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

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AN ADDED OBJECTION: THE USE OF BLACKS IN THE COAL MINES OF WASHINGTON, 1880-1896 by ROBERT A. CAMPBELL B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a , Santa Cruz, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of H i s t o r y We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 197 8 © Robert A. Campbell, 1978 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I ag ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5 ABSTRACT Although not as important as timber, the coal mining industry did play a s i g n i f i c a n t role i n Washington's economic development of the 1880's. But coal mining was not an easy business i n which to make a p r o f i t . The product i t s e l f was medicore; costs were high, and competition was s t i f f . The leading independent coal company, the Oregon Improvement Company (OIC), suffered from continual f i n a n c i a l problems and was hampered by poor management. To reduce costs the OIC emphasized the factor of production that appeared to be easiest to control — labor. Like a l l Washington coal operators, the OIC o f f i c e r s were opposed to labor organizations, which they believed both increased costs and i n t e r f e r r e d with a company's rig h t to conduct i t s business. The nature of coal mining and the structure of mining towns made c o n f l i c t almost inevitable between a company and i t s employees. The mine workers quickly learned that organi- zation was not only e s s e n t i a l to protect t h e i r interests i n an irre g u l a r and dangerous industry, but also to counteract the overwhelming influence of the company. When Knights of Labor organizers appeared i n Washington i n the early 1880's, they were en t h u s i a s t i c a l l y received by the mine workers, and l o c a l assemblies of the Knights were established throughout Washington' mining regions. A company l i k e the OIC wanted to mine coal e f f i c i e n t l y and economically without any interference from employees or labor organizations. In order to i n h i b i t the influence of organized labor the OIC encouraged faction among i t s employees, with the intent of keeping the workers divided and quarreling among themselves. To the OIC o f f i c e r s i t appeared that the workers could be permanently divided along r a c i a l l i n e s . Their experience with placing low-paid Chinese workers i n the mines had shown them that t h e i r white-employees completely accepted the p r e v a i l i n g r a c i a l stereotypes. Not only were the mine workers opposed to Chinese i n the mines, they became leaders in the movement to expel the Chinese from Washington. Racial animosity and a fear of cheap labor prevented the mine workers from seeing what they had i n common as workers with the Chinese. In t h i s sense the Chinese l a i d the groundwork for the far more successful use of blacks i n the mines. The f i r s t black mine workers i n Washington were imported from the Midwest i n 1888 by the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company. With the use of blacks the company broke a s t r i k e led by the Knights. In 1891 the OIC decided to follow the example of the Northern P a c i f i c , and black workers were imported under contract to work i n the OIC mines. With cheap black labor the OIC believed i t could conduct i t s business more economically and suppress organized labor by encouraging r a c i a l h o s t i l i t y among the workers. The OIC's use of blacks precipitated the complete defeat of union mine workers i n Washington. A national t r a d i t i o n of anti-Negro prejudice enhanced by the West's more v i r u l e n t racism, and the minimal p a r t i c i p a t i o n of blacks i n the developing labor movement, a l l contributed to t h e i r successful use i n the Washington mines. Racial animosity and h o s t i l i t y to cheap labor kept the blacks and whites divided. I n i t i a t e d by the Knights, the r e t a l i a t o r y s t r i k e of the white mine workers f a i l e d , and mining unions disappeared from Washington for over a decade. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I The Coal Mining Economy and Labor In Washington 1 Notes to Chapter I 2 4 CHAPTER II Coal Mining . 29 Notes to Chapter I I .50 CHAPTER I I I Roslyn and the N a t i o n 54 Notes to Chapter I I I 74 CHAPTER IV The Defeat of the Mine Workers ....78 Notes t o Chapter IV 108 BIBLIOGRAPHY 112 APPENDIX .....119 v LIST OF TABLES TABLE I Washington Coal Production 1875-1895 5 TABLE II Points of Origin of Coal Shipped to San Francisco, C a l i f o r n i a , 1880-1895 6 TABLE III Coal Mines of Washington, 1888 8 v i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Without the assistance and support of a number of people, i t i s l i k e l y t h i s paper would have never been completed. Naturally, I alone am to be held responsible for i t s f i n a l form, but I owe much to many others. Ready a v a i l a b i l i t y , endless patience, astute and useful c r i t i c i s m : any one of these q u a l i t i e s would be appreciated in a thesis advisor, but Professor Norbert MacDonald offered them a l l and much more. His kindness and sense of human compassion are attributes that are not commonly found i n the academic world. I owe a special debt to Professor Marvin Lazerson i n the Faculty of Education at UBC. He was not my advisor, i n fact he had no formal obligation to me whatsoever. Yet he f r e e l y took many hours from his hectic schedule to discuss race and class i n the United States, and he guided me through many theor- e t i c a l mazes. Like Professor MacDonald, Professor Lazerson i s a r a r i t y . He does not l e t inter-departmental competition and jealousy i n t e r f e r e with scholarship. Pettiness 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 to. Walking over to his o f f i c e was always very refreshing. Like i t s author t h i s paper has an international cast. It was large l y researched i n Seattle and e n t i r e l y written i n Vancouver. In Seattle, Dr. Richard Berner, A r c h i v i s t at the University of Washington, i n i t i a l l y led me to extremely valuable v i i sources and saved me endless hours of f r u i t l e s s search. I am also grateful to Robert Mit t e l s t a d t in the Manuscripts Div i s i o n at the University of Washington. I not only appreciated his thorough concern for my photocopies, but also his desert-dry sense of humor. I can thank Bob Potts and Mary Scott for much more than a place to stay, even i f they don't believe i n heating t h e i r house i n January. To Randall, Anna, and Andrea I can say l i t t l e except, thanks. They were always there and that's what counted most of a l l . Merci HeTene. Tu sais pourquoi. C'est tres simple. Since he too i s always close by and never at a loss for something to say, I should l e t Huck Finn have the l a s t words: "So there ain't nothing more to write about, and I'm rotten glad of i t , because i f I'd knowed what trouble i t was ... I wouldn't a tackled i t and ain't agoing to no more." Robert Campbell REFERENCE MAP OF STUDY AREA WASHINGTON A R F ' 7 8 THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR STRIKE We're brave and gallant miner boys That work i n underground For courage and good nature None l i k e us can be found We work both late and early, And get but l i t t l e pay To support our wives and children, In free America Here's to the Knights of Labor That brave and gallant band That Corbon and old 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 to break the K. of L. In free America If Satan took the blacklegs I'm sure't would be no sin What peace and happiness 't would be For us workingmen Eight hours we'd have for labor Eight hours we'd have for play Eight hours we'd have for sleeping In free America — Written 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 introduction of negro labor i n much the same l i g h t as that of the Chinese, and fear that i t w i l l embitter labor controversies by i n j e c t i n g race prejudice into them. Of course among workingmen generally the sentiment would be against imported men of whatever race, but here the color of the men seems to be an added objection. — Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 18 May 1891 x CHAPTER I THE COAL MINING ECONOMY AND LABOR IN WASHINGTON The purpose of t h i s paper i s to discuss the nature of disputes between Washington coal mining operators and th e i r employees i n the 1880's and early 1890's. The focus of t h i s discussion i s on the role of 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 interested i n how the use of blacks i n the mines contributed to the demise of mining unions. This chapter, which i n part can be considered an introduction, attempts to answer three general questions. F i r s t , what were the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the coal mining industry and the coal mining companies? The l a t t e r part of thi s question deals mainly with the Oregon Improvement Company, upon which t h i s study i s based. Second, what was the position of organized labor i n the mining industry? And t h i r d , how did the use of Chinese i n the mines a f f e c t employer/employee relations and pave the way for the use of blacks? U n t i l the 1880's Washington played an i n s i g n i f i c a n t part i n the national economy. The l o c a l economy was based on timber, some mining, and the r a i s i n g of wheat and hops. But with the decision of the Northern P a c i f i c Railroad (NPR) to complete i t s road to the Puget Sound, which would l i n k the T e r r i t o r y to the nation, Washington experienced a period of unprecedented development. The "boom" of the eighties was fueled by timber, 2 mining, r a i l r o a d s , streamship t r a f f i c and agriculture. As shown i n the Appendix, between 1880 and 1890 the population of Washington increased by a factor of f i v e , and Seattle grew from a quiet c i t y of t h i r t y - f i v e hundred to a bustling one of over forty thousand. It should be noted, however, that t h i s prosperity was marred by a depression 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 East and high unemployment with the completion of the NPR i n 1883.''" It should also be noted that t h i s discussion necessarily emphasizes coal mining while v i r t u a l l y ignoring the economically more s i g n i f i c a n t timber industry. In 1880 one hundred and sixt y m i l l i o n board feet were cut i n Washington. A decade l a t e r timber production had surpassed one b i l l i o n board feet per year. While the timber industry supported ten thousand men i n 1890 and could boast a $15,000,000 annual product, coal mining offered employment to fewer than three thousand men and could d e l i v e r less than 20% of the timber industry's 2 annual product. S t i l l , coal production was an important, i f awkward part of Washington's but p a r t i c u l a r l y Seattle's development. When Seattle was founded i n 1852, there was l i t t l e to d i s t i n g u i s h i t from other Puget Sound communities such as Olympia and Port Townsend. A l l were blessed with good harbors and access to timber. What did di s t i n g u i s h Seattle was i t s coal trade that began almost as soon as the town. The f i r s t coal i n King County was discovered i n 1853 by Dr. M. Bigelow on the Black River near Seattle. He opened a mine but had to abandon i t because of high 3 transportation costs. In 1863 P h i l l i p Lewis and Edward Richardson discovered coal on a creek l a t e r named Coal Creek, about twenty- miles from Seattle. A mine was opened which eventually became part of the Newcastle mines. By 1875 Newcastle had replaced Bellingham Bay, Washington's oldest mine, as the leading coal producer, and p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of Newcastle's coal went to Seattle. A few more coal mines were opened in the 1870's, but most opened during the boom of the eighties, and, as shown in Table 3 I, coal production increased dramatically during t h i s decade. Though important to the Washington economy, the coal mining industry was hampered by a number of factors. F i r s t , mining i n Washington was expensive. The coal beds were i n complex geological regions and successful mining required sophisticated techniques and s k i l l e d engineering. In addition, the best coal f i e l d s were in is o l a t e d areas which resulted i n high transportation costs. Just as s i g n i f i c a n t , Washington coal i n general was low q u a l i t y and because the coal contained a high percentage of foreign matter, i t required expensive screening and cleaning before i t could be sent to market. F i n a l l y , Washington coal faced s t i f f competition from other sources. Although much of the coal mined in Washington ended up on the docks of Seattle, the chief market was San Francisco. Outside of some.local sources San Francisco received coal from four locations: Washington, B r i t i s h Columbia, A u s t r a l i a and Great B r i t a i n . Washington coal had the advantage of being close to San Francisco, but, more important, i t was not subject to the imported-coal t a r i f f of seventy-five cents per ton. Though 4 B.C. coal was subject to the t a r i f f , i t was generally superior in q u a l i t y to Washington coal. Further, mining on Vancouver Island had lower production costs because coal was easier to mine; the c o l l i e r i e s were located near the Nanaimo habor which reduced transportation costs, and the operators benefitted from the use of cheap Chinese labor throughout the 1880's. Australian and B r i t i s h coal was also usually superior to Washington coal. Coal from these areas was brought as b a l l a s t i n otherwise empty wheat ships. When the wheat crop was good in the United States, B r i t a i n and A u s t r a l i a could often flood the market i n San Francisco with r e l a t i v e l y cheap coal."* Although Washington coal was protected by a t a r i f f , San Francisco purchased on the average less than a t h i r d of i t s coal from Washington (see Table I I ) . B r i t i s h Columbia, A u s t r a l i a and B r i t a i n usually could o f f e r superior coal at competitive prices. When there were labor problems abroad which closed the mines, or when wheat crops were poor which resulted i n less b a l l a s t coal at San Francisco, then Washington coal sold well. In general, however, the Washington mines operated sporadically, most often i n the f a l l and winter months when l o c a l demand increased. With high fixed costs, an i n d i f f e r e n t product, sporadic operation, and intense competition, coal mining was not an easy business i n which to make a p r o f i t . In the long run, a successful mining company had to be on a sound f i n a n c i a l basis, conduct i t s business with expertise, and keep costs to a minimum. The Oregon Improvement Company (OIC), the leading independent 5 ! I - YEAR WASHINGTON COAL PRODUCTION 1875 -1895* TONS YEAR TONS 1875 99,568 1886 423,525 1876 110,346 1887 772,601 1877 120,196 1888 1,215,750 1878 131,660 1889 1,030,578 1879 142,666 1890 1,263,689 1880 145,015 1891 1,056,249 1881 196,000 1892 1,140,575 1882 177,340 1893 1,208,850 1883 244,990 1894 1,131,660 1884 166,936 1895 1,163,732 1885 380,250 Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Resources of the United States, 1900, p. 691. 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. BRITAIN OTHERS 1880 18.9 25.9 9.2 10.2 35.9 1881 19.0 17.6 14.0 31.3 18.1 1882 27.0 17.9 18.0 21.4 15.7 1883 36.3 14.8 20.0 17.6 11.2 1884 31.6 29.5 19.3 13.2 6.4 1885 35.7 23.2 21.4 19.7 0 1886 25.3* 25.1 28.4 17.9 3.4 1887 45.4 21.9 13.5 9.1 10.2 1888 40.7 22.0 19.6 8.5 9.2 1889 32.7 31.3 25.6 3.8 6.5 1890** 33.9 36.7 16.7 3.1 9.8 1891** 22.0 38.3 18.9 11.8 9.0 1892** 24.0 34.8 19.7 14.8 6.7 1893** 29.0' 37.8 13.7 11.5 8.1 1894** 25.9 42.3 13.9 11.5 6.4 1895** 24.6 39.4 16.3 12.4 7.3 ** Includes all California ports * Includes Coos Bay, Oregon Sources: 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 coal mining company i n Washington i n the 1880's, ultimately could not achieve these ends, and during i t s sixteen years of operation the OIC went into receivership twice and collapsed af t e r the Panic of 1893. The Oregon Improvement Company was established by German f i n a n c i a l wizard Henry V i l l a r d and six Oregon c a p i t a l i s t s i n October 1880. V i l l a r d had organized a number of P a c i f i c Northwest companies, and he envisioned the OIC as a large holding company dominating the transportation and coal market i n the Northwest. Under OIC control V i l l a r d placed four small r a i l - roads, a streamship company, and the Newcastle coal mines, 6 which he also purchased i n 1880. Pa r t i c u l a r l y with mining, the future looked p r o f i t a b l e for the OIC i n the beginning. In 1883 the output from New- castle accounted for nearly 80% of the coal produced i n Washing- ton, and from t h i s revenue the OIC was able to develop i t s Franklin f i e l d s , some t h i r t y miles southeast of Seattle. The Franklin Coal Company was incorporated i n 1884 and went into production the following year. As i l l u s t r a t e d i n Table III many companies opened mines i n the 1880's, but the output from New- cast l e and Franklin assured the place of the OIC as the leading 7 independent producer. But success proved f l e e t i n g for V i l l a r d and eventually for the OIC. In January 1884 V i l l a r d , who was also president of the NPR at the time, f e l l v i ctim to his many enemies on the NPR board and l o s t control of both the NPR and the OIC. E l i j a h Smith l e f t the NPR and became president of the OIC. He moved 8 TABLE I I I : COAL MINES OF WASHINGTON - 1888* COUNTY MINE OPERATOR IN 1888 MINE PRODUCTION 1888 .OPENED (TONS) Whatcom Bellingham Bay King Newcastle Franklin Black Diamond Cedar Mountain • Gilman (Issaquah) Talbot Renton Pierce Carbonado South P r a i r i e Wilkeson Wilkeson Thurston Bucoda K i t t i t a s Roslyn Black Diamond Coal Co. 1854-1878 Oregon Improvement Co. 1871 155,000 Oregon Improvement Co. 1884 86,966 Black Diamond Coal Co. 1885 148,000 Cedar River Coal Co. 1884 41,662 Seattle Coal and Iron Co. 1887 14,907 Renton Coal Co. 1875-1879 Renton Coal Co. 1874-1885 P a c i f i c Improvement Co.