. 261-264.  22.  I b i d . , p.  23.  P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 7-9 May 1882, 4 October 1885; Wynne, "Reaction t o the Chinese," pp. 285-305.  24.  Powderly, T h i r t y Years o f Labor, p. 218; 17 November 1888.  25.  Powderly, T h i r t y Years o f Labor, pp. 218-219, 210-218.  26„  Rogers, "The Labor Movement i n S e a t t l e , " pp. 9-12, Powderly, T h i r t y Years of Labor, p. 336.  27.  Wynne, "Reaction t o the Chinese," p. 242; 1 October 1885.  28.  Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r C o a l Country," pp. -27-28; Howard to. E. Smith, 20 J u l y 1884, OIC Records, 54:21, and Howard to E. Smith 24 J u l y 1884, 54:23; OIC Scrapbooks, Box 69. Chinese workers had been used a t Newcastle as e a r l y as 1876. See, Tharp, "Story of C o a l a t Newcastle," p. 124.  29.  James Jones to E. Smith, 10 A p r i l OIC Records, 44:44 and 45:2.  30.  P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 4-15 September 1885, 30 September Wynne, "Reaction t o the C h i n e s e , " pp. 97-100.  31.  Post-Intelligencer,  32.  Ibid.  33.  Howard to E. Smith, 25 September 1885, OIC Records, 56:29; Jones to E. Smith, 1 October 1885, OIC Records, 45:2; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 18 October 188 5; Wynne, "Reaction t o the Chinese," p. 102.  34.  Rogers, "The Labor Movement i n S e a t t l e , " pp. 38-53; Melder, "A Studyof the Washington C o a l I n d u s t r y , " pp. 55-56.  211.  1885,  29, 30 September  Post-Intelligencer,  15-16;  Post-Intelligencer,  13 September  1885, 1885;  1885.  28  35.  Ibid.  36.  See Appendix and Wynne, "Reaction t o the Chinese," Appendix I.  29  CHAPTER  TWO  COAL MINING  The  s t r u c t u r e of mining towns, and  the nature of c o a l  mining made c o n f l i c t almost i n e v i t a b l e between a company i t s employees.  and  Mining towns were u s u a l l y i s o l a t e d , r e l a t i v e l y  c l o s e d s o c i e t i e s dominated by the company which owned or cont r o l l e d the land and were only two  d i s t i n c t s o c i a l c l a s s e s w i t h i n the  the mine workers and There was  important s e r v i c e s of the community.  the company managers and  l i t t l e upward m o b i l i t y and  the same people.  community,  service  personnel.  the r e l a t i v e l y homogeneous  workers found themselves drawn together same grievances  There  as they shared  at the same time i n the same place and Moreover, the union l o c a l was  the  the against  only  c o u n t e r v a i l i n g i n s t i t u t i o n to the company. Mining i t s e l f was  d i r t y , dangerous work, and  each day  the  mine workers r i s k e d s e r i o u s i n j u r y or death i n the c o a l beds. The work bred tough, independent men  who  were determined to  m a i n t a i n t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n an i r r e g u l a r i n d u s t r y . pendence and and  o r g a n i z a t i o n d i d not always work w e l l  the workers o f t e n q u a r r e l e d  o r g a n i z a t i o n was competition  But  hindered  inde-  together,  among themselves.  In a d d i t i o n ,  by l a c k of communication and much  between mining towns, and the general  p r e v a i l e d a g a i n s t organized A company l i k e the OIC  hostility  that  l a b o r i h the 1880's. encouraged f a c t i o n among i t s workers.  I t wanted t o mine c o a l e f f i c i e n t l y and  economically  i n t e r f e r e n c e from employees or l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s .  without  any  Further,  30  companies commonly argued t h a t unions f o r c e d a man h i s independence him.  t o subordinate  by a l l o w i n g the union to make h i s d e c i s i o n s f o r  Most c o a l o p e r a t o r s were w i l l i n g to t r e a t t h e i r workers  o n l y as i n d i v i d u a l s , but i n the end t r e a t i n g the workers as i n d i v i d u a l s and keeping them d i v i d e d merely r e f l e c t e d  different  s i d e s of the same c o i n .  In t h e i r p h y s i c a l a t t r i b u t e s mining towns i n Washington were s i m i l a r to each other and l o c a l v a r i a t i o n s f i t t e d comfortably into established patterns. Newcastle,  Throughout  Black Diamond and South P r a i r i e each had fewer  one thousand  people, while Carbonado had j u s t over a  None of the towns were wretched services.  the 1880's F r a n k l i n , than  thousand.  h o v e l s , devoid of e s s e n t i a l  Each town c o n s i s t e d of p r i v a t e d w e l l i n g s , company  b u i l d i n g s , s t o r e s , boarding houses, church and a s c h o o l .  F r a n k l i n was  saloons, and u s u a l l y a b u i l t on the edge of a c l i f f  o v e r l o o k i n g the s u r g i n g Green R i v e r , w h i l e Newcastle, the o l d e s t mining communities i n Washington, was  one of  surrounded  by a f o r e s t of stumps, the timber having been consumed long ago f o r supports i n the mines. c a s t l e ' s burning s l a g heap was  A c c o r d i n g to the "P-I" Newp a r t i c u l a r l y obnoxious, but i t s  s t r e e t s were l e s s dusty or muddy, depending  on the weather,  than those of swampy Black Diamond."'" For the most p a r t the mining communities were i s o l a t e d "company towns."  The towns were l i n k e d to S e a t t l e  and  Tacoma, the p o p u l a t i o n c e n t e r s of Washington, by r a i l r o a d s  and  t e l e g r a p h , but the roads and wire were c o n t r o l l e d by the mining  31  companies.  In times of extreme l a b o r d i s p u t e s the  P a c i f i c C o a l Company, a s u b s i d i a r y of the Northern R a i l r o a d , was Roslyn.  Northern Pacific  known to p r o h i b i t r a i l t r a f f i c to i t s mines at  Thus, t i e s t o the o u t s i d e c o u l d e a s i l y be c u t .  The  company a l s o u s u a l l y owned a l l the land i n the town, and f o r c e d i t t o become i t s own  community developer.  The  isolation  company  provided a l l the e s s e n t i a l s e r v i c e s , but i t a l s o decided what was  essential.  The Black Diamond Company shunned the company  s t o r e and boarding house, w e l l aware of the problems they caused.  On the other hand, the OIC  owned the s t o r e and  boarding house i n both Newcastle and F r a n k l i n , and the complaints from the workers about h i g h p r i c e s , r a p i d l y accumulating and the o b l i g a t i o n to purchase and f r e q u e n t .  In 1886  debts,  from the company were p r e d i c t a b l e  s t r i k i n g miners a t Newcastle d i r e c t e d  some of t h e i r h o s t i l i t y to the company s t o r e . • They completely 2  sacked  i t and n e a r l y burned i t to the ground.  Except  f o r the s t o r e and boarding house, Black Diamond  was  perhaps the epitome of p a t e r n a l domination, where economic power l e d to s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l hegemony.  L i k e Newcastle  and F r a n k l i n , Black Diamond had no government or p o l i c e  force,  and not even a newspaper; f o r over twenty years a l l important d e c i s i o n s , and most minor ones, were made by company Superintendent Morgan Morgans.  He c o n t r o l l e d l i q u o r , l i g h t s ,  medical  care, o f f i c i a l h o l i d a y s , and even the company cemetary.  His  two  Morgans  s t o r e y house dominated the Black Diamond landscape.  had the o n l y servant i n town and no s o c i a l e q u a l s . p r e f e r e n c e f o r h i r i n g Republicans, and many new  He had a  employees  32  q u i c k l y and q u i e t l y changed t h e i r p a r t y a l l e g i a n c e .  Morgans  ran h i s town h o n e s t l y and e f f i c i e n t l y , but as o f f i c i a l 3  company  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , Black Diamond was h i s town. P a t e r n a l domination was supported by a l a c k o f economic diversification.  Mining towns were c l o s e d s o c i e t i e s ;  they  e x i s t e d because o f the mines, and the c o a l company was the o n l y major employer.  Lack o f d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n l e d t o the development  of o n l y two s o c i a l c l a s s e s w i t h the community, the mine workers and the company o f f i c i a l s and s e r v i c e p e r s o n n e l .  The absence  of mediating groups, such as p r o f e s s i o n a l s or non-company w h i t e - c o l l a r workers, caused t e n s i o n s between the workers and the company t o p o l a r i z e .  And t e n s i o n s were common.  chafed under the complete s u p e r v i s i o n o f the company. was no escaping the company;  The workers There  a f t e r h i s s h i f t i n the mine, a man  went home t o h i s company house.or room i n the boarding house, ate food from the company s t o r e , and drank i n the company  saloon.  I f he wanted t o go t o S e a t t l e o r Tacoma, he went on r a i l r o a d s owned by the OIC or Northern P a c i f i c , the most important c o a l operators m  Washington.  I n c r e a s i n g l y the mine workers o f a community found thems e l v e s being drawn t o g e t h e r .  U n l i k e the E a s t , Washington mine  workers were not n e a r l y so fragmented by e t h n i c and r e l i g i o u s differences.  In 1890 n e a r l y 70% o f Washington's p o p u l a t i o n was  born i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s .  N e a r l y h a l f o f the n a t i v e  immigrants  came from the Midwest, and u n t i l the t u r n of the century most of the f o r e i g n - b o r n people came from Canada, Great B r i t a i n , I r e l a n d , Germany and Scandanavia.  Washington miners were o f t e n  33  from B r i t a i n and I r e l a n d , but they brought t o the U.S. a 5 s i m i l a r c u l t u r e and a common  language.  The experienced B r i t i s h miners t r a d i t i o n o f mining unionism.  a l s o brought with them a  The union l o c a l became very  important i n Washington mining towns as i t was the o n l y counterv a i l i n g i n s t i t u t i o n t o the company.  The l o c a l , which was  u s u a l l y o r g a n i z e d by the miners o f each town, p r o v i d e d the only s o c i a l and r e c r e a t i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e t o the company. More important, however, the workers o p e r a t i n g through the union c o u l d present a f o r c e t o meet and o c c a s i o n a l l y match t h a t o f 6 the company. The  s t r u c t u r e o f mining towns made c o n f l i c t l i k e l y between  a company and i t s employees.  When the nature o f mining i s  taken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , c o n f l i c t was almost  inevitable.  The e f f e c t o f mining on r e l a t i o n s between employer and employees might best be i l l u s t r a t e d with a g e n e r a l d e s c r i p t i o n o f c o a l mining  i n Washington.  C o a l mining i n v o l v e d both above and below ground o p e r a t i o n s . Above ground were the b u i l d i n g s where the c o a l was screened, cracked and cleaned f o r market.  Washington c o a l needed e x t e n s i v e  c l e a n i n g as i t was n o t o r i o u s f o r i t s f o r e i g n matter.  In  order  to reach the c o a l below ground there were f o u r types o f mine entrances; was  drift,  s l o p e , t u n n e l and s h a f t .  A drift  entrance  an i n c l i n e plane d r i v e n i n t o the c o a l a t an upward angle  from the outcrop, w h i l e a slope mine f o l l o w e d the c o a l seam's d i p from the outcrop.  When there was no outcrop, t h a t i s when  the c o a l was not d i r e c t l y a c c e s s i b l e , a rock t u n n e l or perpen-  34  dicular  s h a f t was  c o a l bed.  driven  Practically  through the  waste m a t e r i a l  to  the  a l l t h e m i n e s i n W a s h i n g t o n were  slope  7 mines.  In g e n e r a l o r c h u t e and  Washington mining  pillar  method.  gangways  (haulage r o u t e s  structed  h o r i z o n t a l to the  the miners cut on  i n t o the  or  angle,  of the  usually laid surface.  the bed;  W a s h i n g t o n a c h u t e c u t was breast  was  standing  breasts  top roof  level  roof  crosscuts  down, t h e  then u s u a l l y  or  four  i n the  drill  through the  the  tracks  to the  and  hole.  c o a l was  the  last  pillar  slope,  were  con-  gangways i n cut  depended  c o a l bed; of the  turn  the  roof.  In  f e e t wide, w h i l e to  fifty  The  pillars.  a miner.  were  Working and  the  a  f e e t wide.  breasts  what k i n d  A f t e r the and  surface.  With the  d e t e r m i n e d how  loaded  and  how  explosion  left were  from  the  mine's  to cut  an  the  large  until well  the to  chunks  pulled  p i t c h of  engine or hauled  M a c h i n e m i n i n g was  common t o o l s were t h e  into  much powder  where, d e p e n d i n g upon t h e  but  assistance  i n t o gangway c a r s  e i t h e r h o i s t e d by  W a s h i n g t o n mine i n 1896, century  was  l a b o r e r s he  main s l o p e  slope,  strength  were mined  and  collapsed.  o f c o a l were b r o k e n up mules t o the  the  of the  f e e t , o f t e n up  pillars  c o a l , where t o d r i l l , put  track)  width of the  from c o l l a p s i n g .  In c h a r g e o f a b r e a s t of three  The  breast  o f f t h e main  From t h e  thickness and  the  huge s l a b s o f c o a l , o r p i l l a r s ,  t o keep the  c o n n e c t e d by  with  l e s s than twelve  more t h a n t w e l v e  Between t h e  each l e v e l  c o a l bed.  many f a c t o r s , s u c h as  pitch,  On  followed  introduced  i n t o the  hand d r i l l ,  the  in  by the on  one  twentieth hammer,  the  35  p i c k and s h o v e l . ^ L i k e many o c c u p a t i o n s , a mine worker's s t a t u s depended his  job.  Inside  than o u t s i d e  upon  (below ground) workers were of a higher order  (above ground) workers, and s k i l l e d workers  (carpenters, b l a c k s m i t h s , engineers) had a h i g h e r s t a t u s than unskilled laborers. experience. his  A young boy, o f t e n as young as ten or twelve, began  c a r e e r as a c o a l p i c k e r or t r a p p e r , a v e n t i l a t i o n door  operator. or  M o b i l i t y was determined by age and  As he got o l d e r a boy would graduate t o mule d r i v e r  l a b o r e r , and i f he was l u c k y , he would e v e n t u a l l y become a  miner. old  But the wheel turned f u l l c i r c l e .  or i n f i r m , the l a t t e r u s u a l l y o c c u r i n g b e f o r e the former, he  would once again take t o p i c k i n g . was,  "twice a boy and once a man In  A common adage of the time i s the poor miner's  life."  1 0  terms o f s t a t u s and r e s p e c t among workers miners stood  above everyone e l s e . in  When a miner became  the mine.  A miner was the most independent worker  He had the fewest t i e s t o the company, o f t e n  nothing more than an agreement t o mine a s e t amount of c o a l for  a set price.  A miner u s u a l l y p r o v i d e d h i s own t o o l s and  equipment, and he o f t e n h i r e d and p a i d h i s a s s i s t a n t s i n h i s breast.  Although not common i n Washington, some miners were  allowed to work when they chose, and miners everywhere came under very l i t t l e  supervision.  A miner's c h i e f concern was  w i t h h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the p i t - b o s s or foreman who determined which miners would get t o work i n the c h o i c e b r e a s t s .  A miner  c o u l d not a f f o r d t o a l i e n a t e the p i t - b o s s , but n e i t h e r would he kow-tow t o him.  I f f o r c e d t o choose he would most  often  36  opt f o r independence.  C a r t e r Goodrich c i t e s an example where  a miner; seeing h i s boss coming, t o l d one o f h i s l a b o r e r s , "Here's the boss.  Don't work.  Always s i t down when the boss i s  around. Besides being l e a d e r s i n the p i t s , miners a l s o dominated the Knights as w e l l as the other mining  unions.  Being the most  independent they were the q u i c k e s t t o be offended by the company's p r a c t i c e s and most s t r i k e s were i n i t i a t e d by miners.  While  a miner's word was not law, and there was frequent disagreement w i t h each o t h e r , a miner's suggestions were u s u a l l y accepted by the l a b o r e r s . Miners  and l a b o r e r s c o n t i n u a l l y complained  about t h e i r  working c o n d i t i o n s , a c c u s i n g t h e i r employers o f s a c r i f i c i n g t h e i r s a f e t y and comfort  for profit.  C o n d i t i o n s were bad i n  the mines, but c o n s i d e r i n g the nature o f c o a l mining e x i s t i n g technology,  they c o u l d h a r d l y be otherwise.  and the Yet, poor  working c o n d i t i o n s were made worse by the p r a c t i c e s o f both the o p e r a t o r s and the miners. concern.  V e n t i l a t i o n was always a major  U n t i l the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h century, when e l e c t r i c  fans  became widespread, mines were v e n t i l a t e d by two p a r a l l e l a i r shafts.  A furnace f o r c e d s t a l e a i r up one s h a f t , and f r e s h a i r  was drawn down the other and c i r c u l a t e d through  the areas o f  the mine being worked by a complicated network o f v e n t i l a t i o n doors.  But f r e s h a i r was not the only v e n t i l a t i o n problem.  C o a l mines o f t e n contained gas, p a r t i c u l a r l y e x p l o s i v e methane ( f i r e damp) and s u f f o c a t i n g carbon d i o x i d e dust too c o u l d explode  (choke damp).. ^ C o a l  and i t s i n h a l a t i o n slowly destroyed a  37  man's lungs.  Newcastle and F r a n k l i n both  s u f f e r e d many gas  and dust e x p l o s i o n s , and the Mine Inspector blamed many o f these a c c i d e n t s on the OIC's cheap but i n e f f i c i e n t system. lamp.  Gas, however, c o u l d a l s o be exploded  ventilation by a miner's  S a f e t y lamps were invented i n the e a r l y n i n e t e e n t h  century, but miners were r e l u c t a n t t o use them because they were bulky and gave only dim l i g h t .  Instead they p r e f e r r e d 12  an open and dangerous flame from a candle or o i l lamp. Other dangers were always present i n the mines.  Blasting  was a common cause o f a c c i d e n t s and d e a t h s , a s were c a v e - i n s . Timbering  helped  support weak r o o f s , but timbering took time  and t h e r e f o r e was expensive  f o r both miners and o p e r a t o r s .  Mines  were u s u a l l y below water l e v e l and p e r i o d i c f l o o d s were t o be expected,  as were f a l l i n g rocks and c o a l and the chance t h a t  a worker would be h i t by a mine c a r i n the d i m l y - l i t gangways. Washington mines had the added danger o f h i g h l y p i t c h e d beds, which made f o r weak r o o f s and poor f o o t i n g .  In the p e r i o d  1905-1911, t h e e a r l i e s t p e r i o d f o r which r e l i a b l e r e c o r d s are a v a i l a b l e , the Mine Inspector r e p o r t e d t h a t one t h i r d o f a l l f a t a l a c c i d e n t s and one q u a r t e r of a l l n o n - f a t a l a c c i d e n t s were 13 a t t r i b u t a b l e t o the steep slopes and beds. Under the best o f c o n d i t i o n s mining was d i r t y , work.  The p i t s were dark and o f t e n q u i t e warm.  unpleasant  Miners wore  l i t t l e ' or no c l o t h i n g , and t o add t o t h e i r d i s c o m f o r t o c c a s i o n a l l y found  themselves crouched  they  i n two f o o t seams or  standing i n w a i s t deep water a thousand f e e t below the s u r f a c e of the e a r t h .  Such c o n d i t i o n s d i d not endear a company t o i t s  38  workers, but  i n many cases there was  c o u l d do to a l l e v i a t e the  little  conditions.  Disputes over wages a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d between workers and  operators.  is difficult  because there was  simply  antagonism  d i s c u s s i o n of wages  no standard  the c a r , and  wage s c a l e .  the day.  p a i d by the ton, i t might be the s h o r t ton  the long ton The  to the  A general  were p a i d by the ton, the yard, miner was  t h a t the company  (2240 l b s . ) , or the miner's ton  If a (2000 l b s . ) ,  (2464 to 3360 l b s . ) .  r a t e per yard depended on the t h i c k n e s s of the bed,  the need f o r timbering  and b r a t t i c i n g , and  Men  the p i t c h ,  the q u a l i t y of the c o a l .  Such r a t e s v a r i e d from l e v e l to l e v e l w i t h i n a s i n g l e mine. In King County the miners were u s u a l l y p a i d by the yard l a b o r e r s were p a i d a t a d a i l y r a t e .  In 1890  Survey averaged mining wages n a t i o n a l l y .  the U.S.  Considering  complexity of wage s c a l e s such averages should  and  Geological the  be regarded w i t h  c a u t i o n , but the USGS concluded t h a t Washington miners  and  l a b o r e r s were the h i g h e s t p a i d i n the country with miners 14 earning  $3.26 per day  and  l a b o r e r s $2.46.  Such averages probably conceal more than they r e v e a l . The  d i s p u t e over wages i n Washington went far; beyond arguments  over d a i l y r a t e s . o f t e n than not a yard and  Some complaints were p r e d i c t a b l e .  