(CPRR)1880 213,145 South P r a i r i e Coal Co. 1882 40,934 Tacoma Coal and Coke Co. 1876 12,877 Wilkeson Coal and Coke Co. 1887 10,000 Northwestern Coal & Trans.Co.1887 42,000 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 was also in 1888 that blacks were first brought to Washington thus beginning three years of intense strife between operators and employees. 9 i t s head o f f i c e from Portland to New York and established branch o f f i c e s i n Seattle and San 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 sition of the OIC became apparent. V i l l a r d l e f t the OIC with a six m i l l i o n d o l l a r debt with which to face the economic downturn in 1884. He had put the company in debt i n order to finance his other ventures, and the results were nearly disastrous. In 1883 OIC stock sold for $91.00, but by A p r i l 1884 i t had dropped to $24.00. The company was saved by the output from i t s mines, but the S e a t t l e P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r was being kind when i t described the OIC as suffering from " f i n a n c i a l 9 embarassment." But poor finances was not the OIC's only problem. According to an economic post-mortem completed by Thomas Greeve i n 1896, the OIC' was also hampered by questionable d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n and weak management. Greeve reported that the subsididary companies of the OIC were more of a l i a b i l i t y than an asset. The only OlC-owned r a i l r o a d that consistently made money was the Columbia and Puget Sound Railway (CPSR) which operated f i f t y - f o u r miles of narrow guage track between Seattle and the OIC f i e l d s . The CPSR was completely dependent on the coal market as i t s main t r a f f i c was the coal from the mines i n King County. Greeve stated that mining was "absolutely e s s e n t i a l " to increase the earnings of the OIC system."^ But Greeve had l i t t l e good to say about the way the OIC conducted its".mining business. He f e l t that maintaining three o f f i c e s was expensive, i n e f f i c i e n t , and hindered cooperation 10 among the abundance of OIC o f f i c e r s . In employing mine managers the OIC sought economy not quality and ultimately paid a dear price. More important, the OIC used poor i n i t i a l engineering in i t s mines which proved to be expensive and made mine main- tenance d i f f i c u l t . The OIC had the unfortunate knack of digging i t s mine entrances i n the wrong locations which meant they eventually had to be closed and redug. Both Newcastle and Franklin were handicapped by weak roofs and highly pitched beds, and both were plagued with f i r e s and explosions which i n part 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 costly business practices, poor financing * and an extremely competitive market kept the OIC i n a precarious position during i t s years of operation. Given these conditions, i t was l i k e l y that the OIC would emphasize the factor of pro- duction that appeared the easiest to control — labor. To the OIC o f f i c e r s labor was just another cost, a cost that had to be kept to an absolute minimum. The OIC's problems with i t s employees began over wages and working conditions, but they soon broadened to include union recognition and the h i r i n g and f i r i n g of certain employees. In order to understand these disputes and t h e i r s i gnificance for a l l mine workers i n Washing- ton, i t would be h e l p f u l to b r i e f l y look at labor 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 1880. Up to that time i n d u s t r i a l development was limited; the roles of employer and employee were often combined, and the r e l a t i o n - 11 ship between wage earner and wage payer was informal and f l e x i b l e . There was no strong sense of class consciousness among workers and no deep d i v i s i o n s between c a p i t a l and labor. Attitudes, however, did change i n the mid 1880's when d i v i s i o n s of wealth became more extreme and the f r o n t i e r gave way to a more diver- 13 s i f i e d economy in rapidly developing urban areas l i k e Seattle. For most of the decade the predominant spokesmen for labor were the Knights of Labor. The Knights were active i n Washington from the early 1880's, and they firmly believed that there were basic i n e q u a l i t i e s between c a p i t a l and labor that had to be r e c t i f i e d . The source of the Knights strength in Washington was t h e i r a b i l i t y to organize the coal mine workers. I n i t i a l l y the Washington Knights benefitted from the assistance of the national organization under the leadership of Terrence Powderly. Terrence Powderly ruled the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor as Grand Master Workman from 1880-1893, and under his d i r e c t i o n the Knights took advantage of the labor turmoil of the 1880's and became the most i n f l u e n t i a l national labor organ- i z a t i o n . By 1886 over seven hundred thousand people belonged to the Knights, and l o c a l assemblies were established across the nation. Powderly reduced the secrecy and r i t u a l that had r e s t r i c t e d the effectiveness of the Order since i t s founding i n 1869 by a group of Philadelphia garment workers. Powderly intended to battle the growing power of c a p i t a l by creating a highly centalized organization that included a l l wage earners (except doctors, lawyers, bankers, stockholders, professional 12 gamblers, and liquor dealers) irregardless of race, r e l i g i o n , or sex. As Norman Ware has astutely observed: It was to f i g h t consolidated c a p i t a l that the Order t r i e d to create an integrated labor society to replace the c r a f t a l l i a n c e s and conventions of reformers that had preceded. When the Knights began the unions were almost destroyed ... The Order t r i e d to teach the American wage-earner that he was a wage- earner f i r s t and a bricklayer, carpenter, miner, shoemakers,after; that he was a . wage-earner f i r s t and a Catholic, Protestant, Jew, white, black, Democrat, Republican, af t e r . This meant that the Order was teaching something that was not i n the hope that i t would be. i /i Though a l l were espoused as virtues and p o l i c y , the basic p r i n c i p l e of the Knights was not cooperation, equal pay. and rights for the sexes, the eight-hour day, land reform, or a r b i t r a t i o n instead of s t r i k e s . Rather i t was protection for the /American worker. Protection was meant to be loosely defined, but for Powderly i t p a r t i c u l a r l y referred to the elimination of cheap, foreign labor hired on contract by large companies. This labor was often used to break or prevent s t r i k e s and more generally to suppress wages and unions. Throughout the 1880's Powderly campaigned for a Federal law prohibiting foreign contract labor. Powderly's v i s i o n of a highly centralized labor organization remained just that — a v i s i o n . For the most part the l o c a l assemblies remained autonomous and planned according to l o c a l needs and conditions, not the dictates 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 continually violated the no-strike p o l i c y of the Order. Although not having any more control over miners than other Knights, the national body was a successful organizer i n the bituminous coal f i e l d s . Coal 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 to leave. In January 1890 the national Order, though on i t s deathbed, was instrumental i n establishing 16 the United Mineworkers of America. In the summer of 1881 Knights organizers arrived i n Washing- ton and established a l o c a l assembly (or lodge as i t was often c a l l e d i n Washington) at Newcastle. By 1888, largely at the i n i t i a t i v e of l o c a l mine workers, lodges were established at Franklin, Black Diamond, Gilman (now Issaquah), Carbonado (Carbon H i l l ) , Wilkeson, Roslyn, and Cedar Mountain. It i s important to note that the Knights' coal mining lo c a l s consisted of both miners and mine laborers. The Knights' strength lay in t h e i r a b i l i t y to organize a l l workers, although miners tended 17 to dominate the l o c a l assemblies. The Knights and the coal operators became almost immediate antagonists. A l l the coal operators, but e s p e c i a l l y the OIC, were keenly concerned with costs. They argued that the demands of organized workers not only increased costs, they interfered with a company's ri g h t to conduct i t s business as i t saw f i t . On the other hand, the Knights viewed higher wages, better conditions, and eventually union recognition not as i n t e r f e r i n g with the company's a b i l i t y to conduct i t s business, but as o f f e r i n g the bare minimum of protection for i t s workers. Each 14 s i d e adamantly defended i t s p o s i t i o n , and the r e s u l t i n g c o n f l i c t s s h a l l be d i s c u s s e d i n the f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s . Yet i n order to more f u l l y understand the d i s p u t e between the Knights and the operators, one a d d i t i o n a l f a c t o r must be c o n s i d e r e d . C e r t a i n c o a l o p e r a t o r s , the OIC prominently among them, used r a c i a l m i n o r i t i e s to keep c o s t s down and to suppress l a b o r a g i t a t i o n . F i r s t with the Chinese and then with b l a c k s the op e r a t o r s appealed to the white workers' deeply i n g r a i n e d r a c i a l a nimosity i n hopes of permanently d i v i d i n g workers along r a c i a l l i n e s and thus 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 organized l a b o r . The o p e r a t o r s f a i l e d w i t h the Chinese, but i t i s important t o d i s c u s s that, f a i l u r e f o r the Chinese paved the way f o r the s u c c e s s f u l use of b l a c k s i n the mines. The Chinese f i r s t came to the United S t a t e s to j o i n the " f o r t y - n i n e r s " i n t h e i r mad rush to the C a l i f o r n i a g o l d f i e l d s . When g o l d was d i s c o v e r e d i n Western Oregon i n 1852, many Chinese headed northward to continue t h e i r search f o r wealth. L i k e most fortune hunters, they found l i t t l e g o l d and d r i f t e d i n t o other o c c u p a t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y timber, f i s h i n g and r a i l r o a d s . The Chinese were o f t e n employed as low-paid l a b o r e r s , and when the NPR decided to complete i t s road to the P a c i f i c , i t h i r e d thousands of Chinese as white l a b o r was i n short supply. But the completion o f the NPR i n 1883 c o i n c i d e d w i t h an E a s t e r n f i n a n c i a l p a n i c , and no longer was there a shortage of l a b o r . Unemployment was high and white people i n c r e a s i n g l y resented 18 the competing'presence of the Chinese. The Chinese had never been warmly welcomed by the predomin- 15 antly white residents of Washington. In 1853 one of the i n i t i a l acts of the f i r s t l e g i s l a t u r e of the Ter i t o r y of Washington was to s p e c i f i c a l l y eliminate the Chinese and blacks from the franchise. E s s e n t i a l l y Washington had anti-Chinese laws before i t had Chinese. In 1870, the e a r l i e s t year for which figures are available, there were only 234 Chinese i n Washington, roughly 1% of the population. By 1880, however, with the increasing employment of Chinese by the NPR, they constituted 4% of the population, a noticeable and alarming increase to 19 white residents. For white Americans i n Washington there was no place for the Chinese i n th e i r society. 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 and d i f f e r e n t customs. Like blacks, they were easy to di s t i n g u i s h and set apart. Further, the Chinese often chose to set them- selves apart. Most viewed t h e i r time i n America as temporary, and few Chinese men brought t h e i r families with them. The men clustered i n urban areas, esp e c i a l l y Seattle a f t e r the completion of the NPR, reading Chinese newspapers and patronizing Chinese stores. Their packed boarding houses i n Seattle were viewed by the l o c a l press as sordid places, f i l l e d with gambling, opium, and b o i l i n g bones being prepared to be sent to China. Even the dead did not wish to remain, in America, and no one was sorry to see them go. The P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r proudly said " i f there i s anything upon which there i s p r a c t i c a l unanimity of opinion p r e v a i l i n g in a l l classes on the P a c i f i c coast,' i t i s that the Chinese are not welcome nor needed here ..." 16 For laborers r a c i a l h o s t i l i t y was i n t e n s i f i e d by economic competition. The Chinese worked together and they worked hard. Because they saw t h e i r time i n America as limi t e d , they would take almost any job and at lower wages than whites would work. Many unskilled jobs, e s p e c i a l l y i n laundry and cooking, became known as "Chinese jobs" and whites would refuse to take them. Worse for the Chinese though was the fact that they were regarded as tools of t h e i r employers, an e f f e c t i v e way to break st r i k e s and keep wages down. If a white man refused to work for a certain wage, there were always many Chinese w i l l i n g to take the job for an even lower wage.^1 The Chinese were perceived as a greater threat when the economy slowed down i n 1884, not so much because they were taking jobs reserved for whites but because unemployed whites now wanted what had been previously regarded as Chinese jobs in a period of labor s c a r c i t y . The whites wanted t h e i r jobs but they were not w i l l i n g to accept Chinese wages, which were considered both an economic and s o c i a l i n s u l t . They demanded the end to Chinese immigration and "white-men's wages" for 22 those who took Chinese jobs. Washington and C a l i f o r n i a were the strongest advocates of a Federal Chinese exclusion law. After much debate between Congress and President Chester A. Arthur the f i r s t Chinese Re s t r i c t i o n Act was signed into law i n May 1882. The act suspended the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years and was extended for another ten year period i n 1892. The act, however, was not s t r i c t l y enforced. Only $5,000.00 was allocated 17 to pay for p a t r o l l i n g the entire P a c i f i c coast, and the Chinese continued to be smuggled into Washington from B r i t i s h Columbia. The Seattle Knights condemned the government as beholden to corporations which did not want to have cheap Chinese labor eliminated. Increasingly, labor leaders, p a r t i c u l a r l y the Knights, demanded that the Chinese be expelled since i t was f e l t they 23 were now residing i n Washington i l l e g a l l y . At f i r s t glance i t might seem inconsistent that the Knights would advocate the expulsion of the Chinese. In fact, one might think, considering the Knights policy of r a c i a l t o l e r a t i o n and the desire for one centralized labor organization, they would have worked hard at organizing the Chinese. Nationally the o f f i c i a l p o l i c y of the Knights i s not clear. Few Chinese joined the Knights, but then few Chinese' l i v e d beyond the West coast. Some Knights seemed to be i n favor of establishing a separate organization for the Chinese, yet three General Assemblies decided that the Chinese were not "considered worthy 24 of residence i n America." On the other hand, Terrence Powderly's attitudes toward the Chinese are quite clear. To him they were a s e r v i l e race and a threat to American labor. Their acceptance of low wages and poor working conditions, and the ease with which they were manipulated by t h e i r employers placed the Chinese i n the same position as other imported labor. As Powderly c o r r e c t l y noted the Chinese were often imported under contract. To him: Theoretically, i t sounded very well to extend a welcome to a l l to a share.in the protection to be derived from organization, but i t was 18 soon discovered that to carry out the practice would leave t h i s country with men to whom the American laborer could extend no aid, and who were too ignorant to help themselves. Thus, the s e r v i l e Chinese were not only a threat to American labor but also helpless and could not be "considered ... proper 25 persons to become Knights of Labor." The attitudes 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 with t h e i r anti-Chinese feelings. Washington Knights not only refused to organize the Chinese, they were leaders in labor's campaign to expel them from the T e r r i t o r y . In 1885 the Knights were i n the best position to lead the a n t i - Chinese campaign as they were the only well-organized labor group i n Washington. Under the d i r e c t i o n of Daniel Cronin, a Knights r e c r u i t e r from C a l i f o r n i a , the Knights quickly learned that anti-Chinese sentiment could be used as an organizational method. Operating from the platform that labor had to take the lead i n the Chinese explusion, Cronin recruited enough new Knights to have D i s t r i c t Assembly 115 accepted into the 2 6 national Order i n September 1885. Anti-Chinese h o s t i l i t y was widespread among laborers, but i t was the mine workers who became the "shock troops" of the anti-Chinese movement in Washington. Chinese labor i n the mines had never been popular with the white mine workers. They accepted the p r e v a i l i n g r a c i a l stereotypes and wanted nothing to do with the Chinese. They were also well aware that the Chinese could be used to suppress wages and break s t r i k e s . 19 But in 1885 a more pertinent consideration was the fact that mine laborers were not so discriminating about what work they would do. With a sluggish economy the laborers were w i l l i n g to become screeners and pickers, jobs that Were previously considered.fit only for Chinese and boys. They wanted the Chinese jobs, but they were not w i l l i n g to accept the lower Chinese wages. With the support of the miners, the laborers demanded that the Chinese be f i r e d and that whites receive 27 higher wages for Chinese work. As one might guess, coal operators were reluctant to re l i n q u i s h cheap Chinese labor. John Howard, General Manager of the OIC i n San Francisco, was resolved not to give into his employees' demands. For sixteen years Howard ran the OIC coal department, and he rar e l y gave i n to anyone over anything. Howard would cut any corner to protect his position and increase company p r o f i t s . When he died i n 1914, he was r i c h and under indictment for fraud. Howard considered the smuggling of Chinese from B.C. a "laudable business" and in 1885 of the approximately two hundred workers at Newcastle, between t h i r t y and f i f t y were Chinese, while eleven Chinese were employed at Franklin. For the most part the Chinese were hired as coal pickers (those who separated rock from coal), tedious work for which they received between $1.00 and $1.45 per day, 2 8 or about half of what a white laborer earned. In the spring of 1885 the Newcastle mine workers became increasingly adamant i n th e i r demands that the Chinese be f i r e d . Some Chinese were l e t go, but Howard said he would 20 not f i r e any more unless the whites were w i l l i n g to accept the same low wages. As the summer passed relations between the OIC and i t s employees deteriorated and some of the e a r l i e s t 2 9 violence against the Chinese occurred at Newcastle. Anti-Chinese violence, which occupied the P a c i f i c Northwest for six months, began i n September 1885. What started out as a series of isolated incidents quickly escalated into 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. With tensions so high between the OIC and i t s employees, i t i s not surprising that Newcastle quickly became a hot spot. On the evening of 11 September fourteen masked men drove the Chinese from t h e i r quarters at Coal Creek, two miles from Newcastle. The Chinese, who were employed at Newcastle, f l e d to the woods while t h e i r attackers burned t h e i r boarding houses to the ground. The white men were recognized as workers from Newcastle, including 30 at least one prominent Knight. Within a few weeks the anti-Chinese leaders, not only were bolder but more organized. An Anti-Chinese Congress was formed, which was largely a c o a l i t i o n of labor groups and small business- men. Spurred on by the Knights, the Congress flexed i t s muscles at the opening meeting.on 28 September. The Knights demanded that a l l employers throughout the T e r r i t o r y discharge t h e i r Chinese or face the consequences. The Knights were serious. The next morning, at about 2:00 A.M., another group of masked men roused the Chinese at Franklin and gave them twenty-four hours to leave. The Chinese wisely hid u n t i l dawn and departed *.u . . . 31 on the morning t r a i n . 21 John Howard, who was i n Seattle at the time of the raids on Coal Creek and Franklin, observed the meeting of the A n t i - Chinese Congress. After the meeting he re l u c t a n t l y gave the Post-intelligencer an interview. He to l d a reporter that he had nothing against the Knights as long as they respected the rights.of property 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 Fellows. A few days e a r l i e r , however, he had written President Smith and assured him that the OIC would not be "dictated to" by "alot of demagogues and scum." Howard said he would rather close the mines than have his employees decide whom the company could 32 hire and f i r e . Howard wanted to ret a i n his remaining Chinese employees, and he loathed the thought of giving i n to the white workers' demands. But with the growing power of the ant i -Chinese movement, he r e a l i s t i c a l l y had few options. He could close the mines, which the company could not afford, or he could discharge the Chinese and replace them with whites at higher wages. Out of sheer necessity he selected the l a t t e r option and discharged the Chinese,- which he estimated would add an additional $2000 to $2500 to the monthly p a y r o l l . 3 3 The other mine operators who employed Chinese succumbed to the same fate as the OIC. Chinese workers were discharged or driven from Black Diamond, Wilkeson, and Carbonado. Such v i c t o r i e s encouraged the pro-explusion forces of the T e r r i t o r y , and they expanded t h e i r f i e l d of action. In November the Chinese were driven from Tacoma, and Governor Watson Squire had 22 to request three hundred and f i f t y Federal troops to protect property and the Chinese i n Seattle. The troops arrived in late November but were soon withdrawn when i t was discovered that they were physically assaulting the Chinese whenever they 34 saw them in the streets. But the very success of the anti-Chinese movement resulted in a conservative reaction. Increasingly, Seattle c i v i c and business leaders became less concerned about removing the Chinese and more concerned about workers taking to the streets and disregarding law and order. By the end of 1885 Seattle was a divided c i t y . The "moderates", led by Mayor Henry Yessler, wanted the Chinese removed peacefully and according to the law. The so-called " r a d i c a l s " , spearheaded by, laborers, demanded that the Chinese be removed immediately, peacefully or otherwise. Caught somewhere inbetween were the Chinese. Dis- agreement1 reached the flashpoint on 8 February 1886 i n the famous Seattle " r i o t " . President Grover Cleveland declared martial law 35 and Federal troops were stationed i n Seattle for three months. But the Chinese were gone. In 1885 there were 967 Chinese in King County and 957 in Pierce County. In 1887 only one Chinese was counted i n Pierce County and 142 i n King County. Though most did remain i n the T e r r i t o r y , the Chinese population declined from 3276 to 2584 between 1885 and 1887. In the decade 1880-1890 the number of Chinese marginally increased, but t h e i r t o t a l percentage of the population f e l l from 4.2% to 0.9%. 3 6 Although the Chinese were gone, t h e i r explusion was i n 23 part a hollow v i c t o r y for the OIC mine workers. More than ever the OIC o f f i c e r s were determined to r e s i s t the demands of thei r workers. Suffering from continual " f i n a n c i a l embarass- ment" and operating i n an extremely competitive coal market, the OIC was opposed to any measure which increased costs. But the explusion of the Chinese exposed two more basic issues. F i r s t , the white workers responded to the Chinese with fear and d i s l i k e ; fear for t h e i r economic security and d i s l i k e of the Chinese as human beings. No attempt was made to understand what the whites and Chinese might have i n common as workers. The workers had divided along r a c i a l l i n e s . Second, men l i k e John Howard and E l i j a h Smith were not going to be "dictated to" by t h e i r employees. According to them the company would o f f e r decent conditions and a f a i r day's pay for a f a i r day's work. The employee, as an in d i v i d u a l , could accept or re j e c t t h i s o f f e r , nothing more. No c o l l e c t i v e or union could speak for the workers, for 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 , organizations which entertained t h e i r members and paid for t h e i r funeral expenses. Whom the company hired and f i r e d were matters to be decided by the company, and the company alone. These issues would become increasingly important as the problems between the company and i t s employees became more pronounced. NOTES Dorothy 0. Johansen and Charles M. Gates, Empire of the Columbia: A History of the P a c i f i c Northwest (New York, 1967), pp. 305-332. This i s the standard text on the P a c i f i c Northwest. See also, A. Norbert MacDonald, "Seattle's Economic Development, 1880-1910," (Phd. di s s e r t a t i o n , University of Washington, 1959). Johansen and Gates, Empire of the Columbia, pp. 320-322; U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census, Compendium of the Eleventh Census, 1890, Part I I , p. 486. MacDonald, "Seattle's Economic Development," pp. 9-18. For more detailed accounts of Washington's early coal mining industry see Frederick Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Mining Industry with Special Reference to the Ind u s t r i a l Relation Problems," (M.A. thesis, University of Washington, 1931), pp. 4-10; CH. Bagley, History of Seattle (Chicago, 1916), I, pp. 123-128; C. William Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," (M.A. thesis, University of Washington, 1965), pp. 7-26; Marilyn Tharp, "Story of Coal at Newcastle," P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 48 (October 1957): pp. 120-126. Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," pp. 21- 24. For a thorough analysis of the Washington coal f i e l d s see U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States , 1880, v o l . 15, Report of Mining Industries of the United States, pp. 759-771. See also, 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 general types of coal found i n Washington. Using the terminology of the day, the f i e l d s around Seattle were l i g n i t i c , the poorest qu a l i t y of coal, and contained high percentages of moisture and ash. The Green River f i e l d s near Franklin were c l a s s i f i e d as bituminous-lignites, and offered good steam coal. True bituminous coal was larg e l y found only i n the Wilkeson-Carbonado area i n Pierce County. See U.S. Department of the Int e r i o r . U.S. Geological Survey. Mineral Resources of the United States 1883-1884, p.99. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 19 A p r i l 1884, 1 January 1885; Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," pp. 49, 55; Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Industry," pp. 25-29; Thomas Greeve to John Waterbury, 9 March 1896, Oregon Improvement Company Records (hereafter QIC Records), Box 53a, F i l e 2 (53a:2), University of Washington Library. For a good comparison of Washington and B.C. mining see, Mineral Resources of the United States 1886, pp. 367-369. 25 6. The other c a p i t a l i s t s were J.N. Dolph, CH. 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 Seattle and Northern Railway, the Port Townsend Southern Railway, and the Columbia and Puget Sound Railway. The OIC also 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 in 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 also, Greeve to Waterbury, ' 9 March 1896, OIC Records 53a:2; MacDonald, "Seattle's Economic Development," pp 23-30; Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," pp. 20-40. 7. Mineral Resources of the United States 1887, p. 369, 1905, p. 691; John Howard to 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 at Roslyn and those of the P a c i f i c Improvement Company exceeded the output of either Franklin or Newcastle. But the coal mined by the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Co., a subsidiary of the NPR, and the P a c i f i c Improvment Co., a subsidiary of the Central P a c i f i c Railroad, went to fuel the locomotives of t h e i r respective r a i l r a o d s . The OIC remained the leading independent producer. Technically John Howard, the OIC General Manager at San Francisco, owned the Franklin Coal Company as he secretly controlled 2475 of i t s 2500 shares. Only twenty- f 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 tryi n g to hide i t s involvement i n the Franklin Coal Co. because a good part of i t s land was claimed by the NPR. The dispute, which was eventually s e t t l e d i n the OIC's favor, lasted u n t i l 1891. See Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," pp. 41-46. 8. Johansen and Gates, Empire of the Columbia, pp. 310-312. 9. Post-Intelligencer, 23.;-April 1884, 13 May 1884; Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," p. 39. 10. Greeve to Waterbury, 9 March 1896, OIC Records, 53a:2. 11. Ibid. 12. In the nineteenth century a "miner" was not anyone who worked i n a mine. As s h a l l be discussed in Chapter Two, a miner was a special type of worker i n the mine. Other workers were generally c a l l e d "laborers," but each had his own t i t l e according to the job he did. 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 "laborer" when necessary. When speaking of both miners and laborers, I s h a l l refer to them as "mine workers," "workers," or "employees." 26 13. Meryl Rogers, "The Labor Movement i n S e a t t l e , 1885-1905," (M.A. t h e s i s , P a c i f i c Lutheran U n i v e r s i t y , 1970), pp. 1-3, 94-99; Harry Stone, "The Beginning of the Labor Movement i n the P a c i f i c Northwest," Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y 47 (June 1946): pp. 155-157; MacDonald, " S e a t t l e ' s Economic Development," pp. 286-291. 14. Norman Ware, The Labor Movement i n the United S t a t e s (New York, 1929; r e p r i n t e d ed. G l o u c e s t e r , Mass., 1959), x v i i i . On the founding of the Knights see pp. 23-44, 55-72, 80-91. See a l s o , Terrence Powderly, T h i r t y Years of Labor ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1890; r e p r i n t e d ed. New York, 1967), passim.; P h i l i p T a f t , Organized Labor i n American H i s t o r y (New York, 1964), pp. 84-92, 97-108. 15. P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , 21 August 1888; Powderly, T h i r t y Years of Labor, pp. 127-129, 218-229. 16. Ware, The Labor Movement i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s , pp. 213-218. 17. F r e d e r i c k Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Industry," pp. 53, 55-56. Melder's best source i s an i n t e r v i e w w i t h Frank T e r r a c e , a Newcastle miner and Master workman of the Knights from 1881-1885. There are no records of the Knights 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 nights i n the P a c i f i c Northwest see Harry Stone, "The Beginning of the Labor Movement i n the P a c i f i c Northwest," p. 159. 18. The e x p u l s i o n of the Chinese from Washington i s a t a l e t o l d many times, and I can o f f e r l i t t l e t h a t i s new. Most of the accounts are based on the i s s u e s of the Post- I n t e l l i g e n c e r and the 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 the more complete source. The two b e s t g e n e r a l accounts of the Chinese i n the West are Robert Wynne, "Reaction t o the Chinese i n the P a c i f i c Northwest and B r i t i s h Columbia," (Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y of Washington, 1964) and Alexander Saxton, The I n d i s p e n s i b l e Enemy: Labor and the A n t i - C h i n e s e Movement i n C a l i f o r n i a , (Berkeley, 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 1948): pp. 103-129; W.P. Wilcox, "Anti-Chinese R i o t s i n Washington," Washington H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y 20 ( J u l y 1929): pp. 204-212; Meryl Rogers, "The Labor Movement i n S e a t t l e " ; Murray Morgan, S k i d Row (New York, 1951), pp. 85-102; Roger S a l e , S e a t t l e : Past to Present ( S e a t t l e , 1976), 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 Washington (New York, 1891), pp. 187-212; Cl a r e n c e Bagley, H i s t o r y of S e a t t l e , I I , pp. 455-477. 19. See Appendix and Wynne, "Reaction to the Chinese," pp. 44- 48. The Oregon T e r r i t o r y which i n c l u d e d the present day s t a t e s of Oregon, Washington and p a r t s of Idaho, Montana, 27 and Wyoming t e r r i t o r i e s were organized i n 1863, 1864, and 18 67 respectively. Oregon became a state i n 1859 and Washington i n 1889. Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana a l l became states i n 1890. 20. See, for example, the a r t i c l e s on the Chinese i n the Post- Intelligencer 15, 16, 28 A p r i l 1882, 30 January 1884; and Saxton, The Indispensible Enemy, pp. 208-210. 21. Saxton, The Indispensible Enemy, pp. 261-264. 22. Ibid., p. 211. 23. Post-Intelligencer, 7-9 May 1882, 4 October 1885; Wynne, "Reaction to the Chinese," pp. 285-305. 24. Powderly, Th i r t y Years of Labor, p. 218; Post-Intelligencer, 17 November 1888. 25. Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor, pp. 218-219, 210-218. 26„ Rogers, "The Labor Movement i n Seattle," pp. 9-12, 15-16; Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor, p. 336. 27. Wynne, "Reaction to the Chinese," p. 242; Post-Intelligencer, 1 October 1885. 28. Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," pp. -27-28; Howard to. E. Smith, 20 July 1884, OIC Records, 54:21, and Howard to E. Smith 24 July 1884, 54:23; OIC Scrapbooks, Box 69. Chinese workers had been used at Newcastle as early as 1876. See, Tharp, "Story of Coal at Newcastle," p. 124. 29. James Jones to E. Smith, 10 A p r i l 1885, 13 September 1885, OIC Records, 44:44 and 45:2. 30. Post-Intelligencer, 4-15 September 1885, 30 September 1885; Wynne, "Reaction to the Chinese," pp. 97-100. 31. Post-Intelligencer, 29, 30 September 1885. 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; Post-Intelligencer, 18 October 188 5; Wynne, "Reaction to the Chinese," p. 102. 34. Rogers, "The Labor Movement in Seattle," pp. 38-53; Melder, "A Studyof the Washington Coal Industry," pp. 55-56. 