i t was  the company t h a t determined the l e n g t h  the weight of a ton.  about long yards and  at the company s t o r e and the  of  Complaints from the miners  heavy tons were common, as were the  a t i o n s t h a t the company recovered  was  More  accus-  most i f not a l l of i t s wages  boarding house.  But more important  f a c t t h a t Washington mines r a r e l y operated a l l year  as  39  Washington c o a l o f t e n c o u l d not compete with f o r e i g n c o a l . s l a c k times operators  reduced wages'and discharged  With a s t o c k p i l e of unsold went f i r s t ,  c o a l , i t was  labor organizations.  Miners claimed  workers.  the miners who  p a r t i c u l a r l y those miners who  In  usually  were i n v o l v e d i n  t h a t they had  high wages to compensate f o r the many i d l e days.  to be  paid  More s i g n i f -  i c a n t l y , the Knights advocated a s l i d i n g wage s c a l e of wages. Such a s c a l e rose and but  f e l l with the f l u c t u a t i n g p r i c e of c o a l ,  i t could never f a l l below a set minimum.  In a d d i t i o n ,  the Knights wanted to be able to share work i n s l a c k times so t h a t some miners d i d not continue to work f u l l had  no work.  The  schemes, arguing  OIC  time w h i l e  other  i n p a r t i c u l a r wanted no p a r t of these  t h a t they were expensive and  i n f r i n g e d upon 15  the company's r i g h t to conduct business as i t saw f i t . A d i s g r u n t l e d , i n d i v i d u a l worker had him.  few  options  open to  A miner could always q u i t , but h i s s p e c i a l i z e d s k i l l s  were not i n demand elsewhere, and  n e i t h e r miners nor  c o u l d expect to earn as much i n other occupations. m o b i l i t y was  l i m i t e d i n mining communities.  become foremen and  s t a f f of l e s s than f i f t y ,  he was  operating  But  such m o b i l i t y was  very l i m i t e d .  from a p o s i t i o n of no  to change the strength.  strong response could o n l y come from c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n , organized  with  a s t a b l e management  I n d i v i d u a l l y , a miner or l a b o r e r c o u l d do l i t t l e system;  Upward  Some miners d i d  a s e l e c t few made superintendent.  l a b o r f o r c e of n e a r l y three thousand and  laborers  A  an  group of workers meeting the f o r c e of the company wi  a f o r c e of i t s  own.^  uo  There were, however, a number of f a c t o r s working labor organizations operators  i n the c o a l mining i n d u s t r y .  against The  coal  d i s p l a y e d a tremendous h o s t i l i t y towards unions,  t r i e d hard to keep t h e i r employees from o r g a n i z i n g . were considered i t s business  an infringement  e f f i c i e n t manner, as  Unions were a l s o a t h r e a t to the  value of i n d i v i d u a l i s m .  Unions  on the company's r i g h t to conduct  i n an economical and  by the company.  and  John Howard of the OIC  defined  cherished  continually  s a i d t h a t he' would t r e a t h i s workers only as i n d i v i d u a l s and each man terms.  had No  the r i g h t to bargain with the company on h i s  l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n c o u l d speak f o r a l l the  employees.  Though h o s t i l i t y towards unions i n the P a c i f i c Northwest probably  own  has  been overemphasized, the 1880's i n g e n e r a l were not a  f e r t i l e time f o r l a b o r , and mining unions i n p a r t i c u l a r were i n a bad way.  Union miners had  been branded as  terrorists  a f t e r the a c t i o n s of the M o l l y Maguires i n the l a t e 1870's, and with the Haymarket " r i o t "  i n May  a s s o c i a t e d with s o c i a l i s m and  the p e r i l of anarchy.  the Knights had  l o s t n e a r l y two  1886  the Knights became By  1887  hundred thousand members, and 17  they never regained  n a t i o n a l prominence.  While the s t r u c t u r e of c o a l towns and o f t e n u n i t e d workers a g a i n s t t h e i r stumbling  blocks  neighboring population  employers, they a l s o c r e a t e d  to l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s .  r e q u i r e d the support towns.  and  the nature of mining  cooperation  Successful  of mine workers i n  But mining towns were i s o l a t e d  c e n t e r s and  from each other, and  c o n t r o l l e d both the r a i l r o a d s and  organizing  from  the companies  the t e l e g r a p h .  For  , . ..  organizers,  41  l a c k o f communication was a c o n t i n u a l problem. mining  Even when  towns were c l o s e t o g e t h e r , as they were i n King County,  union l o c a l s were organized i n each community and operated independently o f each o t h e r . attempted  The Knights E x e c u t i v e board  t o c o o r d i n a t e the v a r i o u s l o c a l s from Seattle.,  usually  without much success.  In a d d i t i o n , the i r r e g u l a r i t y o f the .  Washington c o a l mining  i n d u s t r y made c o m p e t i t i o n between the  companies q u i t e keen, and workers were caught  up i n t h i s com-  p e t i t i o n because t h e i r economic s e c u r i t y was a t stake.  In  May 1885, f o r example, the miners a t Black Diamond went out on s t r i k e , and they hoped t o r e c e i v e support from other miners i n the county.  Not o n l y d i d the Newcastle miners r e f u s e t o  support the s t r i k e r s , but a group of them, who had j u s t been d i s c h a r g e d by the OIC, went t o Black Diamond and broke the s t r i k e w i t h i n a week. ^ 1  Though e t h n i c t e n s i o n s i n Washington mines b e f o r e the t u r n of the century were s l i g h t compared t o the b a t t l e s between n a t i v e - b o r n Americans and E a s t Europeans i n P e n n s y l v a n i a , some tensions d i d e x i s t .  The I r i s h , Welsh, Scots, and E n g l i s h  q u a r r e l e d among themselves, with the Americans.  and none of them got along t h a t w e l l  E n g l i s h miners were u s u a l l y more s k i l l e d  than t h e i r American c o u n t e r p a r t s , and they took g r e a t d e l i g h t i n making the Americans look f o o l i s h and i g n o r a n t .  Coming  from a n a t i o n with a s t r o n g t r a d i t i o n o f l a b o r s o l i d a r i t y , the E n g l i s h and the Americans o f t e n locked horns over the i s s u e of i n d i v i d u a l freedom versus the need f o r the workers t o stand together.  Opinions as t o how t o best d e a l w i t h the company  42  were never l a c k i n g among the m i n e r s , and f a c t i o n s developed. For over two y e a r s the workers were d i v i d e d by •  competing  19  u n i o n s i n the m i n i n g towns. I s o l a t e d , company-dominated towns, d i s p u t e s over c o n d i t i o n s and wages, h o s t i l i t y toward u n i o n s , and t e n s i o n among workers a l l h e l p e d t o c r e a t e a s t r i f e - t o r n system.  Mine workers  met  i n mass meetings, argued among t h e m s e l v e s , and then p r e s e n t e d t h e i r demands as an u l t i m a t u m t o the company.  The o p e r a t o r s ,  i n t u r n , announced wage c u t s a n d ' d i s c h a r g e s w i t h o u t n o t i c e o r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h employees.  F u r t h e r , companies l i k e the  OIC  were o c c a s i o n a l l l y adept a t k e e p i n g t h e workers d i v i d e d .  Ethnic  groups were p l a y e d a g a i n s t one another as were competing  unions,  though no o p e r a t o r would f o r m a l l y r e c o g n i z e a u n i o n .  Neither  s i d e , mine workers o r o p e r a t o r s , c o o p e r a t e d w i t h t h e o t h e r , and i n i t i a l mutual antagonism 20 vigor.  f e d on i t s e l f and grew w i t h  Such d e s c r i p t i o n s can be l i t t l e more than a s c h e m a t i c o f m i n i n g i n Washington i n the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . t h e r e were many i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n s :  Naturally,  a l l c o a l companies were  not a l i k e , nor were a l l company towns the same.  But the  s t r u c t u r a l p a t t e r n s were remarkably s i m i l a r , and an e x a m i n a t i o n of  the r e c o r d s o f t h e Oregon Improvement Company a l l o w s one t o  see how w e l l the l e a d i n g independent c o a l company r e f l e c t e d t h e s e common p a t t e r n s . It  t a k e s l i t t l e more than a g l a n c e over the  correspondence  between G e n e r a l Manager John Howard i n San F r a n c i s c o and P r e s i d e n t E l i j a h Smith i n New  York t o r e a l i z e t h a t r e l a t i o n s  43  between t h e OIC and i t s N e w c a s t l e they r a p i d l y The  workers complained  working  conditions,  directed known. high, to  deteriorated  as the Knights  o f t e n about  their  the charges  and he s t e a d f a s t l y m a i n t a i n e d  increased their  i  t h a t p r i c e s were t o o  that  from whomever t h e y p l e a s e d .  e m p l o y e e s were He added,  down, i n c l u d i n g  free  however,  the understandably  they  would  popular  21  There workers,  was n e v e r  much c o o p e r a t i o n between t h e OIC and i t s  b u t what l i t t l e  strike/lockout,  rejuvinated  t h e r e was e v a p o r a t e d  The e l i m i n a t i o n o f t h e C h i n e s e  t h e Newcastle  by  company s p i e s  of  the Chinese,  disputes i n i n l a t e 1885  K n i g h t s who had b e e n n e a r l y d e s t r o y e d  infiltrating- the lodge. however, t h e K n i g h t s '  t h e OIC e s t i m a t e d t h a t  With t h e e x p u l s i o n  influence  i n c r e a s e d , and  five-sixths- o f t h e Newcastle  were members o f t h e O r d e r . a poor  d u r i n g t h e 1886  one o f t h e l o n g e s t and most b i t t e r  Washington mining.  I n December 1885,  m a r k e t , J o h n Howard f i r e d  employees  ostensibly  because  "a g r o u p o f men" a t New-  c a s t l e most o f whom were " r e d h o t K n i g h t s o f L a b o r . " result  influence.  low wages and p o o r  i f t h e company's f a c i l i t i e s were n o t s u p p o r t e d ,  saloon.  good and  b u t some o f t h e s t r o n g e s t c r i t i c s m was  J o h n Howard d e n i e d  have t o be c l o s e d  of  e m p l o y e e s were n e v e r  a t t h e company s t o r e , o r "Pluck-me" a s i t was commonly  purchase  that  0  As a  o f t h e d i s c h a r g e s t h e K n i g h t s were i n d e e d r e d h o t .  They c l a i m e d t h e OIC's a c t i o n was a " p i e c e o f t y r a n n y " , and they threatened t o s t r i k e . to  go o u t .  In January  1886,  But they never after  learning  got the opportunity that  the workers  were demanding wage i n c r e a s e s , J o h n Howard came up f r o m San  44  F r a n c i s c o , observed the s i t u a t i o n and c l o s e d Newcastle,  stating 22  t h a t the company was  ready t o " l o c k horns w i t h the K n i g h t s . "  Both s i d e s were prepared f o r a long f i g h t .  The  Knights  i s s u e d a comprehensive l i s t of demands which i n c l u d e d wage i n c r e a s e s f o r a l l workers, purchase  the e l i m i n a t i o n of  compulsory  a t the s t o r e , and the r e c o g n i t i o n of the Knights as  the b a r g a i n i n g agent f o r the employees.  When the F r a n k l i n  Knights voted f o r t y - s e v e n to twelve not t o s t r i k e i n sympathy, s i x t y - f i v e Newcastle mine workers walked t h i r t y m i l e s t o F r a n k l i n and persuaded the F r a n k l i n K n i g h t s , i n l e s s than a g e n t l e manner, t o support t h e i r cause.  Newcastle  was  locked-  23 out and F r a n k l i n was John Howard was  now  on  strike.  as determined  t h a t the o r i g i n a l t r o u b l e was  as the Knights.  caused by "a few  He claimed  travelling  demagogues of the Knights of Labor," and t h a t he would d e a l w i t h h i s employees o n l y as i n d i v i d u a l s .  Certain  individuals  would not be r e h i r e d , p a r t i c u l a r l y s i x Knights' l e a d e r s , whom Howard c o n s i d e r e d , " t u r b u l e n t t r o u b l e breeders..... [0] nee r i d 24 of them the s o c i e t y w i l l go to p i e c e s . "  Howard wanted to  a i d the Knights' d e s t r u c t i o n as much as p o s s i b l e .  In l a t e  March he informed E n g i n e e r i n g Superintendent James Jones t h a t : By a q u i e t understanding I have with the owners of Black Diamond, South P r a i r i e , carbonado, ['sic], Cedar R i v e r , Nanaimo, and W e l l i n g t o n mines, there i s to be an exchange of b l a c k l i s t s , and the r u l e r s of the lodges of the Knights of Labor are to be denied work a t a l l the mines. The i n t e n t i o n i s to r i d t h a t country of the a g i t a t o r s i n the lodges, t o s t r i k e t e r r o r i n t o the weak and v a s c i l l a t i n g members, and to dismember the o r g a n i z a t i o n . . or  45  By the beginning OIC  of A p r i l n e i t h e r the Knights nor  the  had given an i n c h , but the u n i t y among the workers  beginning  to crumble.  three months;  he was  Newcastle had been c l o s e d f o r n e a r l y  most men  r e t u r n to work.  was  were broke, and many were w i l l i n g  to  Noting the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n , Howard announced  opening Newcastle and o f f e r i n g $3.00 a day to s e l e c t  miners and  $2.00 a day to l a b o r e r s .  A "number of men"  to work, and the Knights b l a s t e d them as Pets."  But with the men  returned  "Superintendents'  r e t u r n i n g to work, the Knights were  f o r c e d to lower t h e i r demands.  They managed to win a small  wage i n c r e a s e , but Howard r e f u s e d to r e c o g n i z e any union, he maintained  t h a t no employee was  from the company.  Howard informed  f o r c e d to purchase  and  anything  P r e s i d e n t Smith t h a t he 2  had  secured The  a "happy t e r m i n a t i o n to a very expensive  long d i s p u t e of 1886  between the OIC  and  s o l v e d nothing and  left  relations  i t s employees even more s t r a i n e d .  r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the d i s p u t e i s t h a t i t r u i n e d among the workers.  trouble."  More and more men  But  cooperation  began to q u e s t i o n  a n t a g o n i s t i c p r a c t i c e s of the Knights.  These men  the  f e l t t h a t the  Knights' c o n t i n u a l a g i t a t i o n hurt a l l the workers i n the run, and they advocated a more c o n c i l i a t o r y p o l i c y with OIC.  For the next two  the  long the  years the Knights made t h e i r demands;  the company r e s i s t e d them, and the workers q u a r r e l e d among themselves.  Finally,  i n e a r l y 1888,  at the o u t s e t of three  years of l a b o r s t r i f e i n p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of Washington's mines, Thomas Hughes, a l e a d e r of the Knights, q u i t the Order  and  e s t a b l i s h e d a competing o r g a n i z a t i o n at Newcastle, the Miners  46  and Mine Laborers P r o t e c t i v e Union, commonly known as the Miners Union.  The Miners Union e v e n t u a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d  locals  27 at F r a n k l i n and Roslyn. The Knights immediately branded the Miners Union as a company union and i t s members as "boss-suckers, b l a c k l e g s and s  of b  ."  At a mass meeting  i n May  1888  demanded t h a t the OIC employ o n l y K n i g h t s .  the Knights  The OIC  refused  and f o r the r e s t of the year i t played one union a g a i n s t the other.  By. December 1888  the new  Resident Manager of the OIC  i n S e a t t l e , Hobart W. M c N e i l l , a man ambition and exceeded 20%  of the workers With men  matched John Howard's  h i s t a c t l e s s n e s s , estimated t h a t o n l y 28  at Newcastle belonged to the K n i g h t s .  r a p i d l y l e a v i n g the Order, the Knights were  desperate but not d e f e a t e d . towns,  who  Gathering support from o t h e r mining  between f i f t y and two hundred Knights descended  Newcastle on 4 January 1889  upon  to c l e a n out the Miners Union.  gun b a t t l e began between the two f a c t i o n s and one Knight shot to death. was  At the request of C o l o n e l John C. Haines,  A  was who  a l s o the OIC a t t o r n e y , two companies o f m i l i t i a were sent 29  to  Newcastle. The Knights immediately c a l l e d a county-wide  the  miners a t F r a n k l i n , Gilman, Cedar Mountain,  strike.and and Black  Diamond went out, but the c e n t e r o f the t r o u b l e remained a t Newcastle.  When T e r r i t o r i a l  t h a t the m i l i t i a was ordered i t withdrawn. the  Governor Eugene Semple l e a r n e d  at Newcastle without h i s a u t h o r i t y ,  he  Semple's a t t e n t i o n had been focused on  c o n t i n u i n g t r o u b l e a t the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company's  47  mines at Roslyn where b l a c k s had been brought i n to work i n the mines i n August 1888.  Once the m i l i t i a was  withdrawn  M c N e i l l telegraphed the T h i e l D e t e c t i v e Agency i n P o r t l a n d , an ; agency t h a t the T e r r i t o r i a l Governor c o n s i d e r e d an i z e d body of mercenaries  ... who  are ready,  "organ-  for a consideration,  to p e r p e t r a t e any a c t , whether t r e a c h e r y or v i o l e n c e , t h a t be r e q u i r e d by those who  employ them."  may  Under the l e a d e r s h i p  of W i l l i a m S u l l i v a n , twenty d e t e c t i v e s , or "Pinkertons" as they were r e f e r r e d to by the p r e s s , a r r i v e d at Newcastle armed with Winchester  rifles,  r e v o l v e r s , and Bowie k n i v e s .  The  Thiel  d e t e c t i v e s enforced the peace u n t i l the end of January when once again because of l a c k of support the Knights r e t u r n e d to w o r k .  reluctantly  30  At f i r s t glance i t would seem t h a t the s t r i k e of had changed l i t t l e .  The workers were s t i l l  Knights and the Miners Union. any union and maintained  The OIC  i t would employ and d i s c h a r g e whom  McNeill, s a i d the OIC  the Knights, but he was  d i v i d e d between the  r e f u s e d to r e c o g n i z e  i t p l e a s e d , but i t continued to p l a y one other.  had won  group a g a i n s t the  the l a t e s t b a t t l e a g a i n s t  sure they would f i g h t again because  " f o r c e not sense r u l e s t h i s c l a s s of c a t t l e . " the year passed throughout  1889  The r e s t of  q u i e t l y at Newcastle and g e n e r a l l y a t the mines  Washington.  The market was  poor and Newcastle  was  31 b a r e l y o p e r a t i n g because of e x t e n s i v e f i r e damage. But  something had changed.  and expensive solution.  The OIC was  f e d up with c o n t i n u a l  l a b o r problems, and they sought a permanent  Since August 1888  the OIC  o f f i c e r s had been o b s e r v i n g  48  the to  events at Roslyn where b l a c k s were being used i n the mines q u e l l labor a g i t a t i o n .  As e a r l y as September 188 8 John  Howard a d v i s e d P r e s i d e n t Smith to c o n s i d e r the use of b l a c k s because: I t would take such a new element as negroes, w i t h whom the whites would not a s s i m i l a t e , t o prevent any f u r t h e r combinations. The experience of the mine owners on t h i s c o a s t w i t h regard to imported white l a b o r i s t h a t i t i s a temporary r e l i e f , and t h a t as soon as the new element has become i n o c u l a t e d w i t h the ideas of the o l d , (and i t does not take very long t o do t h i s i n t h i s c o u n t r y ) , h i s t o r y repeats i t s e l f w i t h the mine owners. M c N e i l l too, w i t h v e r b a l d e f t n e s s , l a t e r suggested t h a t the OIC  "fill  up w i t h d a r k i e s . "  3 2  No doubt Howard would have p r e f e r r e d to use Chinese.  Even  though they were spread out a l l over the T e r r i t o r y , they were more r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e than b l a c k s . throughout the T e r r i t o r y was  But popular o p i n i o n  against t h i s .  The Chinese had  been w i d e l y used i n Washington and h o s t i l i t y toward them came from a l l c l a s s e s .  B l a c k s , i t appeared, had the advantage  being almost unknown i n Washington. brought to the mines where, i t was  They c o u l d be d i s c r e t e l y hoped, they could be used  e f f e c t i v e l y without o f f e n d i n g the populace of S e a t t l e . the  of  In  mines r a c i a l a n i m o s i t y would prevent b l a c k s and whites  from combining.  There was  some concern t h a t the use o f b l a c k s  would cause the white workers t o f o r g e t t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s  and  j o i n f o r c e s , but f o r o r g a n i z e d l a b o r to be e f f e c t i v e i t had to  present a u n i f i e d f r o n t t o the company, which meant b l a c k s  and whites working t o g e t h e r , an u n l i k e l y p r o s p e c t .  