28 35. Ibid. 36. See Appendix and Wynne, "Reaction to the Chinese," Appendix I. 29 CHAPTER TWO COAL MINING The structure of mining towns, and the nature of coal mining made c o n f l i c t almost inevitable between a company and i t s employees. Mining towns were usually i s o l a t e d , r e l a t i v e l y closed s o c i e t i e s dominated by the company which owned or con- t r o l l e d the land and important services of the community. There were only two d i s t i n c t s o c i a l classes within the community, the mine workers and the company managers and service personnel. There was l i t t l e upward mobility and the r e l a t i v e l y homogeneous workers found themselves drawn together as they shared the same grievances at the same time i n the same place and against the same people. Moreover, the union l o c a l was the only countervailing 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 risked serious injury or death i n the coal beds. The work bred tough, independent men who were determined to maintain t h e i r position i n an i r r e g u l a r industry. But inde- pendence and organization did not always work well together, and the workers often quarreled among themselves. In addition, organization was hindered by lack of communication and much competition between mining towns, and the general h o s t i l i t y that prevailed against organized labor i h the 1880's. A company l i k e the OIC encouraged faction among i t s workers. I t wanted to mine coal e f f i c i e n t l y and economically without any interference from employees or labor organizations. Further, 30 companies commonly argued that unions forced a man to subordinate his independence by allowing the union to make his decisions for him. Most coal operators were w i l l i n g to treat t h e i r workers only as ind i v i d u a l s , but i n the end treating the workers as individuals and keeping them divided merely r e f l e c t e d d i f f e r e n t sides of the same coin. In t h e i r physical attributes mining towns i n Washington were similar to each other and l o c a l variations f i t t e d comfortably into established patterns. Throughout the 1880's Franklin, Newcastle, Black Diamond and South P r a i r i e each had fewer than one thousand people, while Carbonado had just over a thousand. None of the towns were wretched hovels, devoid of ess e n t i a l services. Each town consisted of private dwellings, company buildings, stores, boarding houses, saloons, and usually a church and a school. Franklin was b u i l t on the edge of a c l i f f overlooking the surging Green River, while Newcastle, one of the oldest mining communities i n Washington, was surrounded by a forest of stumps, the timber having been consumed long ago for supports i n the mines. According to the "P-I" New- castle's burning slag heap was p a r t i c u l a r l y obnoxious, but i t s streets were less dusty or muddy, depending on the weather, than those of swampy Black Diamond."'" For the most part the mining communities were isola t e d "company towns." The towns were linked to Seattle and Tacoma, the population centers of Washington, by railr o a d s and telegraph, but the roads and wire were controlled by the mining 31 companies. In times of extreme labor disputes the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company, a subsidiary of the Northern P a c i f i c Railroad, was known to pr o h i b i t r a i l t r a f f i c to i t s mines at Roslyn. Thus, t i e s to the outside could e a s i l y be cut. The company also usually owned a l l the land i n the town, and i s o l a t i o n forced i t to become i t s own community developer. The company provided a l l the es s e n t i a l services, but i t also decided what was e s s e n t i a l . The Black Diamond Company shunned the company store and boarding house, well aware of the problems they caused. On the other hand, the OIC owned the store and boarding house i n both Newcastle and Franklin, and the complaints from the workers about high prices, rapidly accumulating debts, and the obligation to purchase from the company were predictable and frequent. In 1886 s t r i k i n g miners at Newcastle directed some of t h e i r h o s t i l i t y to the company store. • They completely 2 sacked i t and nearly burned i t to the ground. Except for the store and boarding house, Black Diamond was perhaps the epitome of paternal domination, where economic power led to s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l hegemony. Like Newcastle and Franklin, Black Diamond had no government or police force, and not even a newspaper; for over twenty years a l l important decisions, and most minor ones, were made by company Super- intendent Morgan Morgans. He controlled liquor , l i g h t s , medical care, o f f i c i a l holidays, and even the company cemetary. His two storey house dominated the Black Diamond landscape. Morgans had the only servant i n town and no s o c i a l equals. He had a preference for h i r i n g Republicans, and many new employees 32 quickly and qui e t l y changed t h e i r party allegiance. Morgans ran his town honestly and e f f i c i e n t l y , but as o f f i c i a l company 3 representative, Black Diamond was his town. Paternal domination was supported by a lack of economic d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n . Mining towns were closed s o c i e t i e s ; they existed because of the mines, and the coal company was the only major employer. Lack of d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n led to the development of only two s o c i a l classes with the community, the mine workers and the company o f f i c i a l s and service personnel. The absence of mediating groups, such as professionals or non-company white-collar workers, caused tensions between the workers and the company to polarize. And tensions were common. The workers chafed under the complete supervision of the company. There was no escaping the company; after his s h i f t i n the mine, a man went home to his company house.or room i n the boarding house, ate food from the company store, and drank i n the company saloon. If he wanted to go to Seattle or Tacoma, he went on rai l r o a d s owned by the OIC or Northern P a c i f i c , the most important coal operators m Washington. Increasingly the mine workers of a community found them- selves being drawn together. Unlike the East, Washington mine workers were not nearly so fragmented by ethnic and r e l i g i o u s differences. In 1890 nearly 70% of Washington's population was born i n the United States. Nearly half of the native immigrants came from the Midwest, and u n t i l the turn of the century most of the foreign-born people came from Canada, Great B r i t a i n , Ireland, Germany and Scandanavia. Washington miners were often 33 from B r i t a i n and Ireland, but they brought to the U.S. a 5 similar culture and a common language. The experienced B r i t i s h miners also brought with them a t r a d i t i o n of mining unionism. The union l o c a l became very important i n Washington mining towns as i t was the only counter- v a i l i n g i n s t i t u t i o n to the company. The l o c a l , which was usually organized by the miners of each town, provided the only s o c i a l and recreational alternative to the company. More important, however, the workers operating through the union could present a force to meet and occasionally match that of 6 the company. The structure of 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 of mining i s taken into consideration, c o n f l i c t was almost in e v i t a b l e . The e f f e c t of mining on relations between employer and employees might best be i l l u s t r a t e d with a general description of coal mining i n Washington. Coal mining involved both above and below ground operations. Above ground were the buildings where the coal was screened, cracked and cleaned for market. Washington coal needed extensive cleaning as i t was notorious for i t s foreign matter. In order to reach the coal below ground there were four types of mine entrances; d r i f t , slope, tunnel and shaft. A d r i f t entrance was an i n c l i n e plane driven into the coal at an upward angle from the outcrop, while a slope mine followed the coal seam's dip from the outcrop. When there was no outcrop, that i s when the coal was not d i r e c t l y accessible, a rock tunnel or perpen- 34 d i c u l a r s h a f t was d r i v e n through the waste m a t e r i a l to the c o a l bed. P r a c t i c a l l y a l l the mines i n Washington were slope 7 m i n e s . In g e n e r a l Washington mining f o l l o w e d the b r e a s t and p i l l a r or chute and p i l l a r method. On each l e v e l o f f the main s l o p e , gangways (haulage routes u s u a l l y l a i d w i t h track) were con- s t r u c t e d h o r i z o n t a l to the s u r f a c e . From the gangways i n t u r n the miners cut i n t o the c o a l bed. The width of the cut depended on many f a c t o r s , such as the t h i c k n e s s of the c o a l bed; the p i t c h , or angle, of the bed; and the s t r e n g t h of the r o o f . In Washington a chute cut was l e s s than twelve f e e t wide, while a b r e a s t was more than twelve f e e t , o f t e n up to f i f t y f e e t wide. Between the b r e a s t s huge s l a b s of c o a l , or p i l l a r s , were l e f t s t a n ding t o keep the r o o f from c o l l a p s i n g . The b r e a s t s were connected by c r o s s c u t s through the p i l l a r s . Working from the top l e v e l down, the p i l l a r s were mined l a s t and the mine's ro o f then u s u a l l y c o l l a p s e d . In charge of a b r e a s t was a miner. With the a s s i s t a n c e of three or four l a b o r e r s he determined how to cut i n t o the c o a l , where to d r i l l , and what k i n d and how much powder to put i n the d r i l l h o l e . A f t e r the e x p l o s i o n the l a r g e chunks of c o a l were broken up and loaded i n t o gangway c a r s p u l l e d by mules to the main slope where, depending upon the p i t c h of the s l o p e , the c o a l was e i t h e r h o i s t e d by an engine or hauled on t r a c k s to the s u r f a c e . Machine mining was i n t r o d u c e d i n one Washington mine i n 1896, but u n t i l w e l l i n t o the t w e n t i e t h century the common t o o l s were the hand d r i l l , the hammer, the 35 pick and shovel.^ Like many occupations, a mine worker's status depended upon his job. Inside (below ground) workers were of a higher order than outside (above ground) workers, and s k i l l e d workers (carpenters, blacksmiths, engineers) had a higher status than unskilled laborers. Mobility was determined by age and experience. A young boy, often as young as ten or twelve, began his career as a coal picker or trapper, a v e n t i l a t i o n door operator. As he got older a boy would graduate to mule dri v e r or laborer, and i f he was lucky, he would eventually become a miner. But the wheel turned f u l l c i r c l e . When a miner became old or infirm, the l a t t e r usually occuring before the former, he would once again take to picking. A common adage of the time was, "twice a boy and once a man i s the poor miner's l i f e . " 1 0 In terms of status and respect among workers miners stood above everyone else. A miner was the most independent worker in the mine. He had the fewest t i e s to the company, often nothing more than an agreement to mine a set amount of coal for a set pri c e . A miner usually provided his own tools and equipment, and he often hired and paid his assistants i n his 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 chief concern was with his rela t i o n s h i p with the pit-boss or foreman who determined which miners would get to work i n the choice breasts. A miner could not afford to alienate the pit-boss, but neither would he kow-tow to him. If forced to choose he would most often 36 opt for independence. Carter Goodrich c i t e s an example where a miner; seeing his boss coming, t o l d one of his laborers, "Here's the boss. Don't work. Always s i t down when the boss i s around. Besides being leaders i n the p i t s , miners also dominated the Knights as well as the other mining unions. Being the most independent they were the quickest to be offended by the company's practices and most strikes 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 with each other, a miner's suggestions were usually accepted by the laborers. Miners and laborers continually complained about t h e i r working conditions, accusing t h e i r employers of s a c r i f i c i n g t h e i r safety and comfort for p r o f i t . Conditions were bad i n the mines, but considering the nature of coal mining and the exist i n g technology, they could hardly be otherwise. Yet, poor working conditions were made worse by the practices of both the operators and the miners. V e n t i l a t i o n was always a major concern. U n t i l the late nineteenth century, when e l e c t r i c fans became widespread, mines were ventilated by two p a r a l l e l a i r shafts. A furnace forced stale a i r up one shaft, and fresh a i r was drawn down the other and ci r c u l a t e d through the areas of the mine being worked by a complicated network of v e n t i l a t i o n doors. But fresh a i r was not the only v e n t i l a t i o n problem. Coal mines often contained gas, p a r t i c u l a r l y explosive methane ( f i r e damp) and suffocating carbon dioxide (choke damp).. ̂  Coal dust too could explode and i t s inhalation slowly destroyed a 37 man's lungs. Newcastle and Franklin both suffered many gas and dust explosions, and the Mine Inspector blamed many of these accidents on the OIC's cheap but i n e f f i c i e n t v e n t i l a t i o n system. Gas, however, could also be exploded by a miner's lamp. Safety lamps were invented i n the early nineteenth century, but miners were reluctant to use them because they were bulky and gave only dim l i g h t . Instead they preferred 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 of accidents and deaths,as were cave-ins. Timbering helped support weak roofs, but timbering took time and therefore was expensive for both miners and operators. Mines were usually below water l e v e l and periodic floods were to be expected, as were f a l l i n g rocks and coal and the chance that a worker would be h i t by a mine car i n the d i m l y - l i t gangways. Washington mines had the added danger of highly pitched beds, which made for weak roofs and poor footing. In the period 1905-1911, the e a r l i e s t period for which r e l i a b l e records are available, the Mine Inspector reported that one t h i r d of a l l f a t a l accidents and one quarter of a l l non-fatal accidents were 13 attributable to the steep slopes and beds. Under the best of conditions mining was d i r t y , unpleasant work. The p i t s were dark and often quite warm. Miners wore l i t t l e ' or no clothing, and to add to th e i r discomfort they occasionally found themselves crouched i n two foot seams or standing i n waist deep water a thousand feet below the surface of the earth. Such conditions did not endear a company to i t s 38 workers, but i n many cases there was l i t t l e that the company could do to a l l e v i a t e the conditions. Disputes over wages also contributed to the antagonism between workers and operators. A general discussion of wages i s d i f f i c u l t simply because there was no standard wage scale. Men were paid by the ton, the yard, the car, and the day. If a miner was paid by the ton, i t might be the short ton (2000 l b s . ) , the long ton (2240 l b s . ) , or the miner's ton (2464 to 3360 l b s . ) . The rate per yard depended on the thickness of the bed, the p i t c h , the need for timbering and b r a t t i c i n g , and the quality of the coal. Such rates varied from l e v e l to l e v e l within a single mine. In King County the miners were usually paid by the yard and laborers were paid at a d a i l y rate. In 1890 the U.S. Geological Survey averaged mining wages nationally. Considering the complexity of wage scales such averages should be regarded with caution, but the USGS concluded that Washington miners and laborers were the highest paid i n the country with miners 14 earning $3.26 per day and laborers $2.46. Such averages probably conceal more than they reveal. The dispute over wages in Washington went far; beyond arguments over d a i l y rates. Some complaints were predictable. More often than not i t was the company that determined the length of a yard and the weight of a ton. Complaints from the miners about long yards and heavy tons were common, as were the accus- ations that the company recovered most i f not a l l of i t s wages at the company store and boarding house. But more important was the fact that Washington mines rarely operated a l l year as 39 Washington coal often could not compete with foreign coal. In slack times operators reduced wages'and discharged workers. With a stockpile of unsold coal, i t was the miners who usually went f i r s t , p a r t i c u l a r l y those miners who were involved i n labor organizations. Miners claimed that they had to be paid high wages to compensate for the many i d l e days. 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 scale of wages. Such a scale rose and f e l l with the fluctuating price of coal, but i t could never f a l l below a set minimum. In addition, the Knights wanted to be able to share work in slack times so that some miners did not continue to work f u l l time while other had no work. The OIC i n p a r t i c u l a r wanted no part of these schemes, arguing that they were expensive and infringed upon 15 the company's ri g h t to conduct business as i t saw f i t . A disgruntled, i n d i v i d u a l worker had few options open to him. A miner could always quit, but his specialized s k i l l s were not i n demand elsewhere, and neither miners nor laborers could expect to earn as much in other occupations. Upward mobility was limited i n mining communities. Some miners did become foremen and a select few made superintendent. But with labor force of nearly three thousand and a stable management s t a f f of less than f i f t y , such mobility was very l i m i t e d . Individually, a miner or laborer could do l i t t l e to change the system; he was operating from a position of no strength. A strong response could only come from c o l l e c t i v e action, an organized group of workers meeting the force of the company wi a force of i t s own.