49  The s t r u c t u r e of mining towns and the nature of mining drew workers t o g e t h e r and made c o n f l i c t w i t h the company almost inevitable.  But the o p e r a t o r s were w e l l aware t h a t the workers  had d i f f i c u l t y i n a c t i n g as a body and o r g a n i z a t i o n was i f the workers were to secure t h e i r demands. workers d i v i d e d was  the best way  t o keep them  vital  Keeping the ineffective.  In 1889, the o f f i c e r s of the OIC began to c o n s i d e r the possi b i l i t y o f permanently d i v i d i n g  the workers, and from the  experience o f the Chinese and the example a t Roslyn, i t appeared t h a t the workers c o u l d be d i v i d e d along r a c i a l l i n e s .  50  NOTES 1.  S e a t t l e P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r 12 June 1881, 18 August 1888, 1 January 1891; U.S. Department of the I n t e r i o r . Annual Report of the S e c r e t a r y of the I n t e r i o r , 1888, V o l . I l l , "Report o f the Governor of the Washington T e r r i t o r y to the S e c r e t a r y of the I n t e r i o r , " pp. 882-884; M a r i l y n Tharp, "Story o f C o a l a t Newcastle," pp. 120-121.  2.  P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 17 May 1886. One miner complained t h a t because of the s t o r e and the boarding house, over 70% of h i s check was r e t u r n e d to the company. Some miners were l e s s f o r t u n a t e on pay day and r e c e i v e d a " b o b - t a i l " check, t h e i r deductions having e q u a l l e d or exceeded t h e i r wages.  3.  Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," pp. 118, 116-120; A company was o f t e n l e f t w i t h l i t t l e c h o i c e but to c r e a t e a company town. In i s o l a t e d l o c a t i o n s the company was i n the best and u s u a l l y the o n l y p o s i t i o n ' t o o f f e r essential services. See James B. A l l e n , The Company Town i n the American West (Norman, Ok., 1966), pp. 60-69, 128-139.  4.  The g e n e r a l ideas, i n t h i s paragraph r e l y h e a v i l y upon Harold Aurand, From the M o l l y Maguires to the U n i t e d Mine Workers ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1971), pp. 20-29; C l a r k Kerr and Abraham S i e g e l , "The I n t e r i n d u s t r y P r o p e n s i t y to S t r i k e , " i n A r t h u r Kornhauser, e t a l . , I n d u s t r i a l C o n f l i c t (New York, 1954), pp. 189-212.  5.  Tenth Census o f the United S t a t e s , 1880: Compendium, P a r t I I , pp. 1366-1367; MacDonald, " S e a t t l e ' s Economic Development," pp. 42, 52, 54. Of the 250 miners a t F r n a k l i n and Black Diamond i n 1887, 93 were B r i t i s h , and 89.were Americans and Canadians. See Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r C o a l Country," p. 101. With a mixture o f C a t h o l i c s and P r o t e s t ants undoubtedly there was some r e l i g i o u s t e n s i o n , but such t e n s i o n s are d i f f i c u l t t o glean from the l o c a l press as the papers u s u a l l y only mentioned i f a mining town had a church or not.  6.  Meryl Rogers, "The Labor Movement i n S e a t t l e , " p. 29; Kerr and S i e g e l , "The I n t e r i n d u s t r y P r o p e n s i t y to S t r i k e , " p. 192. For a good h i s t o r i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of mining and mining unions i n B r i t a i n , see Anthony Burton, The Miners (London, 197 6).  7.  Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," 98; Aurand, M o l l y Maguires, p. 33.  8.  Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," p. 97; George Evans, "The C o a l F i e l d s of King County," Washington  pp. 95,  51  G e o l o g i c a l Survey B u l l e t i n No. 3 (Olympia, 1912) pp. 200208. 9.  M i n e r a l Resources o f the United S t a t e s , 1900, p. 308.  10. Quoted i n Aurand, M o l l y Maguires, p. 37. 11. C a r t e r Goodrich, The Miner's Freedom (Boston, 1925) p. 56; David Montgomery, "Trade Union P r a c t i c e and the O r i g i n s of S y n d i c a l i s t Theory i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s , " unpub. paper i n author's p o s s e s s i o n , pp. 9-10. 12. Tharp, "Story o f C o a l a t Newcastle," p. 124; Aurand, M o l l y Maguires, pp. 39-40. 13. State C o a l Mine I n s p e c t o r ' s Report, 1911-1912 (Olympia, 1912), pp. 48-52; Newcastle had, on the average, an i n c l i n e o f 4 0°, w h i l e F r a n k l i n ' s was 4 5°. Black Diamond had a g e n t l e r i n c l i n e of 10°-30°, w h i l e Carbon H i l l , depending on the bed, i n c l i n e d 30°-80°. See M i n e r a l Resources o f the U.S. 18 8.6, pp. 364-365. 14. Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r C o a l Country," p. 106; Aurand, M o l l y Maguires, pp. 44-45; M i n e r a l Resources o f the U.S., 1889-1890, pp. 170-171. 15. M i n e r a l Resources o f the U.S., 1889-1890, pp. 170-171; Seasonal or i r r e g u l a r work was common throughout the U.S. coal industry. See L o u i s Bloch, The C o a l Miners' I n s e c u r i t y (New York, 1922), pp. 47-48; Aurand, M o l l y Maguires, pp. 9-19. 16. Aurand, M o l l y Maguires, pp. 55-62. Census 1890, P a r t I I , p. 486.  Compendium o f the E l e v e n t h  17. Aurand, M o l l y Maguires, pp. 109-110; Post-Intelligencer, 21 August 1886; Powderly, T h i r t y Years o f Labor, pp. 27128 8; Ware, The Labor Movement i n The U n i t e d S t a t e s , p. 66. 18. James Jones t o E. Smith, 7 May 1885 and 11 May 1885, OIC Records, 44:47. 19. Medler, "A Study o f the Washington C o a l Industry," pp. 56-57. Melder based h i s a n a l y s i s on i n t e r v i e w s w i t h miners from the 1880's, i n c l u d i n g many former K n i g h t s . I have argued t h a t the s t r u c t u r e o f mining communities and the nature o f mining made c o n f l i c t almost i n e v i t a b l e between mine workers and t h e i r employers. A t l e a s t one author, however, b e l i e v e s t h a t another dimension must be c o n s i d e r e d . David Bercuson argues t h a t i t was d i s p l a c e d immigrants, p a r t i c u l a r l y B r i t i s h miners w i t h t h e i r t r a d i t i o n of unionism, who promoted " r a d i c a l i s m " i n the Western  52  Canadian mines. See David Bercuson, "Labour R a d i c a l i s m and the Western I n d u s t r i a l F r o n t i e r , 1887-1917," Canadian H i s t o r i c a l Review 18 (June 1977): pp. 154-175. 20. Thorndale, "Washington's  Green R i v e r C o a l Country," p. 55.  21. The Newcastle workers seemed t o have had a v a l i d complaint about the company s t o r e . Whereas the saloon i n 1885 made a p r o f i t o f $2500 and the boarding house $1900, the s t o r e earned $24,000 a f t e r expenses. In c a l c u l a t i n g the net c o s t per ton o f i t s c o a l , the OIC o f t e n deducted the s t o r e ' s profit. In 1885 the s t o r e ' s p r o f i t reduced the c o s t per ton n e a r l y 10%. See "Report t o the S t o c k h o l d e r s , 1885", OIC Records; OIC Scrapbooks, Box 69; C.J. Smith t o E, Smith, 27 October 1890, 49:1; Melder, p. 57. The OIC and the mine workers were a l s o i n disagreement over the medical s e r v i c e s o f f e r e d by the company. To pay f o r the s e r v i c e s o f a p h y s i c i a n , the OIC charged each boy f i f t y cents and each man $1.00 per month. By 1885 the company had accumulated a s u r p l u s o f $3400, w i t h which i t planned t o b u i l d a p h y s i c i a n ' s r e s i d e n c e a t no expense t o the company. The workers suspected a l a r g e s u r p l u s e x i s t e d , but the company c o n t i n u a l l y r e f u s e d t o o f f e r any i n f o r m a t i o n . But, then, the OIC had a penchant f o r s e c r e c y . Much o f i t s i n t e r o f f i c e correspondence was i n the form o f telegrams and p r a c t i c a l l y a l l o f these, even the most mundane, were sent i n a c o m p l i c a t e d code. In a d d i t i o n a l l the o f f i c e r s of the OIC had code names. See, James Jones t o E. Smith, 26 March 1885, OIC Records, 44:42; Jones t o E. Smith, 10 A p r i l 1885, .44:42. 22. Howard t o J . Watkins, 10 A p r i l 1885, OIC Records, 44:42; Howard t o E. Smith, 2 5 September 1885, 56:28; Howard t o E. Smith, 26 December 1885, 56:36; Jones t o Howard, 7 January 1886, 45:10; Howard t o E. Smith, 23 February 1886, 57:4. See a l s o , P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 23, 26 December, 1885. 23. Jones t o Howard, 25 February 1886, OIC Records, 45:14; Howard t o E. Smith, 4 A p r i l 1886, 57:8; OIC Scrapbooks, Box 69. 24. Howard t o E. Smith, 4 March 1886 and 1 A p r i l 1886, OIC Records, 57:5 and 57:7; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 16 May 1886. 25. Howard t o Jones, 13 March 1886, OIC Records, 57:6. 26. Howard t o E. Smith, 6 A p r i l 1886, 4 May 1886, 21 May 1886, OIC Records, 57:7, 57:8, 57:9; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 3, 17 May 1886.  53  27. Howard to E. Smith, 30 May 1888, OIC Records 58:25; P o s t I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 13 March 1888, 11 May 1888. Because o f c o n t i n u a l l a b o r problems the OIC began t o add the f o l l o w i n g note to i t s c o a l c o n t r a c t s i n 1888. S e l l e r s not r e s p o n s i b l e f o r d e l i v e r i e s d u r i n g p e r i o d s of suspended work a t the mines due t o s t r i k e s , a c c i d e n t s , or f o r other unavoidable causes. (Howard t o E. Smith, 25 A p r i l 1888, 58:22). A l a n Hynding's "The C o a l Miners of Washington T e r r i t o r y : Labor T r o u b l e s i n 1888-1889," A r i z o n a and the West (Autumn, 1970) pp. 221-236, i s the only p u b l i s h e d account o f the problems a t Newcastle and Roslyn. Hynding s t a t e s t h a t the competing union a t Roslyn was c a l l e d the U n i t e d Miners and Mine Laborers S o c i e t y and was a l l e g e d l y a f f i l i a t e d w i t h the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Workingmen's A s s o c i a t i o n i n San F r a n c i s c o , (p. 222). My r e s e a r c h does not support these c l a i m s . The IWA was a M a r x i s t union and i t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t one o f i t s a f f i l i a t e s would advocate a c o n s i l i a t o r y p o l i c y w i t h a c o a l company. 28. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 24, 25 May. 1888; 5 January 1889; "The C o a l Miners of Washington''," pp. 228-229.  Hynding,  29. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 5, 6, 24 January 1889; See a l s o , C h a r l e s Gates, "Trouble i n the C o a l Mines: Documents on An I n c i d e n t at Newcastle, W.T.," P a c i f i c Northwest Q u a r t e r l y 37 (July 1946): pp. 231-257. 30. M c N e i l l to E. Smith, 22 January 1889, OIC Records, 46:02; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 22-26 January 1889; Semple quoted i n Gates, "Documents," p. 232. 31. M c N e i l l t o E. Smith, 7 February 1889, 27 February 1889, 27 March 1889, OIC Records, 46:5, 46:11, 46:17; Howard to E. Smith, 11 A p r i l 1889, 61:12. 32. Howard t o E. Smith, 14 September 1888, OIC Records, 59:12; M c N e i l l to E. Smith, 26 August 1889, 46:42.  54  CHAPTER I I I ROSLYN.AND THE  The  first  NATION  b l a c k mine workers i n Washington were imported  from the Midwest as s t r i k e b r e a k e r s by the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company (NPCC) i n August 1888.  With the use  of  blacks  the company broke a s t r i k e at Roslyn l e d by the Knights of Labor. But  the events at Roslyn are f a r more s i g n i f i c a n t f o r they f o r e -  shadowed the complete d e f e a t of the mine workers i n 1891. n a t i o n a l t r a d i t i o n of anti-Negro p r e j u d i c e enhanced by West's more v i r u l e n t racism, blacks  i n the developing  coal operators'  and  s u c c e s s f u l use of b l a c k s  o r g a n i z a t i o n was The was  to  the  i n the mines.  As  r a c i a l l i n e s and e f f e c t i v e  eliminated.  NPCC, a s u b s i d i a r y of the Northern P a c i f i c  e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1885  County.  The  c o a l , good q u a l i t y steam c o a l s i m i l a r to t h a t  consumption.  By 1888  p r i m a r i l y f o r the NPR's  own  the three mines at Roslyn were e x t e n s i v e l y  developed and when o p e r a t i n g  at f u l l  c a p a c i t y gave some s i x  employment."'"  Roslyn was  a town of about two  thousand i n 1888.  on the slopes of the Cascades, i t was Ellensburg  Railroad,  to mine the NPR's f i e l d s i n K i t t i t a s  of the Green River area, was  hundred men  the  the minimal p a r t i c i p a t i o n of  l a b o r movement c o n t r i b u t e d  hoped, the workers d i v i d e d along  A  linked, to Cle-Elum  to the South by a spur l i n e of the NPR.  e x i s t e d because of the mines, and  Isolated  i n that respect  and  Roslyn i t resembled  55  a t y p i c a l ' company town composed of mine workers and f a m i l i e s , company o f f i c i a l s ,  their  and the company employees  who  2  operated the s t o r e s , saloons, and boarding  houses.  The mine workers themselves were roughly evenly composed of I r i s h , Welsh, and Americans.  Many l i v e d w i t h t h e i r  i n the company c o n t r o l l e d housing. it  i s known t h a t s i n c e 1886  Although sources are s c a r c e ,  the Knights had been o r g a n i z i n g  p e r i o d i c s t r i k e s t o win the eight-hour day f o r miners, working  families  c o n d i t i o n s , and union r e c o g n i t i o n .  better  By 18 88, when the  Knights of Roslyn became a f f i l i a t e d w i t h D i s t r i c t Assembly  249  i n Spokane F a l l s , union r e c o g n i t i o n became a c u t e l y important as the Knights began t o r e c e i v e s t i f f c o m p e t i t i o n from the Miners Union which was  organized a t Newcastle  i n May  1888.  The Miners Union claimed t h a t the Knights were h u r t i n g a l l workers with t h e i r c o n t i n u a l b i c k e r i n g with the company and their  disruptive  tactics.  The Knights accused the Miners  Union of being a "company union," but more l i k e l y i t was a l e s s m i l i t a n t , c o n s e r v a t i v e a l t e r n a t i v e t o the K n i g h t s . The company, which r e f u s e d to r e c o g n i z e any union, widened the chasm between the Knights and the Miners Union by making a p o i n t of employing  Miners men  when the Knights went on  strike."^ What took p l a c e a t Roslyn i n 1888 because .these events  i s extremely  foreshadowed the complete  mine workers i n Washington.  important  d e f e a t of the  U n f o r t u n a t e l y sources are scarce  and o c c a s i o n a l l y c o n f l i c t i n g i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  Not o n l y  are the p i e c e s to our h i s t o r i c a l p u z z l e l a r g e l y m i s s i n g , but  56  the ones we do have o f t e n do not f i t w e l l t o g e t h e r . On 17 August 1888 the Knights s t r u c k again f o r the e i g h t hour day.  R e l a t i o n s between the company and the Knights had  been u n u s u a l l y poor s i n c e a d i s a s t e r o u s f i r e i n J u l y had r e s u l t e d i n the l a y i n g - o f f o f many men and, a c c o r d i n g t o the "P-I", "placed a c r u s h i n g weight on the l a b o r e r i n g c l a s s e s . " August a t r a i n w i t h f i v e coaches a r r i v e d i n Roslyn.  On 20  In those  coaches were about f i f t y b l a c k s and f o r t y guards from the T h i e l D e t e c t i v e Agency i n P o r t l a n d .  The d e t e c t i v e s were  a p p a r e n t l y posing as U.S. Deputy M a r s h a l l s , and both the d e t e c t i v e s and the b l a c k s were h e a v i l y armed.  The s t r i k i n g  miners q u i c k l y learned t h a t the b l a c k s had been brought i n t o work i n Mine Number Three a t Roslyn.  They "hooted  the Negroes,"  but o f f e r e d no v i o l e n c e . P r e c i s e l y why the NPCC chose Roslyn t o make i t s stand a g a i n s t the Knights and why the company decided t o import b l a c k s , can o n l y be i n f e r r e d as the NPCC s records a r e not 1  a v a i l a b l e f o r study. for  the NPCC.  Roslyn d i d have some d i s t i n c t  I t was i s o l a t e d , w e l l removed from both S e a t t l e  and Spokane where the D i s t r i c t Assemblies were l o c a t e d .  o f the Knights  The l o c a l press was o f l i t t l e  Even the Post-intelligencer to  significance.  which, although g e n e r a l l y f a v o r a b l e  l a b o r , t h r i v e d on sensationalism, l a r g e l y r e s t r i c t e d the  coverage o f the events a t Roslyn t o i t s back pages. not only i s o l a t e d , but the NPR c o n t r o l l e d the r a i l it,  advantages  and thus decided who went i n and who came out.  Roslyn was worth a f i g h t .  By Washington standards  Roslyn was access t o Finally, the c o a l was  57  good, and  the NPR  None of i t s other  had made a l a r g e investment i n the  f i e l d s i n Washington were as w e l l developed.  The NPCC's d e c i s i o n to import b l a c k s as was  strikebreakers  not a d i r e c t r e a c t i o n to the 17 August s t r i k e of  Knights. years The  area.  Such a p l a n , as the OIC  would d i s c o v e r some three  l a t e r , would have taken weeks to develop and  NPCC's d e c i s i o n to use b l a c k s was  c o n t i n u a l problems i t was  implement.  i n response to  having with the Knights.  o f f i c e r s must have been aware of how been used i n breaking  the  the The  company  successfully blacks  s t r i k e s , d i v i d i n g workers, and  suppressing -labor a g i t a t i o n i n the Midwest.  had  generally  Moreover, the  o f f i c e r s of the NPCC were q u i t e adept i n d i m i n i s h i n g  labor  s o l i d a r i t y by encouraging d i s p u t e s between the Miners Union the Knights.  Adding the race f a c t o r , i t would seem, would  and be  4  an e f f e c t i v e method of making the d i v i s i o n s permanent. a l s o q u i t e l i k e l y t h a t the b l a c k s were viewed as a way costs:  It is to cut  they were h i r e d on c o n t r a c t to work eleven hour days at 5  lower wages than the white workers. The  b l a c k s were immediately p l a c e d i n Mine Number Three.  Under the d i r e c t i o n of W i l l i a m S u l l i v a n they were h e a v i l y guarded by the T h i e l d e t e c t i v e s who  took the a d d i t i o n a l p r e c a u t i o n  having  f o r t i f i c a t i o n s of l o g s , earthworks, and barbed wire  placed  i n f r o n t of the mine entrance.  miners began to c a r r y arms and  In response the  he d e t e s t e d  Semple was the use of  striking 6  a tense peace p r e v a i l e d .  At t h i s p o i n t T e r r i t o r i a l Governor Eugene Semple the d i s p u t e .  of  a supporter  of organized  entered  labor,  "Pinker tons'! i n l a b o r d i s p u t e s .  and He  was  58  a l s o convinced t h a t the T h i e l d e t e c t i v e s were impersonating Federal deputies.  Semple sent K i t t i t a s County S h e r i f f Samuel  Packwood to Roslyn to i n v e s t i g a t e .  Packwood shared Semple's  f e e l i n g s about the d e t e c t i v e s , and he had a number of them, a r r e s t e d on impersonation charges.  The charges d i d not h o l d  and the guards e v e n t u a l l y r e t u r n e d t o duty. however, J.M.  In the meantime,  Buckley, General Manager of the NPCC i n Tacoma,  had become q u i t e upset over Semple's i n t e r f e r e n c e .  He claimed  t h a t Semple had removed the company's o n l y p r o t e c t i o n from the striking  miners.  In r e t a l i a t i o n  at Roslyn and p r o h i b i t e d a l l r a i l  the NPCC c l o s e d a l l three mines t r a f f i c to the town.  Buckley  s a i d the company would h o l d K i t t i t a s County r e s p o n s i b l e f o r 7 a l l damages caused by the now  locked-out miners  and  laborers.  Semple c o n s i d e r e d the Roslyn s i t u a t i o n s e r i o u s enough t o warrant h i s p e r s o n a l a t t e n t i o n .  He a r r i v e d there on 2 8 August  and spoke t o an " o r d e r l y crowd" of workers. breaks had o c c u r r e d so there was  little  the  No v i o l e n t outTerritorial  Governor c o u l d do as he had no power to i n t e r v e n e d i r e c t l y company/labor d i s p u t e s .  J.W.  in  Hoagland, the NPCC manager a t  Roslyn, informed Semple t h a t the company would keep the mines 8 c l o s e d f o r a year r a t h e r than "submit to the miners." Hoagland's comments were somewhat h y p e r b o l i c as he  reopened  the mines f o u r days l a t e r , but the Knights r e f u s e d t o go back to work u n t i l the company d i s c h a r g e d the b l a c k s and r e c o g n i z e d the Knights as the s o l e b a r g a i n i n g agent f o r the  workers.  In response the NPCC continued to import b l a c k s to r e p l a c e striking  Knights.  I n c r e a s i n g l y , the Knights were being  supported  59  by the Miners Union and the other mine l a b o r e r s , a l l of whom had been h u r t by the l o c k - o u t and threatened by the b l a c k s i n the mines.  Suasion i n t h i s case was  the Knights threatened those workers who ranks. hostile.  effective,  were i n c l i n e d  but  t o break  T h e i r f e e l i n g s toward t h e i r employers were even more At one p o i n t they t i e d a mine superintendent t o the  t r a c k s with the hope t h a t a t r a i n would a r r i v e rescuers d i d . in  use'of  The  superintendent was  before h i s  rescued, as the saying goes, 9  the n i c k of time and p l a c e d under heavy  guard.  Both the Knights and the company were determined  to out-  l a s t the o t h e r , but the company d e f i n i t e l y had the upper hand. The NPCC o f f i c e r s were not concerned  about the new-found  s o l i d a r i t y among the white workers f o r the company had the power to break the s t r i k e , and, more important, the whites had made any p e a c e f u l o v e r t u r e s t o the b l a c k s . with h a t r e d and contempt.  Although  not  They were t r e a t e d  the Knights had the  full  support of the Spokane D i s t r i c t Assembly, they d i d not have the r e s o u r c e s t o h o l d out.  By 1 October  1888  most of the workers  were back i n the mines, and the miners were even f o r c e d t o accept a ten cent per ton wage r e d u c t i o n .  The  "worst  agitators"  were not r e h i r e d , and the b l a c k s continued to work i n Mine Number  Three.  1 0  Through the f a l l the T h i e l d e t e c t i v e s enforced an uneasy peace which c o l l a p s e d a t the onset of w i n t e r . two NPCC s u p e r i n t e n d e n t s , N.P. beaten by unknown workers. men  In l a t e r December  Williamson and Alex Roland, were  Williamson had brought  to r e p l a c e some s t r i k e r s , and Roland  i n ten  new  had been t r a n s f e r e d  60  from Mine Number Three, where he supervised another mine a t Roslyn.  the b l a c k s , t o  The men r e f u s e d t o work f o r a "nigger-  d r i v e r " and Roland s u f f e r e d the consequences. 1889  On 19 January  s i x t y workers from Roslyn descended on Cle-Elum and  threatened  t o " c l e a n out the town."  By the 22nd about four  hundred and f i f t y men were on s t r i k e demanding t h a t Roland and the b l a c k s be f i r e d .  S h e r i f f Packwood asked Semple t o send the  m i l i t i a t o Roslyn because the company was determined t o b r i n g i n more b l a c k s , and Packwood feared a r i o t . v i s i t t o Roslyn,  Semple p a i d another  but he d i d not c o n s i d e r the s i t u a t i o n  serious  enough t o warrant the expense o f c a l l i n g out the m i l i t i a .  1 1  Packwood's i n f o r m a t i o n about the company's plans was accurate.  On 25 January the NPCC f i r e d a l l i t s s t r i k i n g  employees.  The next day f o r t y - f i v e more b l a c k s a r r i v e d , and  the company announced t h a t i t would b r i n g as many Negroes as necessary t o operate a l l o f i t s mines not j u s t Number Three.  Hoagland s a i d t h a t the company was determined t o conduct  i t s business  as i t saw f i t , and the NPCC would not be bound  to any l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n . ^ 1  The  NPCC was t r u e t o i t s word.  another f i f t y b l a c k s had a r r i v e d . s t r i k e r s and the b l a c k s  By the end o f the month H o s t i l i t y between the  i n c r e a s e d , and one Negro miner was  k i l l e d as a r e s u l t o f " t r o u b l e over a woman." 1889  On 15 February  the "P-I" announced t h a t three t o four hundred  "Black  V a l e n t i n e s " , Negro mine workers and t h e i r f a m i l i e s , had a r r i v e d i n Roslyn.  The "P-I" went on t o d e s c r i b e the new a r r i v a l s as  " s e t t l e r s " , as they had come t o s e t t l e the s t r i k e between the  61  NPCC and i t s workers. "  LJ  The mine workers were d e f e a t e d and they r e a l i z e d i t .  If  need be the company was prepared t o r e p l a c e "every white miner w i t h a c o l o r e d miner,"  and the NPCC had the support o f the  parent company f o r such an undertaking. broke:  they had l i t t l e c h o i c e but t o r e t u r n t o work, i f the  company would take them, or l e a v e . left  The s t r i k e r s were  Those who c o u l d a f f o r d t o  f o r Montana; the r e s t d r i f t e d back t o the mines.  The  demands o f the miners ceased.  Union r e c o g n i t i o n was a dead  i s s u e and so were the unions.  In the next two y e a r s , when  c l a s h e s between Washington c o a l o p e r a t o r s and employees peaked, the workers i n Roslyn were s t r a n g e l y q u i e t .  They  would not be heard from again u n t i l the United Mine Workers 14  began to o r g a n i z e them a t the end o f the century. Although Roslyn was on the edge o f Washington c o a l country, the events there were s i g n i f i c a n t f o r a number o f reasons. Not o n l y were the b l a c k s f i r s t used a t Roslyn, they were used w i t h tremendous success.  I t would not be an exaggeration  to s t a t e t h a t the Knights s u f f e r e d complete  defeat.  The K n i g h t s ,  i n f a c t a l l the white s t r i k e r s , played i n t o the company's hands.  Though the use o f b l a c k s d i d reduce the s i g n i f i c a n c e  of the d i s p u t e between the Knights and the Miners Union and helped t o u n i t e a l l white workers, the b l a c k s i n t o the f o l d . the Chinese a t Newcastle made no attempt  no attempt was made t o b r i n g  S i m i l a r t o the r e a c t i o n s a g a i n s t and F r a n k l i n , the Roslyn workers  t o convince the b l a c k s what they had i n common  as workers with the s t r i k e r s .  Understandable  antagonism  62  to s t r i k e b r e a k e r s and hostility.  cheap l a b o r was  a m p l i f i e d by  racial  To the s t r i k e r s the b l a c k s were " b l a c k l e g s " i n  the most c o l o r f u l and derogatory sense of the word. Semple saw  to the heart of the matter when he  of the Roslyn i n c i d e n t to Secretary  Eugene  f i l e d his report  of the I n t e r i o r  William  Vilas: I am i n c l i n e d to t h i n k t h a t t h i s p o l i c y i s the worst f o r the negroes, themselves, f o r a general impression i s l i a b l e to be c r e a t e d there by, amongst the white l a b o r e r s , t h a t negroes can be used by c a p i t a l i s t s as i n s t r u ments to c r e a t e a r t i f i c i a l standards of wages. The i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t of t h a t would be to r a i s e up a w a l l of p r e j u d i c e between the races lb  The  w a l l of p r e j u d i c e between the races was  Roslyn, but the use of b l a c k s wall  operators  fill  i n the mines was  before  to make t h a t  stronger. Roslyn was  OIC  b u i l t long  a l s o important because other Washington c o a l  were paying a t t e n t i o n to what happened t h e r e .  Resident Manager, Hobart M c N e i l l , who of l a b o r problems i n 1888  S e a t t l e papers and example. advice  and  thought the OIC  In February 1889  1889, should  The  had more than h i s keenly read  the  f o l l o w the NPCC's  he wrote P r e s i d e n t  Smith w i t h  the  that: The N.P. Co. have a t a s t e of a good t h i n g at Roslyn. They landed two hundred and f i f t y more negroes there l a s t week.... [T]hese people have cut the knot.... [B]lack l a b o r would make every man t h a t holds on to h i s high l a b o r b a s i s f a l l i n t o the t a i l of the p r o c e s s i o n .  M c N e i l l b e l i e v e d he had of l a b o r .  found the key  to prevent combinations  In l i t t l e more than a year the OIC  a plan to import b l a c k s  to work i n i t s mines.  was  developing  63  F i n a l l y , Roslyn was  important  because the events  which  took p l a c e there were not unique to the Washington c o a l i n d u s t r y . They g e n e r a l l y r e f l e c t e d n a t i o n a l p a t t e r n s i n terms of a t t i t u d e s and operator/employee r e l a t i o n s .  racial  A b r i e f look at  the n a t i o n a l scene, which n e i t h e r i s nor i s intended to be a comprehensive a n a l y s i s , w i l l allow us to more f u l l y not only what happened at Roslyn and  l a t e r at F r a n k l i n and  Newcastle, but a l s o something of the more g e n e r a l of  these  understand  significance  events.  Negro s l a v e r y o f f i c i a l l y ended i n the United S t a t e s with the d e f e a t of the Confederacy and the amending of the C o n s t i t ution.  But two  hundred years of i n g r a i n e d r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e  c o u l d not be erased with a C o n s t i t u t i o n a l amendment. t r a d i t i o n of anti-Negro  The  p r e j u d i c e i n g e n e r a l i n the U.S.  is  17  w e l l documented and need not be d i s c u s s e d Yet, although was  accepted  the b e l i e f i n the innate i n f e r i o r i t y of b l a c k s  by most Americans, r e a c t i o n s to b l a c k s v a r i e d  considerably. in  here.  U n t i l the t w e n t i e t h century most b l a c k s  the South where they occupied the lowest rung on the  ladder, f i r s t  as s l a v e s and then as degraded c i t i z e n s .  lived social But  b l a c k s had been a p a r t of Southern l i f e almost from the beginning,  and they d i d have a p l a c e i n the South.  As Eugene  Genovese has argued, under c h a t t e l s l a v e r y an "organic s h i p " developed  between s l a v e and master.  p l a c e i n s o c i e t y , but each was  Each was  relation-  aware of h i s  dependent upon the other, and  18 owed the other c e r t a i n r e c i p r o c a l o b l i g a t i o n s .  Slavery  came to an end but many of the b e h a v i o r a l p a t t e r n s between  each  64  b l a c k s and whites remained  and,  f o r b e t t e r or worse, b l a c k s  were s t i l l very much a p a r t of Southern  life.  On the other hand, b l a c k s were almost unknown i n the Midwest and Far West i n the n i n e t e e n t h century.  Blacks had  no p l a c e i n the West and t h e i r presence, even the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r presence, e l i c i t e d much h o s t i l i t y from the white residents.  Anti-Negro p r e j u d i c e was  present e a r l y i n the Mid-  west:  b y 1804,  f o r example, Ohio had s t r i n g e n t  anti-Negro  laws.  In Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin f r e e b l a c k s were denied  the f r a n c h i s e , w h i l e Indiana and I l l i n o i s passed laws making i t illegal  f o r b l a c k s to l i v e i n these s t a t e s .  Blacks were d e s p i s e d  as a race and f e a r e d because of t h e i r p o t e n t i a l economic c o m p e t i t i o n and the h o r r i b l e s p e c t r e of miscegenation.  During  the s l a v e r y e x t e n s i o n c o n t r o v e r s y Midwesterns were s t r o n g supporters of Free S o i l , but they were not  abolitionists.  B a s i c a l l y , they wanted no b l a c k s , f r e e or s l a v e , i n t h e i r states.  C o l o n i z a t i o n of a l l b l a c k s was  abolition.  In 1860  b l a c k s accounted  more popular than  f o r b a r e l y 1% of the  Midwest p o p u l a t i o n , y e t Senator Lyman Trumble of I l l i n o i s  felt  the need to comment t h a t there " i s a g r e a t a v e r s i o n i n the West ... a g a i n s t having f r e e Negroes come among us. want nothing t o do with the Negro." the  Illinois  State  Tumble was  Our  supported  Journal:  The t r u t h i s , the n i g g e r i s an unpopular i n s t i t u t i o n i n the f r e e s t a t e s . Even those who are u n w i l l i n g to rob them of a l l the r i g h t s of humanity do not care t o be brought i n t o c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h them . . . . ., n  people by  65  The migrants from the Midwest to the P a c i f i c c o a s t brought t h e i r p r e j u d i c e s with them.  The people of Washington, Oregon,  and C a l i f o r n i a were opposed to the e x t e n s i o n of s l a v e r y , but they were not strong a b o l i t i o n i s t s , f e a r i n g t h a t f r e e Negroes might migrate to the West c o a s t .  In 1844  the p r o v i s i o n a l  government of Oregon passed a law p r o h i b i t i n g s l a v e r y w i t h i n its  borders.  The law a l s o ordered a l l s l a v e s , f r e e Negroes,  and Mulattoes out of the t e r r i t o r y w i t h i n two y e a r s . to  the law those who  floggings. proposed  In 1857  remained  would be s u b j e c t to  According  periodic  the people of Oregon were v o t i n g on a  state constitution.  They voted t o p r o h i b i t  and t o exclude a l l b l a c k s from the new  state.  slavery  In f a c t Negro  e x c l u s i o n passed by a g r e a t e r margin than the p r o h i b i t i o n of slavery.  With fewer than two hundred  b l a c k s i n the s t a t e a t  the time, Oregon had the dubious d i s t i n c t i o n of being the o n l y 20 s t a t e t o have Negro e x c l u s i o n i n i t s c o n s t i t u t i o n . In  C a l i f o r n i a blacks fared l i t t l e better.  Nominally a  f r e e s t a t e , C a l i f o r n i a Republicans and Democrats were kept busy i n the l a t e 1850's a c c u s i n g each other of " n i g g e r - l o v i n g . " In  1858  c o n d i t i o n s f o r b l a c k s i n C a l i f o r n i a became so bad  that  a group of s i x t y - f i v e , l e d by Archy Lee, emigrated t o B r i t i s h Columbia.  A few hundred  more f o l l o w e d the o r i g i n a l 21  and they were B.C. s f i r s t 1  black residents.  Although anti-Negro p r e j u d i c e i n Washington was v i r u l e n t as i n Oregon, i t s f i r s t 1853  not as  T e r r i t o r i a l Legislature i n  d i d l i m i t the f r a n c h i s e to whites.  p a r t y was  emigrants,  In 1854  a Free S o i l  o r g a n i z e d which advocated sending a l l b l a c k s , f r e e  66  or s l a v e , back to A f r i c a .  L i k e Oregon and C a l i f o r n i a ,  were few b l a c k s i n Washington  there  ( t h i r t y were l i s t e d i n the 18 60  Census), and the r e s i d e n t s were determined to keep Washington white.  N.V.  Holmes, a member of the f i r s t T e r r i t o r i a l Leg-  i s l a t u r e , o f f e r e d an o p i n i o n which was  not unpopular i n  Washington: Niggers ... should never be allowed to mingle with whites. They would amalgamate and r a i s e a most m i s e r a b l e race of human beings. If n i g g e r s are allowed to come among us and mingle with the whites, i t w i l l cause a p e r f e c t s t a t e of p o l l u t i o n . 2 2 A f t e r emancipation  a s l i g h t increase i n r a c i a l  can be d e t e c t e d , but t h i s t o l e r a t i o n was  toleration  d i s p l a y e d more by  p o l i t i c i a n s than the people  at l a r g e .  e q u a l i t y was  Since b l a c k s were t e c h n i c a l l y  not accepted.  For most Westerners  f r e e , they were f r e e to t r a v e l , and the people wanted no more b l a c k s i n t h e i r s t a t e s a f t e r than b e f o r e .  The  competition was  emancipation  f e a r of s o c i a l contamination  s t i l l widespread.  a v i a b l e o p t i o n , i f i t ever was,  of the West  and  C o l o n i z a t i o n was  economic no  longer  so Westerners demanded t h a t  the former s l a v e s remain i n the South.  As a r e s u l t of white  h o s t i l i t y and the f a c t t h a t the F e d e r a l government o f f e r e d little  a s s i s t a n c e , the g e o g r a p h i c a l m o b i l i t y of b l a c k s  was  l i m i t e d , and even by the t u r n of the century most b l a c k s 23  still •  r e s i d e d i n the South. R e f l e c t i n g the dominant n a t i o n a l and r e g i o n a l a t t i t u d e s , there was,  with some notable exceptions/  cooper.ation i n the slowly d e v e l o p i n g  little  interracial  l a b o r movement a f t e r  the  67  C i v i l War.  Both r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e and c r a f t  worked to the Negro's disadvantage.  With the founding of the  American F e d e r a t i o n of Labor i n 1881, i t s own,  but there was  workers.  exclusiveness  trade unionism  l i t t l e attempt to organize  came i n t o  black  For the most p a r t white workers accepted  the  pre-  v a i l i n g r a c i a l s t e r e o t y p e s and r e f u s e d to l e t b l a c k s i n t o locals.  P r e j u d i c e overwhelmed any  i d e a t h a t b l a c k s and  might have much i n common as workers.  economically,  whites  J u s t as important  the v a r i o u s trade p r a c t i c e s of the unions. not p o l i t i c a l l y o r i e n t e d .  their  were  Trade unions were  In order to maximize  t h e i r b a r g a i n i n g power, unions sought c o n t r o l over  competition  f o r jobs by d e f i n i n g the nature of and the s k i l l s r e q u i r e d f o r employment. on s k i l l s and  What evolved was  an e x c l u s i v e s t r u c t u r e based  long p e r i o d s of a p p r e n t i c e s h i p w i t h i n the  Blacks were l a r g e l y u n s k i l l e d workers and thus were from the s k i l l e d trade The  union.  excluded  unions.  e n t r y of b l a c k s i n t o trade unions was  by the nature of b l a c k l e a d e r s .  Men  also inhibited  l i k e W.E.B. Dubois,  who  wanted workers of a l l races to b a t t l e c a p i t a l , were i n the minority.  More common were the b e l i e f s of men  T. Washington who  l i k e Booker  c o n s i d e r e d unions u s e f u l o n l y i n a i d i n g b l a c k s  to become c a p i t a l i s t s .  While Dubois condemned the use of b l a c k s  as s t r i k e b r e a k e r s because i t destroyed  the p o s s i b i l i t y  of  i n t e r r a c i a l c o o p e r a t i o n among workers, Washington thought s t r i k e b r e a k i n g helped b l a c k s "to maintain l a b o r as f r e e men."  t h e i r ' r i g h t to  C o n f r o n t i n g a w a l l of p r e j u d i c e and  e x c l u s i v e n e s s , and not p o s s e s s i n g  sympathetic  craft  a t t i t u d e s toward  68  l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s , b l a c k l e a d e r s were not i n c l i n e d t o push 25 f o r e n t r y o f b l a c k s i n t o unions. R a c i a l p r e j u d i c e , c r a f t e x c l u s i v e n e s s , and i n d i f f e r e n t l e a d e r s i n h i b i t e d the p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f b l a c k s i n l a b o r organi z a t i o n s , but they, were not completely unrepresented.  In  some cases b l a c k s formed t h e i r own o r g a n i z a t i o n s , but, more important, they were a c t i v e l y r e c r u i t e d i n t o the Knights o f Labor and t h e i r h e i r 1886,  ( i n mining) the U n i t e d Mine Workers.  In  when the Order as a n a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n was a t i t s  peak, some s i x t y thousand were members.  b l a c k s , or roughly 9% o f a l l K n i g h t s ,  The General Assembly t h a t year was h e l d i n  Richmond V i r g i n i a and Terrence Powderly was i n t r o d u c e d by a Negro Knight.  The d e l e g a t e s , b l a c k and white, s a t s i d e by  s i d e a t the banquet t a b l e .  Powderly d e c l a r e d t h a t Negroes  were f r e e c i t i z e n s and c o u l d " c l a i m an equal share o f the 26 protection of labor." Since the Knights were anything but a t r a d e union and s i n c e they preached  the e q u a l i t y o f r a c e s , the f a c t t h a t the  Knights organized b l a c k s might seem unnoteworthy other than to s t a t e t h a t they were one o f the few groups t h a t d i d so. But when we c o n s i d e r the Knights' p o l i c i e s toward  the Chinese  and the r e a c t i o n o f the Roslyn Knights t o b l a c k mine  workers,  the above i n f o r m a t i o n seems l e s s c l e a r and c e r t a i n l y  less  consistent.  Below the s u r f a c e , however, there i s a strange  c o n s i s t e n c y t o the Knights' r a c i a l  policies.  Although i n Washington i t was d i f f i c u l t t o d e t e c t a d i f f e r ence, n a t i o n a l l y the Knights d i d not c o n s i d e r Chinese and b l a c k s  69  in  the same l i g h t .  Both Chinese and b l a c k s were o f t e n used  s t r i k e b r e a k e r s and cheap l a b o r , but the primary between the Chinese and b l a c k s was were f o r e i g n — who  as  difference  the f a c t t h a t the Chinese  they were regarded as members of a s e r v i l e race  were imported to lower the s t a t u s of the American l a b o r e r .  The e a s i e s t s o l u t i o n to the Chinese problem was t h e i r e n t r y , s i n c e i t was anyway.  to p r o h i b i t  f e l t they d i d not belong i n the  B l a c k s , on the other hand, had been i n America  as long as the o r i g i n a l European s e t t l e r s .  U.S.  almost  Though they were  t r e a t e d as second-class c i t i z e n s , they were c i t i z e n s n o n e t h e l e s s . To the Knights the o r g a n i z a t i o n of b l a c k s was  both r i g h t  and  necessary; r i g h t because b l a c k s deserved the p r o t e c t i o n of l a b o r and necessary i n order to p r o t e c t American l a b o r . not even the Knights advocated  complete  But  equality for blacks.  