^ uo There were, however, a number of factors working against labor organizations i n the coal mining industry. The coal operators displayed a tremendous h o s t i l i t y towards unions, and t r i e d hard to keep t h e i r employees from organizing. Unions were considered an infringement on the company's ri g h t to conduct i t s business i n an economical and e f f i c i e n t manner, as defined by the company. Unions were also a threat to the cherished value of individualism. John Howard of the OIC continually said that he' would treat his workers only as individuals and each man had the r i g h t to bargain with the company on his own terms. No labor organization could speak for 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 has probably been overemphasized, the 1880's i n general were not a f e r t i l e time for labor, and mining unions i n p a r t i c u l a r were in a bad way. Union miners had been branded as t e r r o r i s t s after the actions of the Molly Maguires i n the late 1870's, and with the Haymarket " r i o t " in May 1886 the Knights became associated with socialism and the p e r i l of anarchy. By 1887 the Knights had l o s t nearly two hundred thousand members, and 17 they never regained national prominence. While the structure of coal towns and the nature of mining often united workers against t h e i r employers, they also created stumbling blocks to labor organizations. Successful organizing required the support and cooperation of mine workers i n neighboring towns. But mining towns were isolated from population centers and from each other, and the companies , . .. controlled both the railroads and the telegraph. For organizers, 41 lack of communication was a continual problem. Even when mining towns were close together, as they were i n King County, union l o c a l s were organized i n each community and operated independently of each other. The Knights Executive board attempted to coordinate the various l o c a l s from Seattle., usually without much success. In addition, the i r r e g u l a r i t y of the . Washington coal mining industry made competition between the companies quite 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 security was at stake. In May 1885, for example, the miners at Black Diamond went out on st r i k e , and they hoped to receive support from other miners i n the county. Not only did the Newcastle miners refuse to support the s t r i k e r s , but a group of them, who had just been discharged by the OIC, went to Black Diamond and broke the st r i k e within a week.1^ Though ethnic tensions i n Washington mines before the turn of the century were s l i g h t compared to the battles between native-born Americans and East Europeans i n Pennsylvania, some tensions did exi s t . The I r i s h , Welsh, Scots, and English quarreled among themselves, and none of them got along that well with the Americans. English miners were usually more s k i l l e d than t h e i r American counterparts, and they took great delight i n making the Americans look f o o l i s h and ignorant. Coming from a nation with a strong t r a d i t i o n of labor s o l i d a r i t y , the English and the Americans often locked horns over the issue of i n d i v i d u a l freedom versus the need for the workers to stand together. Opinions as to how to best deal with the company 42 were never l a c k i n g among the miners, and f a c t i o n s developed. For over two years the workers were d i v i d e d by competing • 19 unions i n the mining towns. I s o l a t e d , company-dominated towns, disputes over c o n d i t i o n s and wages, h o s t i l i t y toward unions, and t e n s i o n among workers a l l helped to create a s t r i f e - t o r n system. Mine workers met i n mass meetings, argued among themselves, and then presented t h e i r demands as an ultimatum to the company. The operators, i n t u r n , announced wage cuts and'discharges without n o t i c e or c o n s u l t a t i o n with employees. Further, companies l i k e the OIC were o c c a s i o n a l l l y adept at keeping the workers d i v i d e d . E t hnic groups were played against one another as were competing unions, though no operator would f o r m a l l y recognize a union. Neither s i d e , mine workers or operators, cooperated w i t h the other, and i n i t i a l mutual antagonism fed on i t s e l f and grew w i t h 20 v i g o r . Such d e s c r i p t i o n s can be l i t t l e more than a schematic of mining i n Washington i n the l a t e nineteenth century. N a t u r a l l y , there were many i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n s : 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 patterns were remarkably s i m i l a r , and an examination of the records of the Oregon Improvement Company allows one to 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 these common pa t t e r n s . I t takes l i t t l e more than a glance over the correspondence between General Manager John Howard i n San F r a n c i s c o and President E l i j a h Smith i n New York to r e a l i z e that r e l a t i o n s 43 0 between the OIC and i t s Newcastle employees were never good and they r a p i d l y d e t e r i o r a t e d as the Knights i n c r e a s e d t h e i r i n f l u e n c e . The workers complained o f t e n about t h e i r low wages and poor working c o n d i t i o n s , but some of the s t r o n g e s t c r i t i c s m was d i r e c t e d at the company s t o r e , or "Pluck-me" as i t was commonly known. John Howard denied the charges t h a t p r i c e s were too high, and he s t e a d f a s t l y maintained t h a t employees were f r e e to purchase from whomever they p l e a s e d . He added, however, t h a t i f the company's f a c i l i t i e s were not supported, they would have to be c l o s e d down, i n c l u d i n g the understandably popular i 21 saloon. There was never much c o o p e r a t i o n between the OIC and i t s workers, but what l i t t l e t h ere was evaporated d u r i n g the 1886 s t r i k e / l o c k o u t , one of the lo n g e s t and most b i t t e r d i s p u t e s i n Washington mining. The e l i m i n a t i o n of the Chinese i n l a t e 1885 r e j u v i n a t e d the Newcastle Knights who had been n e a r l y destroyed by company s p i e s infiltrating- the lodge. With the e x p u l s i o n of the Chinese, however, the Knights' i n f l u e n c e i n c r e a s e d , and the OIC estimated t h a t five-sixths- of the Newcastle employees were members of the Order. In December 1885, o s t e n s i b l y because of a poor market, John Howard f i r e d "a group of men" a t New- c a s t l e most of whom were "red hot Knights o f Labor." As a r e s u l t of the d i s c h a r g e s the Knights were indeed red hot. They claimed the OIC's a c t i o n was a "piece of tyranny", and they threatened to s t r i k e . But they never got the o p p o r t u n i t y to go out. In January 1886, a f t e r l e a r n i n g t h a t the workers were demanding wage i n c r e a s e s , John Howard came up from San 44 Francisco, observed the sit u a t i o n and closed Newcastle, stating 22 that the company was ready to "lock horns with the Knights." Both sides were prepared for a long f i g h t . The Knights issued a comprehensive l i s t of demands which included wage increases for a l l workers, the elimination of compulsory purchase at the store, and the recognition of the Knights as the bargaining agent for the employees. When the Franklin Knights voted forty-seven to twelve not to 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 miles to Franklin and persuaded the Franklin Knights, i n less than a gentle manner, to support th e i r cause. Newcastle was locked- 23 out and Franklin was now on s t r i k e . John Howard was as determined as the Knights. He claimed that the o r i g i n a l trouble was caused by "a few t r a v e l l i n g demagogues of the Knights of Labor," and that he would deal with his employees only as individuals. Certain individuals would not be rehired, p a r t i c u l a r l y six Knights' leaders, whom Howard considered, "turbulent trouble breeders..... [0] nee r i d 24 of them the society w i l l go to pieces." Howard wanted to aid the Knights' destruction as much as possible. In late March he informed Engineering Superintendent James Jones that: By a quiet understanding I have with the owners of Black Diamond, South P r a i r i e , carbonado, ['sic], Cedar River, Nanaimo, and Wellington mines, there i s to be an exchange of b l a c k l i s t s , and the rul e r s of the lodges of the Knights of Labor are to be denied work at a l l the mines. The intention i s to r i d that country of the agitators i n the lodges, to s t r i k e t e r r o r into the weak and v a s c i l l a t i n g members, and to dismember the organization. o r. 45 By the beginning of A p r i l neither the Knights nor the OIC had given an inch, but the unity among the workers was beginning to crumble. Newcastle had been closed for nearly three months; most men were broke, and many were w i l l i n g to return to work. Noting the d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n , Howard announced he was opening Newcastle and o f f e r i n g $3.00 a day to select miners and $2.00 a day to laborers. A "number of men" returned to work, and the Knights blasted them as "Superintendents' Pets." But with the men returning to work, the Knights were forced to lower t h e i r demands. They managed to win a small wage increase, but Howard refused to recognize any union, and he maintained that no employee was forced to purchase anything from the company. Howard informed President Smith that he 2 had secured a "happy termination to a very expensive trouble." The long dispute of 1886 solved nothing and l e f t r e l a t i o n s between the OIC and i t s employees even more strained. But the r e a l significance of the dispute i s that i t ruined cooperation among the workers. More and more men began to question the antagonistic practices of the Knights. These men f e l t that the Knights' continual agitation hurt a l l the workers i n the long run, and they advocated a more c o n c i l i a t o r y p olicy with the OIC. For the next two years the Knights made th e i r demands; the company resisted them, and the workers quarreled among themselves. F i n a l l y , i n early 1888, at the outset of three years of labor 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 leader of the Knights, quit the Order and established a competing organization at Newcastle, the Miners 46 and Mine Laborers Protective Union, commonly known as the Miners Union. The Miners Union eventually established l o c a l s 27 at Franklin and Roslyn. The Knights immediately branded the Miners Union as a company union and i t s members as "boss-suckers, blacklegs and s of b ." At a mass meeting i n May 1888 the Knights demanded that the OIC employ only Knights. The OIC refused and for the rest of the year i t played one union against the other. By. December 1888 the new Resident Manager of the OIC in Seattle, Hobart W. McNeill, a man who matched John Howard's ambition and exceeded his tactlessness, estimated that only 28 20% of the workers at Newcastle belonged to the Knights. With men rapidly leaving the Order, the Knights were desperate but not defeated. Gathering support from other mining towns, between f i f t y and two hundred Knights descended upon Newcastle on 4 January 1889 to clean out the Miners Union. A gun ba t t l e began between the two factions and one Knight was shot to death. At the request of Colonel John C. Haines, who was also the OIC attorney, two companies of m i l i t i a were sent 29 to Newcastle. The Knights immediately c a l l e d a county-wide strike.and the miners at Franklin, Gilman, Cedar Mountain, and Black Diamond went out, but the center of the trouble remained at Newcastle. When T e r r i t o r i a l Governor Eugene Semple learned that the m i l i t i a was at Newcastle without his authority, he ordered i t withdrawn. Semple's attention had been focused on the continuing trouble at the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company's 47 mines at Roslyn where blacks 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 McNeill telegraphed the T h i e l Detective Agency i n Portland, an ; agency that the T e r r i t o r i a l Governor considered an "organ- ized body of mercenaries ... who are ready, for a consideration, to perpetrate any act, whether treachery or violence, that may be required by those who employ them." Under the leadership of William Sul l i v a n , twenty detectives, or "Pinkertons" as they were referred to by the press, arrived at Newcastle armed with Winchester r i f l e s , revolvers, and Bowie knives. The T h i e l detectives enforced the peace u n t i l the end of January when once again because of lack of support the Knights r e l u c t a n t l y returned to work. 3 0 At f i r s t glance i t would seem that the s t r i k e of 1889 had changed l i t t l e . The workers were s t i l l divided between the Knights and the Miners Union. The OIC refused to recognize any union and maintained i t would employ and discharge whom i t pleased, but i t continued to play one group against the other. McNeill, said the OIC had won the l a t e s t battle against the Knights, but he was sure they would fi g h t again because "force not sense rules t h i s class of c a t t l e . " The rest of the year passed q u i e t l y at Newcastle and generally at the mines throughout Washington. The market was poor and Newcastle was 31 barely operating because of extensive f i r e damage. But something had changed. The OIC was fed up with continual and expensive labor problems, and they sought a permanent solution. Since August 1888 the OIC o f f i c e r s had been observing 48 the events at Roslyn where blacks were being used i n the mines to q u e l l labor agitation. As early as September 188 8 John Howard advised President Smith to consider the use of blacks because: It would take such a new element as negroes, with whom the whites would not assimilate, to prevent any further combinations. The experience of the mine owners on t h i s coast with regard to imported white labor i s that i t i s a temporary r e l i e f , and that as soon as the new element has become inoculated with the ideas of the old, (and i t does not take very long to do t h i s i n t h i s country), history repeats i t s e l f with the mine owners. McNeill too, with verbal deftness, l a t e r suggested that the OIC " f i l l up with d a r k i e s . " 3 2 No doubt Howard would have preferred 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 re a d i l y available than blacks. But popular opinion throughout the T e r r i t o r y was against t h i s . The Chinese had been widely used i n Washington and h o s t i l i t y toward them came from a l l classes. Blacks, i t appeared, had the advantage of being almost unknown in Washington. They could be d i s c r e t e l y brought to the mines where, i t was hoped, they could be used e f f e c t i v e l y without offending the populace of Seattle. In the mines r a c i a l animosity would prevent blacks and whites from combining. There was some concern that the use of blacks would cause the white workers to forget t h e i r differences and j o i n forces, but for organized labor to be e f f e c t i v e i t had to present a u n i f i e d front to the company, which meant blacks and whites working together, an u n l i k e l y prospect. 49 The structure of mining towns and the nature of mining drew workers together and made c o n f l i c t with the company almost inevitable. But the operators were well aware that the workers had d i f f i c u l t y i n acting as a body and organization was v i t a l i f the workers were to secure th e i r demands. Keeping the workers divided was the best way to keep them i n e f f e c t i v e . In 1889, the o f f i c e r s of the OIC began to consider the poss- i b i l i t y of permanently di v i d i n g the workers, and from the experience of the Chinese and the example at Roslyn, i t appeared that the workers could be divided along r a c i a l l i n e s . 50 NOTES 1. Seattle Post-Intelligencer 12 June 1881, 18 August 1888, 1 January 1891; U.S. Department of the Interior. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1888, Vol. I l l , "Report of the Governor of the Washington T e r r i t o r y to the Secretary of the Interior," pp. 882-884; Marilyn Tharp, "Story of Coal at Newcastle," pp. 120-121. 2. Post-Intelligencer, 17 May 1886. One miner complained that because of the store and the boarding house, over 70% of his check was returned to the company. Some miners were less fortunate on pay day and received a "bob-tail" check, th e i r deductions having equalled or exceeded t h e i r wages. 3. Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," pp. 118, 116-120; A company was often l e f t with l i t t l e choice but to create a company town. In isolated locations the company was i n the best and usually the only position'to o f f e r e s s e n t i a l services. See James B. A l l e n , The Company Town in the American West (Norman, Ok., 1966), pp. 60-69, 128-139. 4. The general ideas, i n t h i s paragraph r e l y heavily upon Harold Aurand, From the Molly Maguires to the United Mine Workers (Philadelphia, 1971), pp. 20-29; Clark Kerr and Abraham Siegel, "The Interindustry Propensity to Strike," in Arthur Kornhauser, et a l . , Industrial C o n f l i c t (New York, 1954), pp. 189-212. 5. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880: Compendium, Part II, pp. 1366-1367; MacDonald, "Seattle's Economic Development," pp. 42, 52, 54. Of the 250 miners at Frnaklin and Black Diamond i n 1887, 93 were British, and 89.were Americans and Canadians. See Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," p. 101. With a mixture of Catholics and Protest- ants undoubtedly there was some r e l i g i o u s tension, but such tensions are d i f f i c u l t to glean from the l o c a l press as the papers usually only mentioned i f a mining town had a church or not. 6. Meryl Rogers, "The Labor Movement i n Seattle," p. 29; Kerr and Siegel, "The Interindustry Propensity to Strike," p. 192. For a good h i s t o r i c a l description 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 River Coal Country," pp. 95, 98; Aurand, Molly Maguires, p. 33. 8. Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," p. 97; George Evans, "The Coal Fields of King County," Washington 51 Geological Survey B u l l e t i n No. 3 (Olympia, 1912) pp. 200- 208. 9. Mineral Resources of the United States, 1900, p. 308. 10. Quoted i n Aurand, Molly Maguires, p. 37. 11. Carter Goodrich, The Miner's Freedom (Boston, 1925) p. 56; David Montgomery, "Trade Union Practice and the Origins of S y n d i c a l i s t Theory i n the United States," unpub. paper i n author's possession, pp. 9-10. 12. Tharp, "Story of Coal at Newcastle," p. 124; Aurand, Molly Maguires, pp. 39-40. 13. State Coal Mine Inspector's Report, 1911-1912 (Olympia, 1912), pp. 48-52; Newcastle had, on the average, an i n c l i n e of 4 0°, while Franklin's was 4 5°. Black Diamond had a gentler i n c l i n e of 10°-30°, while Carbon H i l l , depending on the bed, i n c l i n e d 30°-80°. See Mineral Resources of the U.S. 18 8.6, pp. 364-365. 14. Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," p. 106; Aurand, Molly Maguires, pp. 44-45; Mineral Resources of the U.S., 1889-1890, pp. 170-171. 15. Mineral Resources of the U.S., 1889-1890, pp. 170-171; Seasonal or ir r e g u l a r work was common throughout the U.S. coal industry. See Louis Bloch, The Coal Miners' Insecurity (New York, 1922), pp. 47-48; Aurand, Molly Maguires, pp. 9-19. 16. Aurand, Molly Maguires, pp. 55-62. Compendium of the Eleventh Census 1890, Part II, p. 486. 17. Aurand, Molly Maguires, pp. 109-110; Post-Intelligencer, 21 August 1886; Powderly, Thi r t y Years of Labor, pp. 271- 28 8; Ware, The Labor Movement i n The United States, p. 66. 18. James Jones to E. Smith, 7 May 1885 and 11 May 1885, OIC Records, 44:47. 19. Medler, "A Study of the Washington Coal Industry," pp. 56-57. Melder based his analysis on interviews with miners from the 1880's, including many former Knights. I have argued that the structure of mining communities and the nature of mining made c o n f l i c t almost inevitable between mine workers and th e i r employers. At least one author, however, believes that another dimension must be considered. David Bercuson argues that i t was displaced immigrants, p a r t i c u l a r l y B r i t i s h miners with t h e i r t r a d i t i o n of unionism, who promoted "radicalism" i n the Western 52 Canadian mines. See David Bercuson, "Labour Radicalism and the Western Industrial Frontier, 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 River Coal Country," p. 55. 