The Richmond General Assembly proclaimed t h a t the Knights "recognize[d] the c i v i l  and p o l i t i c a l e q u a l i t y of a l l men,"  but the Assembly a l s o cautioned t h a t the Knights had "purpose may  no  t o i n t e r f e r w i t h or d i s r u p t the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s which  e x i s t between d i f f e r e n t races i n v a r i o u s p a r t s of the  country."  Powderly added t h a t " s o c i a l e q u a l i t y " was  f o r "each  27  i n d i v i d u a l to decide f o r h i m s e l f . " Not o n l y d i d the Knights not advocate  f u l l equality for  b l a c k s , they d i d not t r y to organize a l l . b l a c k s .  They con-  c e n t r a t e d t h e i r e f f o r t s i n the South, where, granted, most b l a c k s l i v e d , but, more important, where b l a c k s were more t o l e r a t e d even i f as second c l a s s c i t i z e n s . almost no attempt  The Knights made  t o o r g a n i z e b l a c k s i n the Midwest and West  70  because they had ho support from the Western l o c a l In the West, b l a c k s were regarded  assemblies.  i n a s i m i l a r f a s h i o n as the  Chinese, a t h r e a t t o the economic and s o c i a l p o s i t i o n of white 28 workers.  The Knights d i d nothing t o change such  F i n a l l y , o r g a n i z i n g b l a c k Knights was  attitudes.  not r e a l l y very  s u c c e s s f u l beyond the number of b l a c k members.  Black Knights  were never r e a l l y accepted by t h e i r white c o u n t e r p a r t s . p o l i c y of the Knights c a l l e d f o r i n t e g r a t e d l o c a l but most were segregated, themselves  who  black l o c a l s .  Official  assemblies,  sometimes a t the behest of the b l a c k s  f e l t they c o u l d be more i n f l u e n t i a l with  all-  Many white assemblies would not accept b l d c k  members, and whites c a t e g o r i c a l l y r e f u s e d to be o r g a n i z e d by black Knights. whites  As race r e l a t i o n s d e t e r i o r a t e d i n the  l e f t the Order  i n droves.  South,  The Knights had never been  able t o a t t r a c t the few b l a c k workers of means i n t o the and  i n i t s l a s t days the Order i n the South was 29  Order/  l a r g e l y composed  of the n e e d i e s t b l a c k s . C o n s i d e r i n g the animosity towards b l a c k s and t h e i r  minimal  p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n o r g a n i z e d l a b o r , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t employers q u i c k l y d i s c o v e r e d the use of b l a c k s as an means t o promote l a b o r d i s u n i t y and  effective  impede l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s .  In c o a l mining b l a c k s were used as s t r i k e b r e a k e r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y as race r e l a t i o n s d e t e r i o r a t e d i n the l a t t e r p a r t of the c e n t u r y . In the e a r l y 1870's b l a c k mine workers broke s t r i k e s i n I l l i n o i s , Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio. imported  In l a t e 1874  Ohio c o a l o p e r a t o r s  s e v e r a l hundred b l a c k s from the South and border s t a t e s  to break a long and b i t t e r s t r i k e c a l l e d by the Hocking  Valley  71  Miners' N a t i o n a l A s s o c i a t i o n  (MNA).  The  b l a c k s were ushered  i n with armed guards and  i n a few weeks the s t r i k e  and w i t h i t the MNA,  of the e a r l i e s t " n a t i o n a l " mining  unions.  one  collapsed  Into the v o i d c r e a t e d by the demise of the MNA  the Knights who  came  were b e t t e r o r g a n i z e r s , but they s t i l l  faced 3 0  the problem of r a c i a l l y and  e t h n i c a l l y d i v i d e d workers.  Blacks were hot always used as s t r i k e b r e a k e r s .  As  regular  employees, but u s u a l l y working f o r lower wages, b l a c k s were o f t e n mixed w i t h other the l a b o r f o r c e .  e t h n i c groups i n order  T h i s was  to fragment  a common p a t t e r n i n the Midwest  where thousands of East Europeans were imported under c o n t r a c t to work the mines of Pennsylvania.  S u c c e s s f u l mixing of  blacks,  31  Hungarians and On  I t a l i a n s kept the workers d i v i d e d .  a grander s c a l e , as Herbert Gutman has  noted, the r a p i d  growth of a n a t i o n a l t r a n s p o r t a t i o n system, a f t e r the War  Civil  aided the development of not only a n a t i o n a l market  also a n a t i o n a l labor force.  but  Employers were o f t e n remarkably  s u c c e s s f u l i n r e c o n s t r u c t i n g the l a b o r f o r c e to make i t more e f f i c i e n t and more d o c i l e .  I r r i t a t i n g l o c a l v a r i a t i o n s were  smoothed out by i n t r o d u c i n g  "'alien'  the l o c a l economic and  i n s t i t u t i o n s t h a t reshaped  s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e to t h e i r  [the employers']  32 needs. " In Washington b l a c k s were d e f i n i t e l y considered t h e i r use  i n the c o a l mines there b a s i c a l l y followed  of the Midwest.  alien the  They were imported from the South and  u s u a l l y under c o n t r a c t , f o r use p a i d r e g u l a r employees.  and pattern  Midwest,  as both s t r i k e b r e a k e r s and  T h e i r use  as r e g u l a r employees  was  low-  72  p a r t i c u l a r l y emphasized i n Washington s i n c e the white l a b o r f o r c e was more homogeneous and thus had more p o t e n t i a l f o r solidarity.  F u r t h e r , Washington c o a l o p e r a t o r s were u n u s u a l l y  concerned about c o s t s and i t " was f e l t t h a t the use of b l a c k s would not only i n i t i a l l y  lower c o s t s but would a l s o keep a l i d  on the wage demands of the white workers. But  the use of b l a c k s at Roslyn and l a t e r a t F r a n k l i n and  Newcastle has an a d d i t i o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . i n d u s t r y i n Washington was of l i t t l e c a s t l e c o u l d not compare vania.  N a t i o n a l l y the c o a l  importance.  Even New-  t o the bituminous mines of Pennsyl-  Yet the p r a c t i c e s of the Washington c o a l o p e r a t o r s are  important f o r they show the i n t e g r a t i o n of Washington i n t o the n a t i o n a l system.  No longer i s i t accurate to speak o f the w i l d  f r o n t i e r w i t h each i n d i v i d u a l l i v i n g h i s l i f e p e r s o n a l whim and i n i t i a t i v e . so  a c c o r d i n g to  As n a t i o n a l markets developed  d i d n a t i o n a l p o l i c i e s , the p o l i c i e s o f i n t e g r a t e d  tions.  corpora-  There were l o c a l v a r i a t i o n s i n Washington, but they were  v a r i a t i o n s from a p a t t e r n and not something fundamentally different. In the  order t o s u c c e s s f u l l y c o n f r o n t what they regarded as  h o s t i l e p r a c t i c e s o f t h e i r employers, Washington c o a l mine  workers had to a c t i n a s i m i l a r manner. whims and p r e j u d i c e s had t o be overcome.  Extreme p e r s o n a l The workers needed a  common p o l i c y and u n i t y i n f r o n t of t h e i r employers.  I f blacks  were i n s t a l l e d i n the mines, then i t was necessary t o suppress r a c i a l animosity, f o r the mine workers needed t o understand what they, b l a c k s and whites, had i n common as workers.  Con-  73  sidering the dominant attitudes in the nation and the West, the suppression of racial animosity would have required heroic, perhaps super-human efforts.  In the end, somewhat ironically,  the only unity that the white workers could establish was a j \ . common hatred of blacks.  74  NOTES  1.  The most r e l i a b l e p u b l i s h e d account of the t r o u b l e a t - Roslyn i s A l a n Hynding's "The C o a l Miners of Washington Labor T r o u b l e s 1888-1889." A s i m i l a r v e r s i o n of t h i s a r t i c l e appears i n Hynding's The P u b l i c L i f e o f Eugene Semple ( S e a t t l e 1973), pp. 97-113. The S e a t t l e newspapers are s t i l l the best sources but Semple's r e p o r t to S e c r e t a r y of the I n t e r i o r W i l l i a m V i l a s . i s a l s o v a l u a b l e . See Annual Report o f the S e c r e t a r y o f the I n t e r i o r 1888 (Washington, 1889) I I I , pp. 913-917. See a l s o M i n e r a l Resources of the United S t a t e s 1887, p. 371; 1888, p. 381.  2.  Hynding, "The Coal Miners of Washington," p. 222.  3.  I b i d , pp. 222-223. See a l s o F r e d e r i c k Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Industry," pp. 57-58; Powderly, T h i r t y Years of Labor, p. 341; S e a t t l e D a i l y Press-Times, 24-26 May, 1888. Even by Washington standards the workers a t Roslyn were w e l l p a i d . Miners earned $1.15 per ton which o f t e n averaged to over $4.00 per day w h i l e i n s i d e and outs i d e l a b o r e r s earned between $2.25-$3.25 per day. See S e a t t l e P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 23 January 1889.  4.  Post-Intelligencer,  5.  I b i d , 21 August 1888;  6.  Hynding, "The Coal Miners :of/Washington," p. 225; P o s t I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 22, 23 August 1888.  7.  Post-Intelligencer,  8.  I b i d , 30 August 1888. Semple d i d see t o i t however t h a t the new s t a t e c o n s t i t u t i o n allowed the l e g i s l a t u r e to p r o h i b i t the employment of "an armed body o f men" by p r i v a t e corporations. See Hynding, "The Coal Mines o f Washington," p. 227.  9.  Hynding, "The C o a l Miners,of Washington," p. 226; I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 9, 16 September 1888.  10. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  25 J u l y 1888,  21 August  1888.  D a i l y Press-Times, 21 August  26, 28 August  1888.  1888.  26, 28 September  Post-  1888.  11. Hynding, "The Coal Miners of Washington," p. 231; P o s t I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 22, 23, 30 January 1889, 30 December 1888. 12. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  26, 27, 31 January 1889.  13. I b i d , 29," 31 January 1889, 15 February 1889.  75  14. I b i d , 14-16  February 1889.  15. Annual Report o f the S e c r e t a r y of the I n t e r i o r 1888, I I I , p. 893. 16. M c N e i l l to E. Smith, 20 February 1889, OIC Records  46:9.  17. Though there are many o t h e r s , three books s t r i k e me as e s s e n t i a l t o understand the o r i g i n s of American racism: Winthrop Jordan, White Over Black (Chapel H i l l , 1968); Edmund Morgan, American S l a v e r y , American Freedom (New York, 1975); George M. F r e d r i c k s o n , The Black Image i n the White Mind (New York, 1971). 18. Eugene Genovese, R o l l Jordan R o l l : Made (New York, 197 4).  The World the Slaves  19. Trumble and the I l l i n o i s State J o u r n a l are quoted from V. Jacques V o e g e l i , Free But Not E q u a l : The Midwest and the Negro During the C i v i l War (Chicago: 1967), pp. 18, 28. See a l s o pp. 1-5, 14-18; and George F r e d r i c k s o n , The Black Image, pp. 137-157. 20. Eugene Berwanger, The F r o n t i e r A g a i n s t S l a v e r y : Western . Anti-Negro P r e j u d i c e and the S l a v e r y E x t e n s i o n Controversy (Chicago, 1967), pp. 80-81, 93-95. The vote on s l a v e r y was 7,727 i n favor of p r o h i b i t i o n and 2,645 to a l l o w s l a v e r y . On Negro e x c l u s i o n 8,601 voted i n f a v o r of e x c l u s i o n w h i l e 1,081 were a g a i n s t e x c l u s i o n . See a l s o D.G. H i l l , "The Negroes as a P o l i t i c a l and S o c i a l Issue i n the Oregon Country," J o u r n a l of Negro H i s t o r y 13 (July 1928): pp. 255-264; R. A l t o n Lee, "Slavery and the Oregon T e r r i t o r y , " P a c i f i c Northwest Q u a r t e r l y 64 (July 1973): pp. 112-119; T.W. Davenport, "The S l a v e r y Question i n Oregon," Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y 9 (March, December 1908): pp. 189-153, 309-373. 21. G e r a l d S t a n l e y , "Racism and the E a r l y Republican P a r t y , " P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Review 43 (1974): pp. 171-187; F.W. Howay, "The Negro Immigration Into Vancouver I s l a n d , " B r i t i s h Columbia H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y 3 ( A p r i l 1939): pp. 101-113; Luther Spoehr, "Sambo and the Heathen Chinee: C a l i f o r n i a n s R a c i a l Stereotypes i n the Late 1870's," P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Review 42 (1973): pp. 185-204. 1  22. Berwanger, The F r o n t i e r A g a i n s t S l a v e r y , pp. 84-87. See a l s o Robert W. Johannsen F r o n t i e r P o l i t i c s and the S e c t i o n a l C o n f l i c t ( S e a t t l e , 1955) pp. 20-24, 28-47. The Appendix of t h i s paper shows t h a t b l a c k s never accounted f o r even 1% o f the p o p u l a t i o n o f Washington from 1860-1900. These f i g u r e s , however, should be regarded w i t h c a u t i o n . Joanne W. Bleeg has done a d e t a i l e d study of the Manuscript Census for Washington 1860-1880, and she d i s c o v e r e d t h a t the  76  p u b l i s h e d f i g u r e s do not always a c c u r a t e l y p o r t r a y the manuscript f i g u r e s . But, a c c o r d i n g to Wagner, the census t a k e r s u s u a l l y over-estimated the number of b l a c k s i n Washington. See "Black People i n the T e r r i t o r y of Washi n g t o n , " (M.A. t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of Washington, 1970). 23. J . V o e g e l i , Free But Not E q u a l , pp. 167-172, 176-177; Department of Commerce. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Negro P o p u l a t i o n o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s , 1790-1915 (Washington: G.P.O., 1918. r e p r i n t e d ed. New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, 1968), p. 33; Lawrence B. deGraaf, "Recogn i t i o n , Racism, and R e f l e c t i o n s on W r i t i n g Western Black H i s t o r y , " P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Review 44 (1975): pp. 39-41. 24. Marc Karson and Ronald Radosh, "The American F e d e r a t i o n of Labor and the Negro Worker," i n J u l i u s Jacobson, The Negro and the American Labor Movement (Garden C i t y , 1968), pp. 155-187; Saxton, The I n d i s p e n s i b l e Enemy, p. 269. 25. August Meir and E l l i o t Rudwick, " A t t i t u d e s o f Negro Leaders Toward the American Labor Movement," i n Jacobson, The Negro and the American Labor Movement, pp. 27-48. Booker Washington quoted p. 41. 26. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r 12 October 1886; Powderly, T h i r t y Years of Labor, pp. 350, 349-353; Meir and Rudwick, " A t t i t u d e s of Negro Leaders t o the American Labor Movement," pp. 33-34. The U n i t e d Mine Workers are, f o r the most p a r t , beyond the scope of t h i s paper. On b l a c k s i n the UMW see Herbert Gutman, "The Negro and the U n i t e d Mine Workers," i n Jacobson, The Negro and the American Labor Movement, pp. 49-127. Gutman p r e s e n t s a r a t h e r o p t i m i s t i c view of i n t e r r a c i a l _ c o o p e r a t i o n In the UMW, and I t h i n k he r e l i e s too h e a v i l y on the a t t i t u d e s of the UMW l e a d e r s . Often the UMW members were anything but t o l e r a n t of b l a c k s . See Darold T. Barnum, The Negro i n the Bituminous C o a l Mining Industry ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1970), pp. 19-24. 27. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 12, 16 October 1886; Kenneth Kahn, "The Knights of Labor and the Southern Black Worker," Labor H i s t o r y 18 (Winter 1977): p. 68. 28. Kenneth Kahn, "The Knights o f Labor and the Southern Black Worker," pp. 69-70; Melton A. McLaurin, "The R a c i a l P o l i c i e s of the Knights of Labor and the O r g a n i z a t i o n of Southern Black Workers," Labor H i s t o r y 17 ( F a l l 1976): pp. 568-585; W i l l i a m A. Rogers, "Negro Knights i n Arkansas," Labor H i s t o r y 10 (Summer 1969): pp. 498-506. 29. McLaurin, "The R a c i a l P o l i c i e s o f the Knights of Labor," pp. 579-585; Kahn, "The Knights of Labor and the Southern Black Worker," p. 57. Sidney K e s s l e r i s more o p t i m i s t i c about b l a c k Knights than the above authors, but he does  77  admit t h a t most b l a c k Knights met with h o s t i l i t y . See "The O r g a n i z a t i o n of Negroes i n the Knights of Labor," J o u r n a l of Negro H i s t o r y 37 (July 1952): pp. 248-276. 30. Herbert Gutman, " R e c o n s t r u c t i o n i n Ohio: Negroes and the Hocking V a l l e y Coal Mines i n 1873-1874," Labor H i s t o r y 3 ( F a l l 1962): pp. 243-264; Gutman, "The Negro and the U n i t e d Mine Workers," pp. 49, 64-65, 98-104; Barnum, The Negro In the Bituminous Coal Mining Industry, p. 19; Ware, The Labor Movement i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s , pp. 210-211. 31. P o s t - i n t e l l i g e n c e r , 22 A p r i l  1891.  32. Gutman, " R e c o n s t r u c t i o n i n Ohio,"  pp.  263-264.  78  CHAPTER IV THE  DEFEAT OF THE  Throughout i t s s i x t e e n - y e a r  MINE WORKERS  life  span, the  financial  p o s i t i o n of the Oregon Improvement Company remained In 1891  the OIC  decided  precarious.  to f o l l o w the example of the Northern  P a c i f i c Coal Company at Roslyn.  Negro workers were imported  under c o n t r a c t to work i n the F r a n k l i n and Newcastle mines. With b l a c k l a b o r the OIC  managers f e l t they c o u l d operate  t h e i r mines more economically  and more e f f i c i e n t l y .  were p a i d l e s s than t h e i r white c o u n t e r p a r t s i t was  fit, The  allow the company to operate i t s business  without any  i n t e r f e r e n c e from l a b o r  complete  Although some attempt  made to persuade the b l a c k s to p e a c e f u l l y depart,  animosity  and  and  I n i t i a t e d by the Knights of Labor, the  t o r y s t r i k e of the white workers f a i l e d and  labor  retalia-  organizations  from Washington c o a l mines f o r over a decade.  In e a r l y 1890  i t seemed u n l i k e l y t h a t the OIC  would r e q u i r e  the d r a s t i c measures adopted by the NPCC to d e a l with problems.  racial  h o s t i l i t y to cheap l a b o r kept the b l a c k s  whites .divided.  disappeared  as i t  organizations.  OIC's use of b l a c k labor p r e c i p i t a t e d the  d e f e a t of the mine workers i n Washington. was  more important,  b e l i e v e d t h a t the f a c t o r of race would keep the workers  d i v i d e d and saw  and,  Blacks  The  Knights were completely  s t r i k e of 1889, February 1890  and  a bill  labor  d i s o r g a n i z e d a f t e r the  the year c l o s e d q u i e t l y at the mines. came before  In  the s t a t e l e g i s l a t u r e which  79  would have e s t a b l i s h e d s t r i n g e n t v e n t i l a t i o n and in  the c o a l mines.  The  but the c o a l operators According  to  Knights s t r o n g l y supported the managed to have i t narrowly  Though l a b o r was  causing  have p r e s s i n g problems.  the b i l l  I am  afraid  According  $825.00.  He d i d  few d i f f i c u l t i e s ,  the OIC  did  from the previous  year.  the c o n d i t i o n of the F r a n k l i n mine. and  McNeill  E l i j a h Smith t h a t , " F r a n k l i n i s bad  ... Discouraging  never shown a p r o f i t ,  i t s u f f e r e d from a weak r o o f , h i g h l y p i t c h e d c o a l beds, explosions.  s a l v a t i o n f o r the company was repeatedly success.  t r i e d to a c q u i r e  M c N e i l l b e l i e v e d t h a t the  to f i n d a " b e t t e r product."  c o a l f i e l d s i n B.C.  A b e t t e r product was  to  i s h a r d l y a strong enough  to M c N e i l l , F r a n k l i n had  c o n t i n u a l f i r e s and  not  1  slope c o u l d not be e x t i n g u i s h e d ,  complained to P r e s i d e n t  and  used.  p r o f i t s dropped more than 30%  A f i r e i n the new  word."  was  I t s stock began to d e c l i n e i n e a r l y  Worse f o r the company was  the core,  defeated. 1  s t a t e f o r what purpose the money was  and  bill,  Resident Manager Hobart M c N e i l l , the O I C s pro-  p o r t i o n of the c o s t to d e f e a t  1889,  s a f e t y codes  not to be  but w i t h  and only He  no  found so the company 2  had  to f i n d a way By mid  1890  Receivership.  to operate i t s mines more  economically.  i t seemed l i k e l y t h a t the OIC  would go  S e a t t l e Resident Manager M c N e i l l accused  F r a n c i s c o General Manager John Howard of being and at  Charles  Tempers f l a r e d and  to mine c o a l  p e r s o n a l i t i e s clashed.  J . Smith, another of the u b i q u i t o u s  OIC  managers, 3  threatened  San  a poor businessman,  Howard countered t h a t M c N e i l l d i d not know how reasonable c o s t s .  into  to q u i t unless he got M c N e i l l ' s  job.  80  What averted  d i s a s t e r f o r the OIC  was  a "fierce strike" in  the c o a l f i e l d s of A u s t r a l i a i n September 1890. was  suddenly i n demand i n San  regained  t h e i r confidence.  F r a n c i s c o , and  Charles  s a i d s i n c e the market was  E l i j a h Smith i n September  Smith t o l d the P r e s i d e n t  be r e s i s t e d , and  the best  tance would be to "change the work f o r c e . " problems, C h a r l e s such d i s p u t e s .  officers  good, the workers would more than  l i k e l y demand a wage i n c r e a s e . t h e i r demands should  the OIC  Smith, t r y i n g to stay a  step ahead of M c N e i l l , wrote P r e s i d e n t and  Washington c o a l  form of  T i r e d of  Smith wanted a "permanent and  Although he d i d not  resis-  labor  f i n a l ending" to  s p e c i f y the c o l o r of  proposed work f o r c e at t h i s time, he was  that  w e l l aware t h a t  the McNeill 4  had  advocated the use  of b l a c k s  s i n c e the s t r i k e at Roslyn.  Smith's concern about wage demands was October 1890 asked  the Knights at F r a n k l i n , Newcastle, and  f o r a 15%  requested 25%. other  considered  On  7  Gilman  i n c r e a s e , while the Black Diamond workers P r o v i d i n g the OIC  companies, C.J.  demands and  justified.  could get the support of  Smith f e l t the OIC  should  r e s i s t the  i n s t a l l Negroes "at once" at F r a n k l i n . . t h i s plan  " s u i c i d a l " because none of the  the new  John Howard other  companies were w i l l i n g to r i s k a s t r i k e w i t h business so good. Howard suggested t h a t the OIC opportunities later."  f o r p r o f i t and  OIC  present  arrange a programme f o r f i g h t i n g  5  A compromise was The  "take advantage of  followed  demands, but  reached between Howard and C.J.  the other  companies and  i n November 1890  Smith.  acceded to the wage  the company c l o s e d the F r a n k l i n  81  mine, keeping slope.  only t w e n t y - f i v e men t o b u i l d y e t another  When the slope was completed, Smith planned  i n three hundred b l a c k s t o work i n the mine. i m p o r t a t i o n o f b l a c k s would be expensive, the OIC planned  new  to bring  I n i t i a l l y the  and t o pay the c o s t  t o d r a s t i c a l l y i n c r e a s e c o a l p r i c e s , deduct  t r a v e l expenses from the Negroes' s a l a r i e s , and t o e s t a b l i s h a support  fund with the other companies f o r the "pioneer  e f f o r t " o f the OIC.  In the long run Smith c a l c u l a t e d t h a t the  use o f b l a c k s would reduce c o s t s n e a r l y 25%.^ The market i n l a t e 1890 belonged t o the s e l l e r s f o r a change, and i n l e s s than three weeks the OIC boosted  the p r i c e  of i t s best c o a l n e a r l y 2 0% and. blamed the i n c r e a s e on the wage demands o f the workers. three times  In t o t a l the OIC i n c r e a s e d i t s p r i c e s  i n l e s s than two months and screened  c o a l jumped  from $6.50 per ton t o $11.00 per t o n . When q u e r i e d by the l o c a l press about the sharp i n c r e a s e , M c N e i l l r e p l i e d : To pay them [the workers] the 15% more as we have done on t h e i r demand, was simple c h a r i t y . Now benevolence i s the n o b l e s t occupation i n which a human being can engage; and I don't see how the OIC can i n good conscience be s e l f i s h enough t o c a r r y on the whole o f t h i s scheme o f b e n e f a c t i o n . We s h a l l have t o l e t the g e n e r a l p u b l i c help us.^ M c N e i l l and the other OIC o f f i c e r s were l e s s  flippant  when the A u s t r a l i a n s t r i k e ended i n November and the company was s t i l l  saddled with debts.  By l a t e November the OIC was  faced with "a small army" of c r e d i t o r s , and John Howard s a i d i t looked l i k e  "breakers  ahead f o r the company."  The OIC was  unable t o meet i t s payments and on 27 November 1890 Joseph  82  Simon, one o f the o r i g i n a l founders o f the company, was appointed Receiver by the U.S. C i r c u i t Court f o r the D i s t r i c t o f Oregon and the U.S. C i r c u i t Court f o r the D i s t r i c t o f Washington. In December Simon r e p o r t e d t h a t $237,000 i n s u i t s and attachments 8 had been i n s t i t u t e d a g a i n s t the company. For the moment the matter o f b l a c k workers was dropped as the OIC was most concerned about r e o r g a n i z i n g .  A number  of o f f i c e r s l e f t the company i n c l u d i n g Hobart M c N e i l l and P r e s i d e n t E l i j a h Smith.  In New York W i l l i a m Starbuck became  the new P r e s i d e n t and C h a r l e s Smith, as expected, r e p l a c e d M c N e i l l i n S e a t t l e as Resident Manager.  By mid January 1891  the OIC appeared t o be back on i t s f e e t , though few changes, 9 other f a c e s , had a c t u a l l y o c c u r r e d . With r e c o v e r y the t o p i c o f b l a c k workers again became prominent.  Both C h a r l e s Smith and M c N e i l l had advocated the  use o f b l a c k s i n the mines, and upon l e a v i n g the OIC, M c N e i l l formed a company which o f f e r e d t o l e a s e mines and produce c o a l at a f i x e d p r i c e .  To keep c o s t s down M c N e i l l intended t o use  b l a c k workers, and he attempted t o i n t e r e s t the OIC i n h i s scheme.  But C.J. Smith, s t i l l wary o f the b o i s t e r o u s M c N e i l l ,  claimed t h a t i t would be cheaper f o r the OIC t o employ i t s own b l a c k work f o r c e , and he persuaded the New York d i r e c t o r s to d i s r e g a r d M c N e i l l ' s  offer.  1 0  P r e c i s e l y why the OIC wanted b l a c k s i n i t s mines became c l e a r i n January 1891.  During the A u s t r a l i a n c o a l s t r i k e the  Knights had enjoyed a h e a l t h y r e c o v e r y a t Newcastle, f o r i t was the Knights and not the Miners Union who had demanded  83  and won  a wage i n c r e a s e .  oblivion.  But s t i l l  The Miners Union slowly faded  a f r a i d of company "pets", the  demanded t h a t the OIC  into  Knights  employ only Knights i n i t s mines.  To  show t h e i r d e t e r m i n a t i o n , and no doubt t h e i r renewed s t r e n g t h , they threatened to s t r i k e .  In response  C h a r l e s Smith f i r e d  " s i x t y of the worst a g i t a t o r s " and r e p l a c e d them w i t h nonunion men.  He  immediately  informed  P r e s i d e n t Starbuck  that  these problems c o u l d be avoided w i t h the use of b l a c k s .  Not  o n l y would the mines be operated more economically, but a mixed l a b o r f o r c e would keep the workers d i v i d e d and allow the company to h i r e and  f i r e whom i t pleased without i n t e r f e r e n c e  from organized l a b o r . less.  To C h a r l e s Smith the p l a n seemed f a u l t -  Blacks would work f o r lower wages than whites, and  animosity would prevent b l a c k s and whites  racial  from c o o p e r a t i n g  a g a i n s t the company. P r e s i d e n t Starbuck  approved of the use of b l a c k s i n the  mines, but the E x e c u t i v e Committee i n New to g i v e i t s a p p r o v a l .  The  York was r e l u c t a n t  committee d i s l i k e d the  initial  expense of importing b l a c k s , and the members f e a r e d a h o s t i l e and bloody r e a c t i o n from the white workers.  At the time of  t h i s d i s c u s s i o n Negro s t r i k e b r e a k e r s i n the c o a l mines of Alabama were being a t t a c k e d and k i l l e d . Committee was  concerned  t h a t i t might be opening 12  Box  No doubt the E x e c u t i v e a Pandora's  1  by u s i n g b l a c k s i n the mines. Noting the r e l u c t a n c e i n New  York, T.B.  Corey, OIC  intendent of Mines i n S e a t t l e , o f f e r e d another p l a n . suggested  t h a t the OIC  f o r c e the miners,  the r e a l  SuperHe  troublemakers,  84  to  submit  t o an I r o n c l a d C o n t r a c t .  q u i c k l y agreed t o Corey's  The E x e c u t i v e Committee  p l a n , and a c o n t r a c t was  given to  13 the miners i n March The 15% and  1891.  c o n t r a c t was  indeed an i r o n c l a d one.  s e t tough p r o d u c t i o n quotas  quota was  not met,  I t reduced wages  f o r miners.  then the company c o u l d p l a c e more men  the miner's b r e a s t , and a t the miner's expense. was  I f a miner's  allowed to "stop work, j o i n i n any  Work had to begin at 7:00 d u r i n g working hours.  A.M.,  in  No miner  ' s t r i k e ' or  combination."  and no meetings were p e r m i t t e d  A l l g r i e v a n c e s were t o be s e t t l e d  by  the p i t - b o s s or superintendent, and employees were not to interfere pleased.  w i t h the company's r i g h t t o h i r e and f i r e whom i t Discharge was  without n o t i c e , and a terminated miner  had to vacate h i s company house b e f o r e he r e c e i v e d h i s  final  paycheck. Any v i o l a t i o n of the c o n t r a c t would r e s u l t i n l o s s 14 of wages. I f accepted, the c o n t r a c t would have served a purpose s i m i l a r t o the use of b l a c k workers.  The company would be  able to operate i t s mines more e c o n o m i c a l l y and i n t e r f e r e n c e from' i t s employees. and not p a r t of any his  without  The employee, as an  l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n , was  l a b o r a t a r a t e f i x e d by the company.  individual  allowed t o s e l l He c o u l d accept  what the company o f f e r e d or he c o u l d r e j e c t i t and seek other employment. The OIC  He had no say i n the o p e r a t i o n of the b u s i n e s s .  had had  its fill  of c o n t i n u a l wage demands, i n t e r -  union d i s p u t e s , and m i l i t a n t Knights who company how  to run i t s b u s i n e s s .  wanted t o t e l l  the  85  On 30 March 1891 the miners and mine l a b o r e r s o f Newcastle, most o f whom were Knights, h e l d a meeting which was immediately was  and unanimously  t o d i s c u s s the c o n t r a c t  rejected.  A committee  e s t a b l i s h e d t o o f f e r a counter p r o p o s a l t o t h e OIC.  Since  the market was poor, the Knights accepted t h e 15% r e d u c t i o n , but they wanted wages t i e d t o a s l i d i n g s c a l e . of  As t h e p r i c e  c o a l v a r i e d so would wages, but they would never f a l l below  a s e t minimum. any stoppage  The Knights agreed t o g i v e ten days n o t i c e f o r  o f work, i n c l u d i n g a s t r i k e .  In s l a c k  miners were t o be allowed t o share work t o minimize and s p e c i a l p r i v i l e g e s f o r company f a v o r i t e s .  times lay-offs  Grievances were  to be s e t t l e d by a mine committee e q u a l l y composed o f Knights and company r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  I f the committee c o u l d n o t s e t t l e  the g r i e v a n c e , i t would go b e f o r e the E x e c u t i v e board o f the Knights i n S e a t t l e .  A l l d i s c h a r g e s had t o be approved  by an a r b i t r a t i o n board, again composed e q u a l l y o f Knights and company r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . which  "Under proper  conditions,"  were l e f t undefined, the company was allowed t o h i r e  whom i t p l e a s e d . ^ 1  The two p r o p o s a l s were p o l e s a p a r t , which i s understandable s i n c e the OIC and the Knights had opposing p r i o r i t i e s .  The  company wanted t o run i t s b u s i n e s s cheaply and e f f i c i e n t l y , without i n t e r f e r e n c e from i t s employees.  On the other hand,  a f t e r repeated attempts by the OIC t o d e s t r o y the Knights w i t h use o f b l a c k l i s t s ,  lockouts, discriminatory  hiring,  company s p i e s , " P i n k e r t o n s " , and cheap l a b o r , the Knights f e l t they had t o have some say i n the d a i l y o p e r a t i o n o f the  86  business  i n order to p r o t e c t themselves i n p a r t i c u l a r and a l l  employees i n g e n e r a l .  The  Knights  t o l d Superintendent  Corey  t h a t the company would run the mines, but the workers had be p r o t e c t e d from the company's economy and State E x e c u t i v e board of the Knights response to the OIC.  The  efficiency.  to The  approved of the Newcastle  board s t a t e d t h a t the I r o n c l a d c o n t r a c t  would r e s u l t i n "a v i r t u a l s u r r e n d e r i n g of i n d i v i d u a l i t y to. the company" and would c r e a t e a "system of bondage equal i f 16 not worse than c h a t t e l s l a v e r y . " Quite l i k e l y the OIC accepted  by the workers.  never intended The  company d i d not d i s c u s s the con-  t r a c t with the other o p e r a t o r s , and had OIC  i t been accepted,  would have l o s t many good workers to companies with  s t r i n g e n t working c o n d i t i o n s . then Charles he had was  to have the c o n t r a c t  Smith.could  But  argue to the New  done a l l he c o u l d , and now  to import  i f the c o n t r a c t was  the  less rejected,  York d i r e c t o r s t h a t  the only a l t e r n a t i v e  b l a c k mine workers.  A f t e r only twelve miners could be persuaded to s i g n the c o n t r a c t , the OIC"withdrew i t and T.B. r e s i g n e d and went E a s t .  Corey  mysteriously  A c t u a l l y he had not r e s i g n e d at a l l .  F u l l y aware t h a t the c o n t r a c t would be r e j e c t e d , Corey cons t r u c t e d an e l a b o r a t e p l a n to q u i c k l y gather b l a c k workers. With the r e j e c t i o n of the c o n t r a c t the E x e c u t i v e gave i t s approval  Committee  to use b l a c k s , and Corey immediately  f o r Iowa, I l l i n o i s ,  Indiana,  and M i s s o u r i .  p u b l i s h e d the f o l l o w i n g n o t i c e :  departed  In St. L o u i s  he  87  500 c o l o r e d c o a l m i n e r s and l a b o r e r s f o r i n s i d e and o u t s i d e work Good wages w i l l be p a i d above men. Steadywork f o r t h r e e y e a r s . No s t r i k e o r t r o u b l e o f any k i n d . The f i n e s t c o u n t r y on e a r t h . ^ Back i n W a s h i n g t o n when T h i e l  detectives  appeared  common rumour f l o a t i n g went E a s t but  i t was  to hire  t h e mine w o r k e r s  at Newcastle  s i x h u n d r e d m i n e r s who  not u n t i l  e a r l y May  that  hundred  blacks,  including  M i n n e s o t a on t h e NPR.  would  t h e new  offered  had  signed  workers  A  Corey contract,  Knights  learned  were t o be  1891  over  four left  t o h i r e more  St. Paul  family  t o C o r e y and t h e OIC They were a new,  these improved  both miners  similar  to the  i n March e x c e p t t h e  and one  blacks  t h a n t h e w h i t e s were o f f e r e d .  a mine w o r k e r s ' m e e t i n g was The mine w o r k e r s  held  On  at the Knights of Labor  denounced  c o u l d n o t d e c i d e what t o do a b o u t t h e r a p i d l y  t h e OIC,  but they  approaching  workers. ^ 1  The  front  page o f t h e Post-Intelligencer  d o u b l e h e a d l i n e on Sunday 17 May "OIC  the  children,  a three year contract  15-25% l e s s  i n Seattle.  13 May  The b l a c k w o r k e r s ,  to the Newcastle miners  were t o be p a i d 15 May  and  workers.  and permanent work f o r c e . laborers  on  C o r e y had hoped  b l a c k s were n o t t e m p o r a r y  black  that  sign  the Newcastle  f i f t y women and  They were more s t a b l e ,  Hall  and F r a n k l i n .  1 8  C o r e y ' s p l a n went s m o o t h l y ;  men.  suspicious  a r o u n d t h e m i n i n g towns was  from the S t . L o u i s K n i g h t s t h a t black.  became  Colonizing  t h a t morning  1891  had —  "The  Black Train,"  I t s Camps w i t h N o n - U n i o n L a b o r . "  an NPR  a huge  Very  early  t r a i n w i t h t e n c o a c h e s , a baggage c a r , and  88  a caboose a r r i v e d at Palmer, some three m i l e s from F r a n k l i n . The white workers knew t h a t the b l a c k s were a r r i v i n g t h a t day,  but they mistakenly  assumed t h a t the b l a c k s would go to  Newcastle, and t h e r e a l a r g e crowd had gathered.  Under the  guard of the T h i e l d e t e c t i v e s , the b l a c k s walked to F r a n k l i n , a r r i v i n g t h e r e about 6:00 town was  nearly deserted.  A.M.  Since the mines were c l o s e d the  A dozen people watched the b l a c k s  walk i n t o town and one woman shouted, "Look a t the Nigger Soon a f t e r they a r r i v e d , the guards strung a barbed-wire around the mine b u i l d i n g s and the negro q u a r t e r s .  common meeting p l a c e , was  The  fence  Franklin's  main s t r e e t became a " d e a d l i n e " and no unauthorized were permitted w i t h i n the compound.  slaves."  whites  s c h o o l playground,  a  fenced o f f , and one hundred white  f i f t y b l a c k guards enforced the peace.  The  and  next day the F r a n k l i n  mine opened f o r the f i r s t time i n over s i x months. the b l a c k s were not s t r i k e b r e a k e r s as the OIC  had  Technically, discharged  p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of i t s F r a n k l i n employees when i t c l o s e d the mine to d i g a new The  slope.  immediate r e a c t i o n to the b l a c k s was  Superintendent  Corey was  b l a c k s and maintained  "jubillant."  varied.  OIC  He a r r i v e d with  the  they were brought to F r a n k l i n because  the company.was "determined to take p o s s e s s i o n of i t s own p r o p e r t y and manage i t . "  Resident Manager C.J. Smith s a i d  use of b l a c k s would not have been necessary signed the c o n t r a c t .  i f the Newcastle  men  had  was  t i r e d of the "constant a g i t a t i o n of p a r a s i t e s . "  Smith a p p a r e n t l y had  The OIC,  the  a c c o r d i n g to Smith, Corey  and  f o r g o t t e n the terms of the c o n t r a c t f o r  89  they, both claimed organizations. be  t h a t the OIC  had  nothing  be run more e f f i c i e n t l y  and  Daily  because the mines would  economically  the company to employ more Seattle  which would  ignorant."  The  feared t h a t "... breaking "P-I"  allow  men.^ was  Press-Times  content with the  v a t i o n t h a t " [ t ] h e m a j o r i t y of negroes are coarse, and  labor  In f a c t , Smith argued, the use of b l a c k s would  " b e n e f i c i a l " to l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s  The  against  obser-  uncouth,  P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , on the other  hand,  smouldering p r e j u d i c e s of race could be  out again."  observed  Such f e a r s , however, d i d not prevent  from s t a t i n g t h a t i t " r e g r e t t e d " the a c t i o n of the  because of the e v i l of c o n t r a c t l a b o r and were " a l i e n to t h i s s t a t e " and  the  OIC  f a c t t h a t Negroes  "poorly f u r n i s h e d i n the  t h a t go to make s u b s t a n t i a l and  the  qualities  independent c i t i z e n s h i p . "  The  paper went on to say t h a t i t placed at l e a s t p a r t of the blame on the mine workers because of t h e i r r e g u l a r work stoppages 22  and  "questionable The  demands."  response of l a b o r was  people, " r e p r e s e n t i n g  not of one  kind.  a l l c l a s s e s of l a b o r , " met  A group of at Wilkeson  and  resolved: We w i l l no longer submit to the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the Negro among us, and ... we cannot and w i l l not recognize the Negro as worthy of a s s o c i a t i o n with us; n e i t h e r w i l l we submit to a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h them i n any manner w h a t s o e v e r . ^  The  mineworkers at Newcastle took more d i r e c t a c t i o n .  went on  strike.  They  Almost immediately ,sympathy s t r i k e s were  c a l l e d at Black Diamond and Cedar Mountain.  Gilman was  already  on s t r i k e which l e f t F r a n k l i n as the only o p e r a t i n g mine i n  90  King County.  When C.J. Smith heard about the county-wide  s t r i k e , he was  pleased because he was  busy "working a combin-  a t i o n with the other mine owners so t h a t none of the miners w i l l be taken back again except on c o n t r a c t ... and a l l the  dis-  t u r b i n g and a g i t a t i n g elements w i l l be e l i m i n a t e d from a l l 24 mines." Suddenly the stakes of the c o n f l i c t had been r a i s e d dramatically. OIC OIC,  and  No  longer was  i t s employees.  t h i s simply a d i s p u t e between the  Other o p e r a t o r s had  j o i n e d with  and the mine workers were g a t h e r i n g support  confrontation.  Each s i d e had reached  bearance and t o l e r a n c e , and each was matters  once  and  for a l l .  the  for a direct  the l i m i t of i t s f o r e determined  L i k e the Chinese  to s e t t l e  before them,  caught somewhere inbetween were the b l a c k workers at F r a n k l i n . The E x e c u t i v e board of the Knights i n S e a t t l e q u i c k l y r e a l i z e d the  s e r i o u s n e s s of the s i t u a t i o n .  The  Knights  had  l e a r n e d b i t t e r l e s s o n s at Roslyn and Newcastle i n 1889.  If  they were to be s u c c e s s f u l , they had to be as organized as the - coal operators.  