21. The Newcastle workers seemed to have had a v a l i d complaint about the company store. Whereas the saloon i n 1885 made a p r o f i t of $2500 and the boarding house $1900, the store earned $24,000 after expenses. In ca l c u l a t i n g the net cost per ton of i t s coal, the OIC often deducted the store's p r o f i t . In 1885 the store's p r o f i t reduced the cost per ton nearly 10%. See "Report to the Stockholders, 1885", OIC Records; OIC Scrapbooks, Box 69; C.J. Smith to E, Smith, 27 October 1890, 49:1; Melder, p. 57. The OIC and the mine workers were also i n disagreement over the medical services offered by the company. To pay for the services of a physician, 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 surplus of $3400, with which i t planned to b u i l d a physician's residence at no expense to the company. The workers suspected a large surplus existed, but the company continually refused to o f f e r any information. But, then, the OIC had a penchant for secrecy. Much of i t s i n t e r o f f i c e correspondence was i n the form of telegrams and p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of these, even the most mundane, were sent i n a complicated code. In addition a l l the o f f i c e r s of the OIC had code names. See, James Jones to E. Smith, 26 March 1885, OIC Records, 44:42; Jones to E. Smith, 10 A p r i l 1885, .44:42. 22. Howard to J. Watkins, 10 A p r i l 1885, OIC Records, 44:42; Howard to E. Smith, 2 5 September 1885, 56:28; Howard to E. Smith, 26 December 1885, 56:36; Jones to Howard, 7 January 1886, 45:10; Howard to E. Smith, 23 February 1886, 57:4. See also, Post-Intelligencer, 23, 26 December, 1885. 23. Jones to Howard, 25 February 1886, OIC Records, 45:14; Howard to E. Smith, 4 A p r i l 1886, 57:8; OIC Scrapbooks, Box 69. 24. Howard to E. Smith, 4 March 1886 and 1 A p r i l 1886, OIC Records, 57:5 and 57:7; Post-Intelligencer, 16 May 1886. 25. Howard to Jones, 13 March 1886, OIC Records, 57:6. 26. Howard to E. Smith, 6 A p r i l 1886, 4 May 1886, 21 May 1886, OIC Records, 57:7, 57:8, 57:9; Post-Intelligencer, 3, 17 May 1886. 53 27. Howard to E. Smith, 30 May 1888, OIC Records 58:25; Post- Intelligencer , 13 March 1888, 11 May 1888. Because of continual labor problems the OIC began to add the following note to i t s coal contracts i n 1888. S e l l e r s not responsible for d e l i v e r i e s during periods of suspended work at the mines due to s t r i k e s , accidents, or for other unavoidable causes. (Howard to E. Smith, 25 A p r i l 1888, 58:22). Alan Hynding's "The Coal Miners of Washington T e r r i t o r y : Labor Troubles i n 1888-1889," Arizona and the West (Autumn, 1970) pp. 221-236, i s the only published account of the problems at Newcastle and Roslyn. Hynding states that the competing union at Roslyn was c a l l e d the United Miners and Mine Laborers Society and was allegedly a f f i l i a t e d with the International Workingmen's Association in San Francisco, (p. 222). My research does not support these claims. The IWA was a Marxist union and i t seems unl i k e l y that one of 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 olicy with a coal company. 28. Post-Intelligencer, 24, 25 May. 1888; 5 January 1889; Hynding, "The Coal Miners of Washington''," pp. 228-229. 29. Post-Intelligencer, 5, 6, 24 January 1889; See also, Charles Gates, "Trouble i n the Coal Mines: Documents on An Incident at Newcastle, W.T.," P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 37 (July 1946): pp. 231-257. 30. McNeill to E. Smith, 22 January 1889, OIC Records, 46:02; Post-Intelligencer, 22-26 January 1889; Semple quoted i n Gates, "Documents," p. 232. 31. McNeill to 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 to E. Smith, 14 September 1888, OIC Records, 59:12; McNeill to E. Smith, 26 August 1889, 46:42. 54 CHAPTER III ROSLYN.AND THE NATION The f i r s t black mine workers i n Washington were imported from the Midwest as strikebreakers by the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company (NPCC) in August 1888. With the use of blacks the company broke a s t r i k e at Roslyn led by the Knights of Labor. But the events at Roslyn are far more s i g n i f i c a n t for they fore- shadowed the complete defeat of the mine workers i n 1891. A national t r a d i t i o n of anti-Negro prejudice enhanced by the West's more v i r u l e n t racism, and the minimal p a r t i c i p a t i o n of blacks i n the developing labor movement contributed to the coal operators' successful use of blacks i n the mines. As hoped, the workers divided along r a c i a l l i n e s and e f f e c t i v e organization was eliminated. The NPCC, a subsidiary of the Northern P a c i f i c Railroad, was established i n 1885 to mine the NPR's f i e l d s i n K i t t i t a s County. The coal, good quality steam coal similar to that of the Green River area, was primarily for the NPR's own consumption. By 1888 the three mines at Roslyn were extensively developed and when operating at f u l l capacity gave some six hundred men employment."'" Roslyn was a town of about two thousand i n 1888. Isolated on the slopes of the Cascades, i t was linked, to Cle-Elum and Ellensburg to the South by a spur l i n e of the NPR. Roslyn existed because of the mines, and in that respect i t resembled 55 a typical' company town composed of mine workers and t h e i r families, company o f f i c i a l s , and the company employees who 2 operated the stores, 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 with t h e i r families i n the company controlled housing. Although sources are scarce, i t i s known that since 1886 the Knights had been organizing periodic s t r i k e s to win the eight-hour day for miners, better working conditions, and union recognition. By 18 88, when the Knights of Roslyn became a f f i l i a t e d with D i s t r i c t Assembly 249 in Spokane F a l l s , union recognition became acutely important as the Knights began to receive s t i f f competition from the Miners Union which was organized at Newcastle i n May 1888. The Miners Union claimed that the Knights were hurting a l l workers with t h e i r continual bickering with the company and t h e i r disruptive t a c t i c s . The Knights accused the Miners Union of being a "company union," but more l i k e l y i t was a less m i l i t a n t , conservative alternative to the Knights. The company, which refused to recognize any union, widened the chasm between the Knights and the Miners Union by making a point of employing Miners men when the Knights went on strike."^ What took place at Roslyn i n 1888 i s extremely important because .these events foreshadowed the complete defeat of the mine workers i n Washington. Unfortunately sources are scarce and occasionally c o n f l i c t i n g i n interpretation. Not only are the pieces to our h i s t o r i c a l puzzle largely missing, but 56 the ones we do have often do not f i t well together. On 17 August 1888 the Knights struck again for the eight- hour day. Relations between the company and the Knights had been unusually poor since a disasterous f i r e i n July had re- sulted i n the laying-off of many men and, according to the "P-I", "placed a crushing weight on the laborering classes." On 20 August a t r a i n with f i v e coaches arrived i n Roslyn. In those coaches were about f i f t y blacks and forty guards from the Th i e l Detective Agency i n Portland. The detectives were apparently posing as U.S. Deputy Marshalls, and both the detectives and the blacks were heavily armed. The s t r i k i n g miners quickly learned that the blacks had been brought i n to work i n Mine Number Three at Roslyn. They "hooted the Negroes," but offered no violence. Precisely why the NPCC chose Roslyn to make i t s stand against the Knights and why the company decided to import blacks, can only be inferred as the NPCC1s records are not available for study. Roslyn did have some d i s t i n c t advantages for the NPCC. It was isolated , well removed from both Seattle and Spokane where the D i s t r i c t Assemblies of the Knights were located. The l o c a l press was of l i t t l e s i g n i f i c a n c e . Even the Post-intelligencer which, although generally favorable to labor, thrived on sensationalism, largely r e s t r i c t e d the coverage of the events at Roslyn to i t s back pages. Roslyn was not only isolat e d , but the NPR controlled the r a i l access to i t , and thus decided who went in and who came out. F i n a l l y , Roslyn was worth a f i g h t . By Washington standards the coal was 57 good, and the NPR had made a large investment i n the area. None of i t s other f i e l d s i n Washington were as well developed. The NPCC's decision to import blacks as strikebreakers was not a d i r e c t reaction to the 17 August s t r i k e of the Knights. Such a plan, as the OIC would discover some three years l a t e r , would have taken weeks to develop and implement. The NPCC's decision to use blacks was i n response to the continual problems i t was having with the Knights. The company o f f i c e r s must have been aware of how successfully blacks had been used i n breaking s t r i k e s , d i v i d i n g workers, and generally suppressing -labor a g i t a t i o n i n the Midwest. Moreover, the o f f i c e r s of the NPCC were quite adept in diminishing labor s o l i d a r i t y by encouraging disputes between the Miners Union and the Knights. Adding the race factor, i t would seem, would 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. I t i s also quite l i k e l y that the blacks were viewed as a way to cut costs: they were hired on contract to work eleven hour days at 5 lower wages than the white workers. The blacks were immediately placed i n Mine Number Three. Under the d i r e c t i o n of William S u l l i v a n they were heavily guarded by the T h i e l detectives who took the additional precaution of having f o r t i f i c a t i o n s of logs, earthworks, and barbed wire placed i n front of the mine entrance. In response the s t r i k i n g 6 miners began to carry arms and a tense peace prevailed. At t h i s point T e r r i t o r i a l Governor Eugene Semple entered the dispute. Semple was a supporter of organized labor, and he detested the use of "Pinker tons'! in labor disputes. He was 58 also convinced that the T h i e l detectives were impersonating Federal deputies. Semple sent K i t t i t a s County Sherif f Samuel Packwood to Roslyn to investigate. Packwood shared Semple's feelings about the detectives, and he had a number of them, arrested on impersonation charges. The charges did not hold and the guards eventually returned to duty. In the meantime, however, J.M. Buckley, General Manager of the NPCC in Tacoma, had become quite upset over Semple's interference. He claimed that Semple had removed the company's only protection from the s t r i k i n g miners. In r e t a l i a t i o n the NPCC closed a l l three mines at Roslyn and prohibited a l l r a i l t r a f f i c to the town. Buckley said the company would hold K i t t i t a s County responsible for 7 a l l damages caused by the now locked-out miners and laborers. Semple considered the Roslyn s i t u a t i o n serious enough to warrant his personal attention. He arrived there on 2 8 August and spoke to an "orderly crowd" of workers. No vi o l e n t out- breaks had occurred so there was l i t t l e the T e r r i t o r i a l Governor could do as he had no power to intervene d i r e c t l y i n company/labor disputes. J.W. Hoagland, the NPCC manager at Roslyn, informed Semple that the company would keep the mines 8 closed for a year rather than "submit to the miners." Hoagland's comments were somewhat hyperbolic as he reopened the mines four days l a t e r , but the Knights refused to go back to work u n t i l the company discharged the blacks and recognized the Knights as the sole bargaining agent for the workers. In response the NPCC continued to import blacks to replace s t r i k i n g Knights. Increasingly, the Knights were being supported 59 by the Miners Union and the other mine laborers, a l l of whom had been hurt by the lock-out and threatened by the use'of blacks i n the mines. Suasion i n t h i s case was e f f e c t i v e , but the Knights threatened those workers who were in c l i n e d to break ranks. Their feelings toward t h e i r employers were even more h o s t i l e . At one point they t i e d a mine superintendent to the tracks with the hope that a t r a i n would arrive before his rescuers did. The superintendent was rescued, as the saying goes, 9 in the nick of time and placed under heavy guard. Both the Knights and the company were determined to out- l a s t the other, 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 for the company had the power to break the s t r i k e , and, more important, the whites had not made any peaceful overtures to the blacks. They were treated with hatred and contempt. Although the Knights had the f u l l support of the Spokane D i s t r i c t Assembly, they did not have the resources to hold out. By 1 October 1888 most of the workers were back i n the mines, and the miners were even forced to accept a ten cent per ton wage reduction. The "worst agitators" were not rehired, and the blacks continued to work i n Mine Number Three. 1 0 Through the f a l l the T h i e l detectives enforced an uneasy peace which collapsed at the onset of winter. In l a t e r December two NPCC superintendents, N.P. Williamson and Alex Roland, were beaten by unknown workers. Williamson had brought i n ten new men to replace some s t r i k e r s , and Roland had been transfered 60 from Mine Number Three, where he supervised the blacks, to another mine at Roslyn. The men refused to work for a "nigger- driver" and Roland suffered the consequences. On 19 January 1889 six t y workers from Roslyn descended on Cle-Elum and threatened to "clean 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 that Roland and the blacks be f i r e d . S h e r i f f Packwood asked Semple to send the m i l i t i a to Roslyn because the company was determined to bring in more blacks, and Packwood feared a r i o t . Semple paid another v i s i t to Roslyn, but he did not consider the si t u a t i o n serious enough to warrant the expense of c a l l i n g out the m i l i t i a . 1 1 Packwood's information 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 blacks arrived, and the company announced that i t would bring as many Negroes as necessary to operate a l l of i t s mines not just Number Three. Hoagland said that the company was determined to conduct i t s business as i t saw f i t , and the NPCC would not be bound to any labor organization. 1^ The NPCC was true to i t s word. By the end of the month another f i f t y blacks had arrived. H o s t i l i t y between the st r i k e r s and the blacks increased, and one Negro miner was k i l l e d as a r e s u l t of "trouble over a woman." On 15 February 1889 the "P-I" announced that three to four hundred "Black Valentines", Negro mine workers and t h e i r families, had arrived in Roslyn. The "P-I" went on to describe the new a r r i v a l s as " s e t t l e r s " , as they had come to s e t t l e the s t r i k e between the 61 NPCC and i t s workers. " L J The mine workers were defeated and they r e a l i z e d i t . If need be the company was prepared to replace "every white miner with a colored miner," and the NPCC had the support of the parent company for such an undertaking. The s t r i k e r s were broke: they had l i t t l e choice but to return to work, i f the company would take them, or leave. Those who could afford to l e f t for Montana; the rest d r i f t e d back to the mines. The demands of the miners ceased. Union recognition was a dead issue and so were the unions. In the next two years, when clashes between Washington coal operators and employees peaked, the workers i n Roslyn were strangely quiet. They would not be heard from again u n t i l the United Mine Workers 14 began to organize them at the end of the century. Although Roslyn was on the edge of Washington coal country, the events there were s i g n i f i c a n t for a number of reasons. Not only were the blacks f i r s t used at Roslyn, they were used with tremendous success. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the Knights suffered complete defeat. The Knights, in fact a l l the white s t r i k e r s , played into the company's hands. Though the use of blacks did reduce the significance of the dispute between the Knights and the Miners Union and helped to unite a l l white workers, no attempt was made to bring the blacks into the f o l d . Similar to the reactions against the Chinese at Newcastle and Franklin, the Roslyn workers made no attempt to convince the blacks what they had i n common as workers with the s t r i k e r s . Understandable antagonism 62 to strikebreakers and cheap labor was amplified by r a c i a l h o s t i l i t y . To the s t r i k e r s the blacks were "blacklegs" i n the most c o l o r f u l and derogatory sense of the word. Eugene Semple saw to the heart of the matter when he f i l e d his report of the Roslyn incident to Secretary of the Interior William V i l a s : I am i n c l i n e d to think that t h i s p o l i c y i s the worst for the negroes, themselves, for a general impression i s l i a b l e to be created there by, amongst the white laborers, that 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 create a r t i f i c i a l standards of wages. The inevitable r e s u l t of that would be to rai s e up a wall of prejudice between the races l b The wall of prejudice between the races was b u i l t long before Roslyn, but the use of blacks in the mines was to make that wall stronger. Roslyn was also important because other Washington coal operators were paying attention to what happened there. The OIC Resident Manager, Hobart McNeill, who had more than his f i l l of labor problems i n 1888 and 1889, keenly read the Seattle papers and thought the OIC should follow the NPCC's example. In February 1889 he wrote President Smith with the advice that: The N.P. Co. have a taste of a good thing 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 labor would make every man that holds on to his high labor basis f a l l into the t a i l of the procession. McNeill believed he had found the key to prevent combinations of labor. In l i t t l e more than a year the OIC was developing a plan to import blacks to work in i t s mines. 63 F i n a l l y , Roslyn was important because the events which took place there were not unique to the Washington coal industry. They generally r e f l e c t e d national patterns i n terms of r a c i a l attitudes and operator/employee r e l a t i o n s . A b r i e f look at the national scene, which neither i s nor i s intended to be a comprehensive analysis, w i l l allow us to more f u l l y understand not only what happened at Roslyn and l a t e r at Franklin and Newcastle, but also something of the more general significance of these events. Negro slavery o f f i c i a l l y ended i n the United States with the defeat of the Confederacy and the amending of the Constit- ution. But two hundred years of ingrained r a c i a l prejudice could not be erased with a Constitutional amendment. The t r a d i t i o n of anti-Negro prejudice i n general i n the U.S. i s 17 well documented and need not be discussed here. Yet, although the b e l i e f i n the innate i n f e r i o r i t y of blacks was accepted by most Americans, reactions to blacks varied considerably. U n t i l the twentieth century most blacks l i v e d in the South where they occupied the lowest rung on the s o c i a l ladder, f i r s t as slaves and then as degraded c i t i z e n s . But blacks had been a part of Southern l i f e almost from the beginning, and they did have a place i n the South. As Eugene Genovese has argued, under chattel slavery an "organic r e l a t i o n - ship" developed between slave and master. Each was aware of his place i n society, but each was dependent upon the other, and each 18 owed the other cer t a i n r e c i p r o c a l obligations. Slavery came to an end but many of the behavioral patterns between 64 blacks and whites remained and, for better or worse, blacks were s t i l l very much a part of Southern l i f e . On the other hand, blacks were almost unknown in the Midwest and Far West i n the nineteenth century. Blacks had no place in 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 prejudice was present early i n the Mid- west: by 1804, for example, Ohio had stringent anti-Negro laws. In Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin free b l a c k s were denied the franchise, while Indiana and I l l i n o i s passed laws making i t i l l e g a l for blacks to l i v e i n these states. Blacks were despised as a race and feared because of t h e i r potential economic competition and the horrible spectre of miscegenation. During the slavery extension controversy Midwesterns were strong supporters of Free S o i l , but they were not a b o l i t i o n i s t s . B a s i c a l l y , they wanted no blacks, free or slave, i n t h e i r states. Colonization of a l l blacks was more popular than a b o l i t i o n . In 1860 blacks accounted for barely 1% of the Midwest population, yet Senator Lyman Trumble of I l l i n o i s f e l t the need to comment that there " i s a great aversion i n the West ... against having free Negroes come among us. Our people want nothing to do with the Negro." Tumble was supported by the I l l i n o i s State Journal: The truth i s , the nigger i s an unpopular i n s t i - tution i n the free states. Even those who are unwilling to rob them of a l l the rights of humanity do not care to be brought into close contact with them . . . . ., n 65 The migrants from the Midwest to the P a c i f i c coast brought t h e i r prejudices with them. The people of Washington, Oregon, and C a l i f o r n i a were opposed to the extension of slavery, but they were not strong a b o l i t i o n i s t s , fearing that free Negroes might migrate to the West coast. In 1844 the provisional government of Oregon passed a law prohibiting slavery within i t s borders. The law also ordered a l l slaves, free Negroes, and Mulattoes out of the t e r r i t o r y within two years. According to the law those who remained would be subject to p e r i o d i c floggings. In 1857 the people of Oregon were voting on a proposed state constitution. They voted to prohibit slavery and to exclude a l l blacks from the new state. In fact Negro exclusion passed by a greater margin than the prohibition of slavery. With fewer than two hundred blacks i n the state at the time, Oregon had the dubious d i s t i n c t i o n of being the only 20 state to have Negro exclusion i n i t s constitution. In C a l i f o r n i a blacks fared l i t t l e better. Nominally a free state, C a l i f o r n i a Republicans and Democrats were kept busy i n the late 1850's accusing each other of "nigger-loving." In 1858 conditions for blacks 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 , led by Archy Lee, emigrated to B r i t i s h Columbia. A few hundred more followed the o r i g i n a l emigrants, 21 and they were B.C.1s f i r s t black residents. Although anti-Negro prejudice i n Washington was not as v i r u l e n t as i n Oregon, i t s f i r s t T e r r i t o r i a l Legislature i n 1853 did l i m i t the franchise to whites. In 1854 a Free S o i l party was organized which advocated sending a l l blacks, free 66 or slave, back to A f r i c a . Like Oregon and C a l i f o r n i a , there were few blacks i n Washington (t h i r t y were l i s t e d i n the 18 60 Census), and the residents 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 , offered an opinion which was not unpopular i n Washington: Niggers ... should never be allowed to mingle with whites. They would amalgamate and raise a most miserable race of human beings. If niggers are allowed to come among us and mingle with the whites, i t w i l l cause a perfect state of pollution.22 After emancipation a s l i g h t increase i n r a c i a l t o l e r a t i o n can be detected, but t h i s t o l e r a t i o n was displayed more by p o l i t i c i a n s than the people at large. For most Westerners equality was not accepted. Since blacks were t e c h n i c a l l y free, they were free to t r a v e l , and the people of the West wanted no more blacks i n t h e i r states after emancipation than before. The fear of s o c i a l contamination and economic competition was s t i l l widespread. Colonization was no longer a viable option, i f i t ever was, so Westerners demanded that the former slaves 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 fact that the Federal government offered l i t t l e assistance, the geographical mobility of blacks was limited, and even by the turn of the century most blacks s t i l l 23 • resided i n the South. Reflecting the dominant national and regional attitudes, there was, with some notable exceptions/ l i t t l e i n t e r r a c i a l cooper.ation i n the slowly developing labor movement after the 67 C i v i l War. Both r a c i a l prejudice and c r a f t exclusiveness worked to the Negro's disadvantage. With the founding of the American Federation of Labor in 1881, trade unionism came into i t s own, but there was l i t t l e attempt to organize black workers. For the most part white workers accepted the pre- v a i l i n g r a c i a l stereotypes and refused to l e t blacks into t h e i r l o c a l s . Prejudice overwhelmed any idea that blacks and whites might have much in common as workers. Just as important were the various trade practices of the unions. Trade unions were economically, not p o l i t i c a l l y oriented. In order to maximize th e i r bargaining power, unions sought control over competition for jobs by defining the nature of and the s k i l l s required for employment. What evolved was an exclusive structure based on s k i l l s and long periods of apprenticeship within the union. Blacks were largely u n s k i l l e d workers and thus were excluded from the s k i l l e d trade unions. The entry of blacks into trade unions was also i n h i b i t e d by the nature of black leaders. Men 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 l i k e Booker T. Washington who considered unions useful only i n aiding blacks to become c a p i t a l i s t s . While Dubois condemned the use of blacks as strikebreakers 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 cooperation among workers, Washington thought strikebreaking helped blacks "to maintain their' r i g h t to labor as free men." Confronting a wall of prejudice and c r a f t exclusiveness, and not possessing sympathetic attitudes toward 68 labor organizations, black leaders were not in c l i n e d to push 2 5 for entry of blacks into unions. Racial prejudice, c r a f t exclusiveness, and i n d i f f e r e n t leaders i n h i b i t e d the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of blacks i n labor organ- iz a t i o n s , but they, were not completely unrepresented. In some cases blacks formed t h e i r own organizations, but, more important, they were a c t i v e l y recruited into the Knights of Labor and th e i r heir (in mining) the United Mine Workers. In 1886, when the Order as a national organization was at i t s peak, some sixty thousand blacks, or roughly 9% of a l l Knights, were members. The General Assembly that year was held i n Richmond V i r g i n i a and Terrence Powderly was introduced by a Negro Knight. The delegates, black and white, sat side by side at the banquet table. Powderly declared that Negroes were free c i t i z e n s and could "claim an equal share of the 2 6 protection of labor." Since the Knights were anything but a trade union and since they preached the equality of races, the fact that the Knights organized blacks might seem unnoteworthy other than to state that they were one of the few groups that did so. But when we consider the Knights' p o l i c i e s toward the Chinese and the reaction of the Roslyn Knights to black mine workers, the above information seems less clear and c e r t a i n l y less consistent. Below the surface, however, there i s a strange consistency to the Knights' r a c i a l p o l i c i e s . Although i n Washington i t was d i f f i c u l t to detect a d i f f e r - ence, nationally the Knights did not consider Chinese and blacks 69 i n the same l i g h t . Both Chinese and blacks were often used as strikebreakers and cheap labor, but the primary difference between the Chinese and blacks was the fact that the Chinese were foreign — they were regarded as members of a s e r v i l e race who were imported to lower the status of the American laborer. The easiest solution to the Chinese problem was to pr o h i b i t t h e i r entry, since i t was f e l t they did not belong in the U.S. anyway. Blacks, on the other hand, had been i n America almost as long as the o r i g i n a l European s e t t l e r s . Though they were treated as second-class c i t i z e n s , they were c i t i z e n s nonetheless. To the Knights the organization of blacks was both r i g h t and necessary; r i g h t because blacks deserved the protection of labor and necessary i n order to protect American labor. But not even the Knights advocated complete equality for blacks. The Richmond General Assembly proclaimed that the Knights "recognize[d] the c i v i l and p o l i t i c a l equality of a l l men," but the Assembly also cautioned that the Knights had no "purpose to i n t e r f e r with or disrupt the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s which may exi s t between d i f f e r e n t races i n various parts of the country." Powderly added that " s o c i a l equality" was for "each 27 i n d i v i d u a l to decide for himself." Not only did the Knights not advocate f u l l equality for blacks, they did not try to organize a l l . b l a c k s . They con- centrated t h e i r e f f o r t s i n the South, where, granted, most blacks l i v e d , but, more important, where blacks were more tolerated even i f as second class c i t i z e n s . The Knights made almost no attempt to organize blacks i n the Midwest and West 70 because they had ho support from the Western l o c a l assemblies. In the West, blacks were regarded i n a similar fashion as the Chinese, a threat to the economic and s o c i a l position of white 2 8 workers. The Knights did nothing to change such attitudes. F i n a l l y , organizing black Knights was not r e a l l y very successful beyond the number of black members. Black Knights were never r e a l l y accepted by t h e i r white counterparts. O f f i c i a l p o l i c y of the Knights c a l l e d for integrated l o c a l assemblies, but most were segregated, sometimes at the behest of the blacks themselves who f e l t they could be more i n f l u e n t i a l with a l l - black l o c a l s . Many white assemblies would not accept bldck members, and whites c a t e g o r i c a l l y refused to be organized by black Knights. As race r e l a t i o n s deteriorated i n the South, whites l e f t the Order i n droves. The Knights had never been able to a t t r a c t the few black workers of means into the Order/ and i n i t s l a s t days the Order i n the South was largely composed 29 of the neediest blacks. Considering the animosity towards blacks and t h e i r minimal p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n organized labor, i t i s not surprising that employers quickly discovered the use of blacks as an e f f e c t i v e means to promote labor disunity and impede labor organizations. In coal mining blacks were used as strikebreakers, p a r t i c u l a r l y as race r e l a t i o n s deteriorated i n the l a t t e r part of the century. In the early 1870's black mine workers broke strikes i n I l l i n o i s , Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio. In late 1874 Ohio coal operators imported several hundred blacks from the South and border states 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' National Association (MNA). The blacks were ushered in with armed guards and i n a few weeks the s t r i k e collapsed and with i t the MNA, one of the e a r l i e s t "national" mining unions. Into the void created by the demise of the MNA came the Knights who were better organizers, 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 divided workers. Blacks were hot always used as strikebreakers. As regular employees, but usually working for lower wages, blacks were often mixed with other ethnic groups i n order to fragment the labor force. This was a common pattern i n the Midwest where thousands of East Europeans were imported under contract to work the mines of Pennsylvania. Successful mixing of blacks, 31 Hungarians and I t a l i a n s kept the workers divided. On a grander scale, as Herbert Gutman has noted, the rapid growth of a national transportation system, after the C i v i l War aided the development of not only a national market but also a national labor force. Employers were often remarkably successful i n reconstructing the labor force 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 variations were smoothed out by introducing " ' a l i e n ' i n s t i t u t i o n s that reshaped the l o c a l economic and s o c i a l structure to t h e i r [the employers'] 32 needs. " In Washington blacks were d e f i n i t e l y considered a l i e n and t h e i r use i n the coal mines there b a s i c a l l y followed the pattern of the Midwest. They were imported from the South and Midwest, usually under contract, for use as both strikebreakers and low- paid regular employees. Their use as regular employees was 72 p a r t i c u l a r l y emphasized in Washington since the white labor force was more homogeneous and thus had more potential for s o l i d a r i t y . Further, Washington coal operators were unusually concerned about costs and i t " was f e l t that the use of blacks would not only i n i t i a l l y lower costs but would also keep a l i d on the wage demands of the white workers. But the use of blacks at Roslyn and l a t e r at Franklin and Newcastle has an additional significance. Nationally the coal industry i n Washington was of l i t t l e importance. Even New- castle could not compare to the bituminous mines of Pennsyl- vania. Yet the practices of the Washington coal operators are important for they show the integration of Washington into the national system. No longer i s i t accurate to speak of the wild f r o n t i e r with each i n d i v i d u a l l i v i n g his l i f e according to personal whim and i n i t i a t i v e . As national markets developed so did national p o l i c i e s , the p o l i c i e s of integrated corpora- tions. There were l o c a l variations i n Washington, but they were variations from a pattern and not something fundamentally d i f f e r e n t . In order to successfully confront what they regarded as the h o s t i l e practices of t h e i r employers, Washington coal mine workers had to act i n a similar manner. Extreme personal whims and prejudices had to be overcome. The workers needed a common policy and unity i n front of t h e i r employers. If blacks were i n s t a l l e d i n the mines, then i t was necessary to suppress r a c i a l animosity, for the mine workers needed to understand what they, blacks 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 published account of the trouble at - Roslyn i s Alan Hynding's "The Coal Miners of Washington Labor Troubles 1888-1889." A similar version of t h i s a r t i c l e appears i n Hynding's The Public L i f e of Eugene Semple (Seattle 1973), pp. 97-113. The Seattle newspapers are s t i l l the best sources but Semple's report to Secretary of the Interior William V i l a s . i s also valuable. See Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior 1888 (Washington, 1889) I I I , pp. 913-917. See also Mineral Resources of the United States 1887, p. 371; 1888, p. 381. 2 . Hynding, "The Coal Miners of Washington," p. 222. 3. Ibid, pp. 222-223. See also Frederick Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Industry," pp. 57-58; Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor, p. 341; Seattle Daily Press-Times, 24-26 May, 1888. Even by Washington standards the workers at Roslyn were well paid. Miners earned $1.15 per ton which often averaged to over $4.00 per day while inside and out- side laborers earned between $2.25-$3.25 per day. See Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 23 January 1889. 4. Post-Intelligencer, 25 July 1888, 21 August 1888. 5. Ibid, 21 August 1888; Daily Press-Times, 21 August 1888. 6. Hynding, "The Coal Miners :of/Washington," p. 225; Post- Intelligencer, 22, 23 August 1888. 7. Post-Intelligencer, 26, 28 August 1888. 8. Ibid, 30 August 1888. Semple did see to i t however that the new state constitution allowed the l e g i s l a t u r e to prohibit the employment of "an armed body of men" by private corporations. See Hynding, "The Coal Mines of Washington," p. 227. 