The Knights board  approved of the mine workers'  d e c i s i o n to s t r i k e , but i t wanted to make sure t h a t the of the workers' animosity was  focus  the company and not the b l a c k s .  A press r e l e a s e s t a t e d , "This a c t of the Oregon Improvement Company ... must prove to workingmen t h a t there i s r e a l l y  no  p r o t e c t i o n to American l a b o r ... Workingmen must look f o r 25 p r o t e c t i o n among themselves."  The Knights a t t a c k e d the  OIC  because to d i r e c t t h e i r a t t a c k a g a i n s t the b l a c k s would have meant f a l l i n g i n t o the company's hands.  The OIC would have  91  loved nothing more than to have the whites focus t h e i r h a t r e d on the b l a c k s .  In such a s i t u a t i o n the OIC's g o a l of d i v i d i n g  the workers would have been e f f o r t l e s s l y a t t a i n e d . the Knights board announced i t was of  Accordingly,  the p o l i c i e s and  practices  the OIC w i t h which the Knights were i n c o n t e n t i o n , and  were opposed to the p r a c t i c e of employing  they  b l a c k s i n the mines.  U l t i m a t e l y such d i s t i n c t i o n s proved too f i n e f o r most mine workers t o make, but i n the beginning such d i s t i n c t i o n s meant t h a t , although the Knights were not w i l l i n g t o welcome the b l a c k s , they were w i l l i n g to attempt them to depart i n In  peace.  to reasonably  persuade  2 6  order to withstand the pressure of the o p e r a t o r s the  mine workers needed wide-ranging  l a b o r support.  The  Knights  b e l i e v e d t h a t i f l a b o r unions cooperated with each other then the mine workers had a good chance of winning.  Naturally  the Knights were not above suggesting t o other unions t h e i r t u r n might be next:  once s u c c e s s f u l l y used i n the mines,  b l a c k s c o u l d be used i n a l l i n d u s t r i e s .  On 18 May,  a f t e r the b l a c k s a r r i v e d at F r a n k l i n , the Knights a meeting with the Western C e n t r a l Labor Union a f f i l i a t i o n of trade unions.  the day arranged  (WCLU), S e a t t l e ' s  The meeting went w e l l and a  committee of f i v e s t r i k i n g miners established.  and four WCLU members  The main purpose of the committee was  money i n order to p r o v i d e r e l i e f  was  to r a i s e  f o r the s t r i k e r s and t o  o f f e r r e t u r n f a r e t o the b l a c k s a t F r a n k l i n . the committee was  that  If possible  a l s o to speak w i t h the b l a c k s and "see i f  they c o u l d not be induced to r e t u r n whence they came."  Blacks  92  were s t i l l not welcome i n Washington the  and no one suggested t h a t  b l a c k s be asked to j o i n w i t h the white mine workers.  p e r m i s s i o n t o speak w i t h the b l a c k s was who  w i s e l y r e f u s e d the r e q u e s t .  Formal  sought from C.J. Smith  The d e a d l i n e and the d e t e c t i v e s 27  were meant to keep the b l a c k s i n as w e l l as the whites out. The mine workers hoped to add t o t h e i r s t r e n g t h by conv i n c i n g other unions t o c a l l sympathy s t r i k e s or r e f u s e t o handle OIC c o a l .  But i n 1891 the Washington  and unemployment was  high.  economy was  Unions r i s k e d immediate  sluggish  self-  d e s t r u c t i o n i f they s t r u c k i n sympathy, which overwhelmed any long term concerns they might have had about b l a c k s e n t e r i n g t h e i r trades.  Consequently, OIC c o a l was  c a r r i e d t o market,  and only a few workers of the Columbia and Puget Sound Railway 28 j o i n e d the mine workers. In  spirit,  successful. of  but h a r d l y i n cash, fund r a i s i n g was more  Over $500.00 was c o l l e c t e d i n S e a t t l e by a group  s m a l l businessmen who  workers.  formed a committee  L o c a l businessmen  t o a s s i s t the mine  had never been fond of the OIC  as i t purchased i t s s u p p l i e s from San F r a n c i s c o and p r e s s u r e d i t s employees  to purchase from the company.  The Tacoma Knights  sent $120.00 w h i l e the Tacoma b r i c k l a y e r s and T y p o g r a p h i c a l Union c o n t r i b u t e d a t o t a l o f $125.00.  Though w e l l removed  from the d i s p u t e , the San F r a n c i s c o Brewery Workmens sent $50.00 to the mine workers. of did  1  Union  F i n a l l y , the white workers  Roslyn were i n no p o s i t i o n to o f f e r much a s s i s t a n c e , but they express t h e i r sympathy w i t h the s t r i k i n g workers of King 29  County.  93  I n o r d e r t o b o l s t e r m o r a l e and d r a m a t i z e Knights  at Franklin  of the b l a c k s .  on 24 May, one week a f t e r  Over n i n e hundred p e o p l e  a l l the surrounding mining  entertained,  and l o c a l  the proceedings speakers  urged  band speeches  side of the deadline.  t h e b l a c k s t o l e a v e and c e a s e  The  defending  Two S e a t t l e K n i g h t s , n e i t h e r o f whom were  even o f f e r e d  sentiments,  passed  An o u t d o o r  delegates  a t t h e b l a c k w o r k e r s who w a t c h e d  on t h e o t h e r  corporate tyranny. mine w o r k e r s ,  camps.  the a r r i v a l  attended with  labor leaders,gave rousing  most o f w h i c h were d i r e c t e d  Their  cause, the  and WCLU o r g a n i z e d a huge f u n d r a i s i n g p i c n i c and  demonstration  from  their  to help organize the black  however, were n o t e x p r e s s e d  workers.  i n the resolution  a t t h e end o f t h e day: T h a t we t h e m i n e r s and mine l a b o r e r s o f K i n g and P i e r c e c o u n t i e s i n t h e s t a t e o f W a s h i n g t o n ... do p r o t e s t t h e inhuman a c t i o n o f t h e O r e g o n Improvement Company i n i m p o r t i n g c h e a p c o l o r e d labor t o take t h e p l a c e o f honest white l a b o r .  Hostility  toward  t h e b l a c k s was t e m p o r a r i l y r e p r e s s e d , b u t i t  was n o t f a r b e l o w t h e s u r f a c e . The that  s t r i k i n g mine w o r k e r s o p e r a t e d  t h e b l a c k s would  were b e i n g u s e d Looking  clear  to  remain. After  total,  l e a v e once t h e y u n d e r s t o o d  b y t h e company.  how t h e y  T h i s was a m i s t a k e n  c a r e f u l l y we c a n s e e t h a t  had  under t h e assumption  the b l a c k workers  assumption. themselves  i d e a s a s t o why t h e y were t h e r e and why most  the f i r s t  week a b o u t  d e c i d e d t o break  meant s n e a k i n g  their  past the T h i e l  chose  f o r t y b l a c k s , r o u g h l y 10% o f t h e c o n t r a c t w i t h t h e OIC  (which  d e t e c t i v e s a t n i g h t ) and a c c e p t  94  the o f f e r o f the WCLU f o r t r a i n f a r e back E a s t . those who  d e p a r t e d f e l t cheated by the OIC, as they had been  t o l d t h e r e were no l a b o r problems i n t h e mines. did  A number o f  not want t o be p a r t o f a l a b o r d i s p u t e .  more b a s i c c o n c e r n s . much about who  One  i s right.  Many who  Others  left  expressed  anonymous miner s a i d , . " I don't know Perhaps t h e y are both r i g h t , b u t 31  they've got a l l the guns and a dead n i g g e r g e t s a w f u l l y c o l d . " The v a s t m a j o r i t y o f b l a c k workers remained  at Franklin.  Most were too poor t o l e a v e , but they e x p r e s s e d l i t t l e to  leave.  desire  The b l a c k s d i d not need t h e w h i t e s t r i k e r s t o t e l l  them what was g o i n g on. and chose t o s t a y .  They q u i c k l y understood the s i t u a t i o n  C h a r l e s Anderson,  a b l a c k miner and  K n i g h t , informed the e d i t o r o f the " P - I " , "we  former  are aware t h a t  p r e j u d i c e i s a g a i n s t us h e r e , but where can we go?  It is  a g a i n s t us everywhere ... L e t them c a l l us scabs i f t h e y want 32  to.  We have c o n c l u d e d t h a t h a l f a l o a f i s b e t t e r than none." The b l a c k mine workers r e c e i v e d s u p p o r t from t h e t i n y L  S e a t t l e b l a c k community. C.  Under the d i r e c t i o n o f Rev.  Hesekiah  R i c e , the Committee o f C o l o r e d C i t i z e n s pledged t o a i d the  workers a t F r a n k l i n and t o p u b l i c i z e t h e b l a c k s ' p o s i t i o n . A c c o r d i n g t o R i c e , "the o n l y way we  [ b l a c k s ] can g e t employment  as workingmen i n the N o r t h i s t o go i n a g r e a t crowd t o a p l a c e and t a k e p o s s e s s i o n of i t as we have done h e r e . want t o d r i v e the w h i t e men  out o f h e r e .  But we  don't  We are q u i t e w i l l i n g  33  t o work s i d e by s i d e . " A few days a f t e r the b l a c k s a r r i v e d the C o l o r e d C i t i z e n s Committee spoke t o the b l a c k workers.  They t o l d them t o remain  95  w i t h the OIC, to  t h a t they were U.S.  c i t i z e n s and f u l l y  entitled  a l l r i g h t s as c i t i z e n s , i n c l u d i n g the r i g h t to l i v e  work i n the West.  and  A l l speakers r e f e r r e d b i t t e r l y to l a b o r  unions t h a t would not accept b l a c k members.  Rice s a i d i f the  unions would not h e l p Negroes then they would and c o u l d h e l p 34 themselves. While the band was at  the 2 4 May  a meeting.  p l a y i n g on the other s i d e of the d e a d l i n e  demonstration, the b l a c k workers were a l s o h o l d i n g  To the white workers'  r e s o l u t i o n they r e p l i e d :  That we came here to stay and w i l l use a l l l a w f u l means to accomplish s a i d end. In coming to F r a n k l i n we have e x e r c i s e d the r i g h t of every American c i t i z e n ... [W]e expect t o enjoy a l l the r i g h t s and immunities guaranteed t o a l l p a t r i o t i c American c i t i z e n s •••35 To the b l a c k workers a t F r a n k l i n the phrases " l a b o r  solidarity"  and "corporate t o o l s " were hollow and devoid of any r e a l meaning. The b l a c k s harbored no fondness f o r the OIC, nor were they r e t a l i a t i n g a g a i n s t white l a b o r f o r years of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . If  anything the b l a c k s saw  themselves  as pawns, used by both  c a p i t a l and l a b o r whenever i t s u i t e d t h e i r needs. was  Each  q u i t e w i l l i n g to s a c r i f i c e the b l a c k s i n order t o g a i n the  upper hand a g a i n s t the other and d i s g a r d them when t h e i r ness was  spent.  Hence the speeches  calling  They had heard t h a t t a l e too many times b e f o r e . remained  useful-  f o r the b l a c k s to  understand the white mens' p l i g h t and depart f e l l  who  side  on t i r e d e a r s . The b l a c k s  a t F r a n k l i n were not t r y i n g t o support c o r p o r a t e  hegemony or d e s t r o y l a b o r unions.  They were t r y i n g t o earn a  l i v i n g , support t h e i r f a m i l i e s , and l i v e a r e s p e c t a b l e l i f e  96  in  a s o c i e t y which d i d i t s utmost t o p e r p e t u a t e  s t a t u s as s l a v e s .  Richard Davis,  who i n l a t e r  served  years  former  from  Virginia  a b l a c k miner  on t h e U n i t e d M i n e W o r k e r s  a p t l y d e s c r i b e d t h e awkward p o s i t i o n found  their  board,  i n which b l a c k s o f t e n  themselves: Now i f t h e r e i s a n y t h i n g I do d e s p i s e i t i s a b l a c k l e g , but i n places i n t h i s country that t h e y w i l l n o t a l l o w t h e n e g r o t o work s i m p l y because o f h i s b l a c k s k i n then I say b o l d l y t h a t he i s n o t a b l a c k l e g i n t a k i n g y o u r p l a c e s . He i s o n l y d o i n g h i s p l a i n d u t y i n t a k i n g c h a n c e s with the world. We a s k no one t o g i v e us a n y t h i n g , a l l we want i s t h e c h a n c e t o work and we a s s u r e you t h a t we want j u s t as much wages a s t h e w h i t e s .  In t h e end l a b o r s o l i d a r i t y whites  either.  resistance  T h e 2 4 May d e m o n s t r a t i o n  t o t h e OIC.  w o r k e r s was b o t h  selves. The  strike  locals  those  together order  setback  for  after the  jurisdiction.  t h a t i t would c o o r d i n a t e a l l  h a d no j u s t i f i a b l e  idea, arguing  The WCLU wanted a l l  dispute with t h e i r c o u l d be g a i n e d  toward t h e i r  employers.  employers,  by t h e The K n i g h t s  t h a t a l l mine w o r k e r s h a d t o s t a n d  against the operators  t o make t h e i r  over  f r o m N e w c a s t l e and F r a n k l i n t o go b a c k t o  show o f good f a i t h  at this  o f the black  skyrocketed  and t h e WCLU s q u a b b l e d  t h e WCLU b e l i e v e d p u b l i c s u p p o r t  workers'  met  Racial animosity  the Knights  work b e c a u s e t h e y  balked  response  a c t i o n o r withdraw i t s support.  workers except  and  was t h e peak o f  a n d l a b o r g r o u p s began t o q u a r r e l among them-  The K n i g h t s  WCLU t o l d  The n e g a t i v e  meaning f o r t h e  a p s y c h o l o g i c a l and p r a c t i c a l  the white s t r i k e r s . demonstration,  had l i t t l e  and now a g a i n s t t h e b l a c k s .  intentions clearly  In  known t h e mine w o r k e r s  a t C e d a r M o u n t a i n on 13 June and p a s s e d  the following  97  resolution: That we, the miners and mine l a b o r e r s of King County, hereby agree t o l e t the c o a l companies have t h e i r choice of e i t h e r employing a l l white miners or a l l c o l o r e d men, and we w i l l not r e t u r n to work u n l e s s a l l white miners are employed.^ The day a f t e r t h i s r e s o l u t i o n was passed a r e p o r t e r found T.B. Corey w r i t i n g "Approved T.B. Corey, Superintendent o f Mines, Oregon  Improvement Company" on the K n i g h t s ' n o t i c e s  o r d e r i n g a l l s t r i k i n g workers away from the mines. asked Corey why  he was  The  i n such a p l a y f u l mood and good  reporter spirits.  Corey r e p l i e d t h a t the demand by the s t r i k e r s f o r a l l b l a c k or a l l white workers would help the c o a l companies  because " i t  made the i s s u e one of race between the white and c o l o r e d miners,, and not one o f wages or c o n d i t i o n s of work between the c o a l companies correct.  and t h e i r employees."  Corey's a n a l y s i s  Repressed r a c i a l a n i m o s i t y now  was  s u r f a c e d , and the  mine workers vented t h e i r h o s t i l i t y at the b l a c k s w h i l e a t t a c k s a g a i n s t the company became l e s s s t r i d e n t .  The c o a l o p e r a t o r s  were l e f t i n the e n v i a b l e p o s i t i o n o f watching v a r i o u s groups of workers — unionists —  b l a c k mine workers, white mine workers, trade q u a r r e l i n g among themselves.  Worker r e s i s t a n c e  3 8  to the o p e r a t o r s had q u i c k l y  fragmented.  By l a t e June the s t r i k e r s from Gilman and B l a c k Diamond were n e g o t i a t i n g c o n t r a c t s w i t h t h e i r employers, much t o the c h a g r i n of the OIC s t r i k e r s .  At F r a n k l i n the mines were  o p e r a t i n g without t r o u b l e , and C.J. Smith reduced the guards by h a l f and decided t h a t the time was  r i g h t to put b l a c k s t o  work a t Newcastle which was b a r e l y o p e r a t i n g because of the  98  strike.  Even a f t e r n e a r l y twenty years of a c t i v i t y , Newcastle  was more p r o d u c t i v e than F r a n k l i n , and Smith wanted i t going at  f u l l c a p a c i t y as soon as p o s s i b l e .  E v e n t u a l l y he hoped t o  have a mixture o f b l a c k s and whites a t both mines which he 39 assumed would prevent any f u r t h e r d i s t u r b a n c e s . Once a g a i n the OIC w i s e l y chose an e a r l y Sunday morning t o t r a n s p o r t i t s b l a c k workers.  At 3:00 A.M.  on Sunday 28 June  1891 ten guards and e i g h t y b l a c k s l e f t F r a n k l i n f o r Newcastle. At  5:00 A.M.  t h e i r t r a i n a r r i v e d without i n c i d e n t as Newcastle  was almost d e s e r t e d because o f the s t r i k e . proved t o be a d i f f e r e n t s t o r y .  F r a n k l i n , however,  In the a f t e r n o o n a s c u f f l e  broke out between s t r i k e r s and b l a c k workers and one Negro was injured.  By t h a t evening, when the Newcastle t r a i n  F r a n k l i n was  a powderkeg l a c k i n g o n l y a spark.  from the guards on the r e t u r n i n g t r a i n who, began t o f i r e  The spark came  a p p a r e n t l y drunk,  i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y from the t r a i n .  s t r i k e r s r e t u r n e d the guards' f i r e .  returned,  The white  Hearing the s h o o t i n g ,  the  b l a c k s grabbed t h e i r guns and a t t a c k e d the s t r i k e r s .  In  the  ensuing melee over a thousand rounds were exchanged.  When  the  smoke c l e a r e d two white miners were dead and two women were  wounded.^  0  As one might guess no one was w i l l i n g t o accept the blame for to  s t a r t i n g the s h o o t i n g , but t h a t made l i t t l e Governor E l i j a h F e r r y .  He ordered N a t i o n a l Guard C o l o n e l  J.C. Haines, whose other employment was to  as a t t o r n e y f o r the OIC,  take a f u l l regiment and disarm a l l s i d e s .  m i l i t i a companies  difference  Haines p l a c e d  not only at F r a n k l i n and Newcastle, but a l s o  at Gilman and Black Diamond.  The one  hundred and  twenty-five  T h i e l d e t e c t i v e s soon r e t u r n e d to P o r t l a n d , but the  striking 41  mine workers only r e l u c t a n t l y surrendered  t h e i r weapons.  On the 4th o f J u l y the "P-I" d e c l a r e d the c o a l o p e r a t o r s had won  as the s t r i k e r s were slowly g i v i n g up t h e i r arms and  r e t u r n i n g to work.  Under the p r o t e c t i o n of the m i l i t i a white  s t r i k e b r e a k e r s were brought to Gilman, and by the end of the month the s t r i k e r s had OIC,  signed a c o n t r a c t s i m i l a r to t h a t of the  and the m i l i t i a was  Mountain men  withdrawn from a l l mines.  The  Cedar  soon r e t u r n e d to work, and on 24 J u l y the  Diamond workers signed a two  year c o n t r a c t which was  than the I r o n c l a d c o n t r a c t of the OIC.  The  Black  more l e n i e n t  contract included  a s l i d i n g s c a l e of wages, a committee composed of miners and  company r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s which would d i s c u s s d i s c h a r g e  procedures,  and the Black Diamond c o n t r a c t was  the only  one  which i n c l u d e d the c l a u s e t h a t the company would employ o n l y 42 "good, honest-working white miners." Tensions  remained high at Newcastle and F r a n k l i n f o r some  time, but by the end of J u l y C.J. Smith announced, "the i s over."  He added l a t e r t h a t the OIC  had been "compelled  c l e a n out the g r e a t e r p o r t i o n of the o l d f o r c e . "  The  To prove t h a t the OIC  would be reduced  another  25%.  had  indeed won,  they  Smith s a i d wages  Needless to say the OIC  not popular with Washington mine workers.  to  strikers  had e i t h e r signed the c o n t r a c t and r e t u r n e d to work or left.  strike  When T.B.  was  Corey  went to Wilkeson to t a l k with a mine superintendent,  he  was  surrounded by three to four hundred mine workers and  sent out  100  of town at the nudge of a revolver." '' 1  With the c o l l a p s e o f the s t r i k e the whites became i n c r e a s i n g l y h o s t i l e t o the b l a c k s .  T h e i r h o s t i l i t y was  Since they had l o s t the s t r i k e , t h e r e was  double-edged.  no p a r t i c u l a r reason  to. be c o n c i l i a t o r y to the b l a c k s , but t h e r e was t o hate them.  The OIC now  every reason  had a group o f workers who  be used t o keep whites " i n t h e i r p l a c e . "  would  As the s t r i k e  was  ending the "P-I" d e c l a r e d t h a t "... race a n i m o s i t y has reached such a p o i n t t h a t the negroes regard any white man  as t h e i r  enemy u n t i l they know him, and negroes t r a v e l l i n g on the road have had t o prove t h e i r i d e n t i t y t o escape abuse." J u l y a "Committee of C i t i z e n s " h e l d a meeting i n downtown S e a t t l e .  One  ...  In e a r l y  i n Pioneer Square  speaker announced, "You take  500  or 6 00 n i g g e r s , put f i r e arms i n t h e i r hands, and they w i l l not o n l y menace the peace, but the p u r i t y of our mothers and daughters."  The thought of having l a r g e numbers of b l a c k s 44  permanently  i n t h e i r midst was  abhorrent t o many people.  In response t o such i n v e c t i v e a "Committee of C o l o r e d Miners" passed a r e s o l u t i o n which claimed: That the a l l e g a t i o n s made by the s t r i k i n g miners t h a t the Negroes were an u n c i v i l i z e d c l a s s o f beings, u n f i t to become c i v i l i z e d c i t i z e n s , and t h a t they were l i a b l e t o a t t a c k peaceably d i s posed c i t i z e n s and commit outrage and murder, are f a l s e i n every p a r t i c u l a r and without founda t i o n i n fact.., c  The b l a c k workers were j u s t as determined as whites to m a i n t a i n t h e i r d i g n i t y and defend t h e i r r i g h t s . to be l e s s d o c i l e than the OIC had imagined.  They proved  When a  "few"  b l a c k s a t Newcastle were d i s c h a r g e d to make room f o r r e t u r n i n g  101  s t r i k e r s , some t h i r t y b l a c k s went out on s t r i k e to p r o t e s t . The company was  f o r c e d to r e i n s t a t e the d i s c h a r g e d b l a c k s ,  which again worked t o the company's advantage  as t e n s i o n between 46  b l a c k s and whites i n c r e a s e d as a r e s u l t of the i n c i d e n t . At  f i r s t the use of b l a c k workers was  successful.  The  white mine workers were completely d e f e a t e d , and they accepted the  OIC's demands f o r an i r o n c l a d c o n t r a c t , reduced wages, and  a no s t r i k e guarantee.  In 1893 wages were reduced another  15%  and the f o l l o w i n g year another 10% as the n a t i o n a l economy slid the  i n t o another d e p r e s s i o n . P a c i f i c Northwest.  In 1894  A l l the major r a i l r o a d s were on  and Coxey's army gained s i x hundred the  strike,  r e c r u i t s i n Washington.  But  c o a l mines, except f o r a very b r i e f s t r i k e a t Roslyn,  remained q u i e t . the  l a b o r s t r i f e again rocked  The OIC,  b e n e f i t s o f the 1891  i n f a c t a l l the o p e r a t o r s , reaped t r o u b l e , and C.J. Smith p r o u d l y exclaimed,  "our f o r c e i s the o n l y bulwark a g a i n s t a g e n e r a l miners'  strike  47 in  Washington." The 1891  s t r i k e f a t a l l y wounded the Knights i n  and they succumbed i n the Panic of 1893. l i n g e r e d u n t i l 1917,  but i t was  Washington,  N a t i o n a l l y the Order  an anachronism  a f t e r 1890.  In  1893 many former Knights j o i n e d the newly formed Western F e d e r a t i o n o f Miners  (WFM).  As i n d i v i d u a l s former Knights from  Washington were welcome a t the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l meeting of the WFM,  but the l a s t s t r u g g l i n g assemblies i n Washington were not  i n v i t e d t o a t t e n d because they "had agreed t o wage s c a l e s t h a t i II 4 8 were too low. C o a l mining unions d i d not reappear i n Washington u n t i l  102  a f t e r the t u r n o f the century.  Although  the U n i t e d Mine Workers  were organized i n 1890, they concentrated t h e i r e f f o r t s i n the Midwest and were almost destroyed i n the d i s a s t r o u s s t r i k e s o f 1894.  A t the t u r n o f the century, however, both the UMW and  WFM gained a f o o t h o l d i n Washington c o a l mines. UMW  l o c a l was e s t a b l i s h e d a t Wilkeson  i n 1902.  The f i r s t The next  year  the WFM organized workers a t Roslyn and Newcastle, twelve  years  49 a f t e r the d e f e a t o f the K n i g h t s . Under the auspices o f the OIC the Washington c o a l o p e r a t o r s managed t o suppress union a c t i v i t y f o r over a decade, but the OIC  enjoyed  such b e n e f i t s f o r o n l y a few y e a r s .  c o u l d not improve the poor i n i t i a l at  Black workers  p l a n n i n g and e n g i n e e r i n g  the OIC mines, or t h e i r weak r o o f s and h i g h l y p i t c h e d beds.  Mining c o s t s remained h i g h and the q u a l i t y o f the product d i d not improve.  F i r e s and e x p l o s i o n s continued t o ravage both 5  mines, and i n 1895 an e x p l o s i o n completely destroyed Newcastle. The OIC d i d not o u t l i v e i t s mines.  On 4 October 1895 i t  went i n t o r e c e i v e r s h i p f o r the second and f i n a l time.  Charles  Smith was appointed R e c e i v e r , and the OIC o f f i c e r s took g r e a t pains and went i n t o great d e t a i l accusing each other f o r the company's demise.  Charges o f incompetency and i n e f f i c i e n c y  appeared from a l l d i r e c t i o n s . save the company, but without at  C h a r l e s Smith t r i e d hard t o success.  Somewhat desperate  the end, the man who worked f o r so long t o have b l a c k s  put i n the mines i r o n i c a l l y accused men" f o r the OIC's g r i e f .  "Corey and h i s c o l o r e d  A c c o r d i n g t o Smith i t was the  i n e f f i c i e n c y of the b l a c k miners t h a t kept c o s t s up, and t o  103  the h o r r i f i e d  amazement of the other o f f i c e r s , he began to  f i r e the b l a c k s i n 1896. Manager of the OIC, action. thought  No  i t was  was  i n S e a t t l e when he l e a r n e d of Smith's  longer an OIC  employee, he g l i b l y commented,"I  Smith had exhausted  but I was In 1896  Hobart M c N e i l l , the former Resident  mistaken."  h i s c a p a c i t y to dp damage o u t here,  The OIC and the b l a c k s departed  the Oregon Improvement Company ceased purchased  together.  to e x i s t when  by the P a c i f i c Coast Company."*  1  A f i n a l q u e s t i o n remains:  who  i s to blame?  Whom must i  we  judge as the cause of the t r o u b l e i n the mines?  There are  a number of l i k e l y c a n d i d a t e s . The most obvious of course are the o f f i c e r s of the Oregon Improvement Company, or more g e n e r a l l y the l e a d i n g c o a l o p e r a t o r s of Washington.  I t would be easy to p i c t u r e these men  as  ogres;  sometimes i t has been d i f f i c u l t not to do so.  through  the OIC  correspondence  the overwhelming concern Men  one  soulless  Reading  i s c o n t i n u a l l y struck with  f o r p r o f i t and p e r s o n a l aggrandizement.  l i k e John Howard and Hobart M c N e i l l do not e l i c i t much  sympathy.  To them the mine workers were a t best an i r r i t a b l e  but necessary  f a c t o r of p r o d u c t i o n , and a t worst the workers  were " c a t t l e "  and  to have t h e i r men  "scum". toil  Howard and M c N e i l l were q u i t e w i l l i n g  long hours hundreds of f e e t below  ground i n c o n d i t i o n s which almost defy b e l i e f , "long-yard" t h e i r paychecks.  and  Not only were the OIC  then officers  b i t t e r l y opposed to unions, the one o r g a n i z a t i o n which c o u l d ameliorate the l o t of the workers, but they a l s o jumped a t the o p p o r t u n i t y to nurture the poison of r a c i a l  animosity  104  w i t h i n t h e i r employees i n order to conduct t h e i r business more e f f i c i e n t l y and e c o n o m i c a l l y . The OIC o f f i c e r s deserve l i t t l e not be e n t i r e l y condemned.  sympathy, but they can  The haphazard  nature -of Washington mining  and the p r e c a r i o u s f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n of the OIC men  to be v i t a l l y concerned  f o r c e d these  about c o s t s and p r o f i t s .  I f one  a c c e p t s the b a s i c t e n e t s of c a p i t a l i s m , then these men doing a good job, f o r they l e t l i t t l e  were  stand i n t h e i r way  reducing c o s t s and i n c r e a s i n g p r o f i t s .  There i s l i t t l e  of doubt  t h a t the demands of the Knights would have i n c r e a s e d c o s t s and added to an a l r e a d y heavy burden f o r the OIC.  In a d d i t i o n ,  c o n s i d e r i n g the s t a t e of mining technology and the nature of c o a l mining, there was improve c o n d i t i o n s .  not much the OIC  c o u l d have done to  The OIC d i d cut corners i n regard t o  s a f e t y and comfort, but there were worse o f f e n d e r s , and even an impeccable  r e c o r d would have l e f t c o a l mining d i r t y  and  dangerous work. If  not the c o a l o p e r a t o r s then, are we  t o l a y blame a t the  f e e t of the mineworkers, s p e c i f i c a l l y the Knights of After a l l ,  the Knights were a g i t a t o r s ;  Labor?  they were a g g r e s s i v e ,  u n c o n c i l i a t o r y , and o c c a s i o n a l l y even v i o l e n t .  They  worker s o l i d a r i t y and p r a c t i c e d i t by e l i m i n a t i n g  advocated  their  c o m p e t i t i o n i n the Miners Union and f o r c i n g t h e i r f e l l o w workers to  support t h e i r cause.  But the worst charge a g a i n s t the Knights  is  that they were h y p o c r i t e s , and t h e i r h y p o c r i s y helped to  e l i m i n a t e mining unions from Washington f o r over a decade. Knights preached  r a c i a l e q u a l i t y and p r a c t i c e d the v i r u l e n t  The  105  racism so common i n the Western United S t a t e s .  According  to t h e i r l i t e r a t u r e they were c o g n i z a n t o f the d i f f e r e n c e s between l a b o r and c a p i t a l , aware t h a t a l l workers had a good d e a l i n common.  Y e t , l i k e most white Americans,  they c o u l d  not go beyond t h e i r deeply rooted p r e j u d i c e s . The Knights a r e probably redeemed simply because they were l i k e most white Americans.  They merely r e f l e c t e d the  dominant v a l u e s o f the c u l t u r e i n t o which they were born o r had adopted.  To most Americans,  i n n a t e Negro p r e j u d i c e was  not a s e n s i t i v e s u b j e c t o f d i s c u s s i o n , but a simple of l i f e .  "fact"  F o r t u n a t e l y there were a few who d i d not b e l i e v e  the " f a c t s " , but they were a t y p i c a l and out o f p l a c e .  To  make h e r o i c demands o f the K n i g h t s , t o argue t h a t they should have known b e t t e r , i s a p i o u s and p o i n t l e s s u n d e r t a k i n g . On a l e s s grand s c a l e , the Knights were doing more than debating r a c i a l t h e o r i e s ;  they were defending t h e i r jobs and  t h e i r homes i n a h i g h l y i r r e g u l a r i n d u s t r y .  The OIC imported  b l a c k workers t o f o r c e whites t o accept lower wages and t o r e p l a c e r e c a l c i t r a n t whites with b l a c k s . t h e i r r e a c t i o n t o the b l a c k s i s perhaps i s understandable. was  Under such  circumstances  not excusable, but i t  Often the Knights' a g g r e s s i o n and a g i t a t i o n  d e f e n s i v e i n nature.  Quite c l e a r l y the o p e r a t o r s wanted  to e l i m i n a t e a l l mining unions, and the Knights fought both to save themselves  and t o p r o t e c t the i n t e r e s t s o f the white  workers. Even the b l a c k workers are not above s c r u t i n y . they not be condemned f o r a l l o w i n g themselves  Should  t o be used as  106  s t r i k e b r e a k e r s , cheap l a b o r , and t o o l s o f c o r p o r a t e hegemony? When the b l a c k s a r r i v e d , they l e a r n e d t h a t Washington-was not f r e e o f l a b o r t r o u b l e , y e t they chose t o remain and t a c i t l y c o n t r i b u t e d t o the d e s t r u c t i o n o f the Knights. These are s e r i o u s charges, but p a r a d o x i c a l l y , the b l a c k s deserve  a t l e a s t some r e s p e c t f o r t h e i r a c t i o n s .  employment i n Washington w i t h the assurance no l a b o r t r o u b l e o f any k i n d .  t h a t t h e r e was  When they l e a r n e d f o r what  purpose they were t h e r e , almost did  They accepted  a l l chose t o remain, but they  not remain because o f a d e s i r e t o be c o r p o r a t e t o o l s or  union b u s t e r s .  The b l a c k workers wanted t o earn a l i v i n g  and l i v e a r e s p o n s i b l e l i f e  i n a s o c i e t y which denied them  not o n l y many avenues o f employment, but a l s o as many of t h e i r r i g h t s as p o s s i b l e .  In Washington these b l a c k men  and women decided t o stand t h e i r ground. of being used by warring  They were  tired  f a c t i o n s , o n l y t o be c a s t a s i d e  when t h e i r u s e f u l n e s s was spent.  The b l a c k workers were not  d o c i l e c r e a t u r e s bowing t o the company.  They knew why they  were t h e r e and why they chose t o remain. In the f i n a l a n a l y s i s no fundamental condemnation can be made o f any i n d i v i d u a l s or groups o f people.  The most we can  say i s t h a t company o f f i c i a l s , Knights, and b l a c k s were a l l l o o k i n g out f o r themselves, again t h i s enthusiasm a part.  perhaps o v e r e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y .  But  r e f l e c t e d the s o c i e t y o f which they were  As much as c o o p e r a t i o n and g e n e r o s i t y were admired  i n .nineteenth century America, the t r a i t s o f success.were a c q u i s i t i v e n e s s and s e l f - i n t e r e s t .  In p r e v i o u s pages I have  107  argued t h a t the s t r u c t u r e o f mining towns and the nature of c o a l mining made c o n f l i c t almost i n e v i t a b l e between c o a l o p e r a t o r s and mine workers. the  In a p a r a l l e l manner one could  argue t h a t  s t r u c t u r e o f American s o c i e t y a l s o made c o n f l i c t l i k e l y .  With  i n d i v i d u a l i s m as i t s foundation and s e l f - i n t e r e s t and a c q u i s i t iveness as i t s d r i v i n g f o r c e s , s t r i f e and c o n f l i c t could not be avoided as more admirable t r a i t s were n e c e s s a r i l y l e f t by the wayside. it  Hence when one seeks t o f i x r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r c o n f l i c t ,  i s f u t i l e t o examine only  i n d i v i d u a l s , f o r the r o o t s of  c o n f l i c t penetrate deeply i n t o the f a b r i c of American i n t o v a l u e s upon which t h a t s o c i e t y was  established.  society,  108  NOTES  M c N e i l l to E. Smith, 10 February 1890, OIC Records, 47:34. Senate B i l l 68, "An A c t r e l a t i n g t o the proper v e n t i l a t i o n and s a f e t y o f c o a l mines," came b e f o r e the l e g i s l a t u r e again and t h i s time passed. I t went i n t o e f f e c t 7 June 1891. See S e a t t l e P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 7 June 1891. M c N e i l l t o E. Smith, OIC Records, 3 February 1890 (63:11), 10 February 1890 (47:34), 5 March 1890 (48:1), 25 March 1890 (46:17), 21 May 1890 (48:22), 25 J u l y 1890 (48:28). M c N e i l l t o E. Smith, 30 J u l y 1890,and 12 June 1890, OIC Records, 46:36 and 40:25; C.J. Smith t o E. Smith 8 October 1890, OIC Records, 49:2. Monthly C i r c u l a r of James and Alexander Brown, 30 September 1890, C.J. Smith t o E. Smith, 27 September 1890, OIC Records, 48:36. C.J. Smith t o E. Smith 7 October 189 0, OIC Records, 49:2; Howard to E. Smith, 9 October 1890, 63:38; OIC Scrapbooks, Box 69. C.J. Smith t o E. Smith, 17 October 1890, 23 October 1890, OIC Records, 49:4; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 10 October 1890. P r i c e Cards, OIC Records, 63:36, 63:40; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 12 October 1890.  M c N e i l l quoted i n  Howard t o E. Smith, 6 November 1890, 20 November 1890, OIC Records, 64:3 and 64:4; M c N e i l l t o C.J. Smith, 18 November 1890, 49:4; J . Simon t o P.W. Smith, 27 November 1890, 49:11; J . Simon t o J u l i a n Davies, 27 December 1890, 49:19; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 25-27 November 1890. C.J. Smith t o E. Smith, 20 December 1890, OIC Records, 49:14; W i l l i a m Starbuck t o E. Smith e t a l . , 8 January 1891, 49:19. C.J. Smith t o Starbuck, 23 February 1891, OIC Records, 49:27. I b i d , 28 January 1891, 49:20. Ibid; Smith t o Starbuck, 23 February 1891, 49:27; I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 2 February 1891.  Post-  The complete t e x t of the c o n t r a c t and the debate between the Knights and the OIC can be found i n the 18 May 1891 e d i t i o n of the P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r .  109  14. I b i d . 15. I b i d . 16. I b i d ;  Post-Intelligencer,  2 April  1891.  17. S t . L o u i s advertisement quoted i n S e a t t l e D a i l y Press-Times, 19 May 1891; see a l s o P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 10 A p r i l 1891; C.J. Smith to Starbuck, 11 A p r i l 1891, 7 May 1891, OIC Records, 49:33 and 50:3. 18. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  23 A p r i l  1891;  S e a t t l e Times, 16 May :  1891.  19. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  22 May  1891;  S e a t t l e Times, 16 May  1891.  20. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 17, 18 May 1891; S e a t t l e Times, 18 May 1891; C.J. Smith t o Starbuck, 27 May 1891, OIC Records,50:12. The P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r gave e x t e n s i v e coverage t o the events a t F r a n k l i n i n the e d i t i o n s of 17-19 May 1891. 21. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  17, 18 May  22. S e a t t l e Times, 20 May May 1891.  1891;  23. S e a t t l e Times> 23 May  1891.  1891.  Post-Intelligencer,  17, 19  24. C.J. Smith t o Starbuck, 27 May  1891, OIC Records, 50:12.  25. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  18, 20 May  1891.  26. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  13 May  27. S e a t t l e Times, 19 May 22 May 1891.  1891.  1891;  Post-Intelligencer,  28. C.J. Smith t o Starbuck, 27 May 29. S e a t t l e Times, 21, 27 May 15, 20 June 1891.  1891, OIC Records, 50:12.  1891;  Post-Intelligencer,  30. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , May 1891.  20, 25 May  31. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  19 May 1891;  32. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  5 July  1891.  33. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  19 May  1891.  34. S e a t t l e Times, 21 May  1891.  19, 20,  1891;  S e a t t l e Times, 25  S e a t t l e Times 18 May  1891.  110  35. S e a t t l e Times, 25 May  1891.  36. Quoted i n Herbert Gutman, "The Negro and the U n i t e d Mine Workers," p. 78. 37. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  28 May,  14 June 1891.  38. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  15 June 1891.  39. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 23, 27 June 1891; C.J. Smith t o Starbuck, 5 June 1891, OIC Records, 50:16; Smith t o C.B. T e d c a s t l e , 1 J u l y 1891, 50:21. 40. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 29, 30 June 1891; S e a t t l e Times, 30 June 1891; see a l s o C. Thorndale, "Washington s Green R i v e r Coal Country," pp. 68-71. 1  41. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  3, 7 J u l y  1891.  42. On the Gilman agreement see P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 2, 22 J u l y 1891; f o r Black Diamond see I b i d , 17, 24 J u l y 1891. 43. C.J. Smith t o Starbuck, 4 J u l y 1891, 30 J u l y 1891, and 3 August 1891, OIC Records, 50:22, 50:25 and 50:26; P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 21 J u l y 1891. 44. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  4 July  45. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r ,  10 J u l y  1891. 1891.  46. OIC Scrapbooks, Box. 69. 47. Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," p. 74; Smith t o Starbuck, 25 March 1894/ OIC Records, 52:27; C.J. Smith t o T e d c a s t l e , 9 May 1894, 52:30; Smith t o Starbuck, 2 J u l y , 7 J u l y 1894, 52:37. 48. R i c h a r d E . L i n g e n f e l t e r , The Hardrock Miners: A H i s t o r y of the Mining Labor Movement, 1863-1893 (Berkeley, 1974), p. 220; See a l s o M. Dubsofsky, "The O r i g i n s o f Western Working C l a s s R a d i c a l i s m , " Labor H i s t o r y 7 (Spring 1966), pp. 131-153; Theodore A l l i s o n , " H i s t o r y of the Northwest Mining Unions Through 1920," (M.A. t h e s i s , Washington State U n i v e r s i t y , 1943), p. 1. 49. F r e d e r i c k Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Mining Industry,"pp. 63, 66-68; Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," pp. 108-113; Norman Ware, The Labor Movement i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s , pp. 220-221.  Ill  M a r i l y n Tharp, "Story of Coal a t Newcastle," p. 126; Thorndale, "Washington's Green R i v e r Coal Country," p. 7 5 C. Smith t o T e d c a s t l e , 29 August 1894, OIC Records, 52:42 Artemus Holmes to E. Smith, 7 October 1895, OIC Records, 53:38; T. Corey to E. 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Norman, O k l a . : U n i v e r s i t y o f Oklahoma Press, 1976.  119  APPENDIX  POPULATION  OF WASHINGTON AND SEATTLE 1860-1900  -6  Q. "O  T o t a l Number  Total  Number T o t a l Number  2,514 1,602 325 207 30  0.5 0.5 0.4 0.9 0.3  'o  WASHINGTON 1900 1890 1880 1870 1860  518,103 357,232 75,116 23,955, 11,594  80,671 42,837 3,533 1,107  Sources:  496,304 340,829 67,199 22,195 11,138  Number  SEATTLE 1900 1890 1880 1870  Number  76,815 42,056  -  OTHERS  • .CHINESE  BLACK  WHITE  TOTALS  95.8 95.4 89.5 92.7 96.1  3,629 3,260 3,186 234  Number T o t a l Number  Total  406 286  0.5 0.7  438 359  • —  —  —  —  -  13th Census o f t h e U.S. (1910) 12th Census o f t h e U.S. (1900)  3.0 3.2 5.9 5.5 3.6 Q, "6  % Total  -  15,656 11,541 4,406 1,319 426  Q,  % T o t a i Number 95.3 98.1  0.7 0.9 4.2 1.0  % Total  0.5 0.9 _  3,012 136  3.7 0.3  P o p u l a t i o n V o l . I l l pp. 970, 1104. P o p u l a t i o n . P a r t I pp. 562, 570.  

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