9. Hynding, "The Coal Miners,of Washington," p. 226; Post- Intelligencer, 9, 16 September 1888. 10. Post-Intelligencer, 26, 28 September 1888. 11. Hynding, "The Coal Miners of Washington," p. 231; Post- Intelligencer, 22, 23, 30 January 1889, 30 December 1888. 12. Post-Intelligencer, 26, 27, 31 January 1889. 13. Ibid, 29," 31 January 1889, 15 February 1889. 75 14. Ibid, 14-16 February 1889. 15. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior 1888, I I I , p. 893. 16. McNeill to E. Smith, 20 February 1889, OIC Records 46:9. 17. Though there are many others, three books s t r i k e me as esse n t i a l to understand the origins of American racism: Winthrop Jordan, White Over Black (Chapel H i l l , 1968); Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom (New York, 1975); George M. Fredrickson, The Black Image i n the White Mind (New York, 1971). 18. Eugene Genovese, R o l l Jordan R o l l : The World the Slaves Made (New York, 197 4). 19. Trumble and the I l l i n o i s State Journal are quoted from V. Jacques Voegeli, Free But Not Equal: The Midwest and the Negro During the C i v i l War (Chicago: 1967), pp. 18, 28. See also pp. 1-5, 14-18; and George Fredrickson, The Black Image, pp. 137-157. 20. Eugene Berwanger, The Frontier Against Slavery: Western . Anti-Negro Prejudice and the Slavery Extension Controversy (Chicago, 1967), pp. 80-81, 93-95. The vote on slavery was 7,727 in favor of pr o h i b i t i o n and 2,645 to allow slavery. On Negro exclusion 8,601 voted i n favor of exclusion while 1,081 were against exclusion. See also D.G. H i l l , "The Negroes as a P o l i t i c a l and Social Issue i n the Oregon Country," Journal of Negro History 13 (July 1928): pp. 255-264; R. Alton Lee, "Slavery and the Oregon T e r r i t o r y , " P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 64 (July 1973): pp. 112-119; T.W. Davenport, "The Slavery Question i n Oregon," Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 9 (March, December 1908): pp. 189-153, 309-373. 21. Gerald Stanley, "Racism and the Early Republican Party," 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 Island," B r i t i s h Columbia H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 3 (April 1939): pp. 101-113; Luther Spoehr, "Sambo and the Heathen Chinee: C a l i f o r n i a n s 1 Racial 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. 22. Berwanger, The Frontier Against Slavery, pp. 84-87. See also Robert W. Johannsen Frontier P o l i t i c s and the Sectional C o n f l i c t (Seattle, 1955) pp. 20-24, 28-47. The Appendix of t h i s paper shows that blacks never accounted for even 1% of the population of Washington from 1860-1900. These figures, however, should be regarded with caution. Joanne W. Bleeg has done a detailed study of the Manuscript Census for Washington 1860-1880, and she discovered that the 7 6 published figures do not always accurately portray the manuscript figures. But, according to Wagner, the census takers usually over-estimated the number of blacks i n Washington. See "Black People i n the T e r r i t o r y of Wash- ington," (M.A. thesis, University of Washington, 1970). 23. J. Voegeli, Free But Not Equal, pp. 167-172, 176-177; Department of Commerce. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Negro Population of the United States, 1790-1915 (Washington: G.P.O., 1918. reprinted ed. New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, 1968), p. 33; Lawrence B. deGraaf, "Recog- n i t i o n , Racism, and Reflections on Writing Western Black History," 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 Federation of Labor and the Negro Worker," i n J u l i u s Jacobson, The Negro and the American Labor Movement (Garden City, 1968), pp. 155-187; Saxton, The Indispensible Enemy, p. 269. 25. August Meir and E l l i o t Rudwick, "Attitudes of Negro Leaders Toward the American Labor Movement," i n Jacobson, The Negro and the American Labor Movement, pp. 27-48. Booker Washing- ton quoted p. 41. 26. Post-Intelligencer 12 October 1886; Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor, pp. 350, 349-353; Meir and Rudwick, "Attitudes of Negro Leaders to the American Labor Movement," pp. 33-34. The United Mine Workers are, for the most part, beyond the scope of t h i s paper. On blacks i n the UMW see Herbert Gutman, "The Negro and the United Mine Workers," i n Jacobson, The Negro and the American Labor Movement, pp. 49-127. Gutman presents a rather optimistic view of i n t e r - racial_cooperation In the UMW, and I think he r e l i e s too heavily on the attitudes of the UMW leaders. Often the UMW members were anything but tolerant of blacks. See Darold T. Barnum, The Negro i n the Bituminous Coal Mining Industry (Philadelphia, 1970), pp. 19-24. 27. Post-Intelligencer, 12, 16 October 1886; Kenneth Kahn, "The Knights of Labor and the Southern Black Worker," Labor History 18 (Winter 1977): p. 68. 28. Kenneth Kahn, "The Knights of Labor and the Southern Black Worker," pp. 69-70; Melton A. McLaurin, "The Racial P o l i c i e s of the Knights of Labor and the Organization of Southern Black Workers," Labor History 17 ( F a l l 1976): pp. 568-585; William A. Rogers, "Negro Knights i n Arkansas," Labor History 10 (Summer 1969): pp. 498-506. 29. McLaurin, "The Racial P o l i c i e s of the Knights of Labor," pp. 579-585; Kahn, "The Knights of Labor and the Southern Black Worker," p. 57. Sidney Kessler i s more optimistic about black Knights than the above authors, but he does 77 admit that most black Knights met with h o s t i l i t y . See "The Organization of Negroes i n the Knights of Labor," Journal of Negro History 37 (July 1952): pp. 248-276. 30. Herbert Gutman, "Reconstruction in Ohio: Negroes and the Hocking Valley Coal Mines i n 1873-1874," Labor History 3 ( F a l l 1962): pp. 243-264; Gutman, "The Negro and the United Mine Workers," pp. 49, 64-65, 98-104; Barnum, The Negro In the Bituminous Coal Mining Industry, p. 19; Ware, The Labor Movement in the United States, pp. 210-211. 31. Po s t - i n t e l l i g e n c e r , 22 A p r i l 1891. 32. Gutman, "Reconstruction i n Ohio," pp. 263-264. 78 CHAPTER IV THE DEFEAT OF THE MINE WORKERS Throughout i t s sixteen-year l i f e span, the f i n a n c i a l position of the Oregon Improvement Company remained precarious. In 1891 the OIC decided to follow the example of the Northern P a c i f i c Coal Company at Roslyn. Negro workers were imported under contract to work in the Franklin and Newcastle mines. With black labor the OIC managers f e l t they could operate t h e i r mines more economically and more e f f i c i e n t l y . Blacks were paid less than t h e i r white counterparts and, more important, i t was believed that the factor of race would keep the workers divided and allow the company to operate i t s business as i t saw f i t , without any interference from labor organizations. The OIC's use of black labor precipitated the complete defeat of the mine workers i n Washington. Although some attempt was made to persuade the blacks to peacefully depart, r a c i a l animosity and h o s t i l i t y to cheap labor kept the blacks and whites .divided. I n i t i a t e d by the Knights of Labor, the r e t a l i a - tory s t r i k e of the white workers f a i l e d and labor organizations disappeared from Washington coal mines for over a decade. In early 1890 i t seemed unlikel y that the OIC would require the d r a s t i c measures adopted by the NPCC to deal with labor problems. The Knights were completely disorganized after the s t r i k e of 1889, and the year closed quietly at the mines. In February 1890 a b i l l came before the state l e g i s l a t u r e which 79 would have established stringent v e n t i l a t i o n and safety codes in the coal mines. The Knights strongly supported the b i l l , but the coal operators managed to have i t narrowly defeated. According to Resident Manager Hobart McNeill, the OIC 1s pro- portion of the cost to defeat the b i l l was $825.00. He did not state for what purpose the money was used. 1 Though labor was causing few d i f f i c u l t i e s , the OIC did have pressing problems. Its stock began to decline i n early 1889, and p r o f i t s dropped more than 30% from the previous year. Worse for the company was the condition of the Franklin mine. A f i r e i n the new slope could not be extinguished, and McNeill complained to President E l i j a h Smith that, "Franklin i s bad to the core, I am a f r a i d ... Discouraging i s hardly a strong enough word." According to McNeill, Franklin had never shown a p r o f i t , and i t suffered from a weak roof, highly pitched coal beds, and continual f i r e s and explosions. McNeill believed that the only salvation for the company was to f i n d a "better product." He repeatedly t r i e d to acquire coal f i e l d s i n B.C. but with no success. A better product was not to be found so the company 2 had to f i n d a way to operate i t s mines more economically. By mid 1890 i t seemed l i k e l y that the OIC would go into Receivership. Seattle Resident Manager McNeill accused San Francisco General Manager John Howard of being a poor businessman, and Howard countered that McNeill did not know how to mine coal at reasonable costs. Tempers f l a r e d and personalities clashed. Charles J. Smith, another of the ubiquitous OIC managers, 3 threatened to quit unless he got McNeill's job. 80 What averted disaster for the OIC was a " f i e r c e s t r i k e " i n the coal f i e l d s of A u s t r a l i a i n September 1890. Washington coal was suddenly i n demand in San Francisco, and the OIC o f f i c e r s regained t h e i r confidence. Charles Smith, try i n g to stay a step ahead of McNeill, wrote President E l i j a h Smith i n September and said since the market was good, the workers would more than l i k e l y demand a wage increase. Smith t o l d the President that t h e i r demands should be r e s i s t e d , and the best form of r e s i s - tance would be to "change the work force." Tired of labor problems, Charles Smith wanted a "permanent and f i n a l ending" to such disputes. Although he did not specify the color of the proposed work force at t h i s time, he was well aware that McNeill 4 had advocated the use of blacks since the s t r i k e at Roslyn. Smith's concern about wage demands was j u s t i f i e d . On 7 October 1890 the Knights at Franklin, Newcastle, and Gilman asked for a 15% increase, while the Black Diamond workers requested 25%. Providing the OIC could get the support of the other companies, C.J. Smith f e l t the OIC should r e s i s t the new demands and i n s t a l l Negroes "at once" at Franklin.. John Howard considered t h i s plan " s u i c i d a l " because none of the other companies were w i l l i n g to r i s k a s t r i k e with business so good. Howard suggested that the OIC "take advantage of present opportunities for p r o f i t and arrange a programme for f i g h t i n g l a t e r . " 5 A compromise was reached between Howard and C.J. Smith. The OIC followed the other companies and acceded to the wage demands, but i n November 1890 the company closed the Franklin 81 mine, keeping only twenty-five men to b u i l d yet another new slope. When the slope was completed, Smith planned to bring in three hundred blacks to work i n the mine. I n i t i a l l y the importation of blacks would be expensive, and to pay the cost the OIC planned to d r a s t i c a l l y increase coal prices, deduct t r a v e l expenses from the Negroes' s a l a r i e s , and to esta b l i s h a support fund with the other companies for the "pioneer e f f o r t " of the OIC. In the long run Smith calculated that the use of blacks would reduce costs nearly 25%.^ The market i n late 1890 belonged to the s e l l e r s for a change, and i n less than three weeks the OIC boosted the price of i t s best coal nearly 2 0% and. blamed the increase on the wage demands of the workers. In t o t a l the OIC increased i t s prices three times i n less than two months and screened coal jumped from $6.50 per ton to $11.00 per ton. When queried by the l o c a l press about the sharp increase, McNeill 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 charity. Now benevolence i s the noblest 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 to carry on the whole of t h i s scheme of benefaction. We s h a l l have to l e t the general public help us.^ McNeill and the other OIC o f f i c e r s were less f l i p p a n t when the Australian s t r i k e ended i n November and the company was s t i l l saddled with debts. By late November the OIC was faced with "a small army" of cred i t o r s , and John Howard said i t looked l i k e "breakers ahead for the company." The OIC was unable to meet i t s payments and on 27 November 1890 Joseph 82 Simon, one of the o r i g i n a l founders of the company, was appointed Receiver by the U.S. C i r c u i t Court for the D i s t r i c t of Oregon and the U.S. C i r c u i t Court for the D i s t r i c t of Washington. In December Simon reported that $237,000 i n suits and attachments 8 had been i n s t i t u t e d against the company. For the moment the matter of black workers was dropped as the OIC was most concerned about reorganizing. A number of o f f i c e r s l e f t the company including Hobart McNeill and President E l i j a h Smith. In New York William Starbuck became the new President and Charles Smith, as expected, replaced McNeill i n Seattle as Resident Manager. By mid January 1891 the OIC appeared to be back on i t s feet, though few changes, 9 other faces, had actually occurred. With recovery the topic of black workers again became prominent. Both Charles Smith and McNeill had advocated the use of blacks i n the mines, and upon leaving the OIC, McNeill formed a company which offered to lease mines and produce coal at a fixed p r i c e . To keep costs down McNeill intended to use black workers, and he attempted to intere s t the OIC i n his scheme. But C.J. Smith, s t i l l wary of the boisterous McNeill, claimed that i t would be cheaper for the OIC to employ i t s own black work force, and he persuaded the New York directors to disregard McNeill's o f f e r . 1 0 Precisely why the OIC wanted blacks i n i t s mines became clear i n January 1891. During the Australian coal s t r i k e the Knights had enjoyed a healthy recovery at Newcastle, for i t was the Knights and not the Miners Union who had demanded 83 and won a wage increase. The Miners Union slowly faded into o b l i v i o n . But s t i l l a f r a i d of company "pets", the Knights demanded that the OIC employ only Knights i n i t s mines. To show the i r determination, and no doubt t h e i r renewed strength, they threatened to s t r i k e . In response Charles Smith f i r e d "sixty of the worst agitators" and replaced them with non- union men. He immediately informed President Starbuck that these problems could be avoided with the use of blacks. Not only would the mines be operated more economically, but a mixed labor force would keep the workers divided and allow the company to hire and f i r e whom i t pleased without interference from organized labor. To Charles Smith the plan seemed f a u l t - l e s s . Blacks would work for lower wages than whites, and r a c i a l animosity would prevent blacks and whites from cooperating against the company. President Starbuck approved of the use of blacks i n the mines, but the Executive Committee i n New York was reluctant to give i t s approval. The committee d i s l i k e d the i n i t i a l expense of importing blacks, and the members feared a h o s t i l e and bloody reaction from the white workers. At the time of t h i s discussion Negro strikebreakers i n the coal mines of Alabama were being attacked and k i l l e d . No doubt the Executive Committee was concerned that i t might be opening a Pandora's 12 1 Box by using blacks i n the mines. Noting the reluctance in New York, T.B. Corey, OIC Super- intendent of Mines i n Seattle, offered another plan. He suggested that the OIC force the miners, the r e a l troublemakers, 84 to submit to an Ironclad Contract. The Executive Committee quickly agreed to Corey's plan, and a contract was given to 13 the miners in March 1891. The contract was indeed an ironclad one. It reduced wages 15% and set tough production quotas for miners. If a miner's quota was not met, then the company could place more men i n the miner's breast, and at the miner's expense. No miner was allowed to "stop work, j o i n i n any 's t r i k e ' or combination." Work had to begin at 7:00 A.M., and no meetings were permitted during working hours. A l l grievances were to be s e t t l e d by the pit-boss or superintendent, and employees were not to interfere with the company's right to hire and f i r e whom i t pleased. Discharge was without notice, and a terminated miner had to vacate his company house before he received his f i n a l paycheck. Any v i o l a t i o n of the contract would r e s u l t i n loss - 14 of wages. If accepted, the contract would have served a purpose sim i l a r to the use of black workers. The company would be able to operate i t s mines more economically and without interference from' i t s employees. The employee, as an i n d i v i d u a l and not part of any labor organization, was allowed to s e l l his labor at a rate fixed by the company. He could accept what the company offered or he could r e j e c t i t and seek other employment. He had no say i n the operation of the business. The OIC had had i t s f i l l of continual wage demands, i n t e r - union disputes, and m i l i t a n t Knights who wanted to t e l l the company how to run i t s business. 85 On 30 March 1891 the miners and mine laborers of Newcastle, most of whom were Knights, held a meeting to discuss the contract which was immediately and unanimously rejected. A committee was established to o f f e r a counter proposal to the OIC. Since the market was poor, the Knights accepted the 15% reduction, but they wanted wages t i e d to a s l i d i n g scale. As the price of coal varied so would wages, but they would never f a l l below a set minimum. The Knights agreed to give ten days notice for any stoppage of work, including a s t r i k e . In slack times miners were to be allowed to share work to minimize l a y - o f f s and special p r i v i l e g e s for company fav o r i t e s . Grievances were to be sett l e d by a mine committee equally composed of Knights and company representatives. I f the committee could not s e t t l e the grievance, i t would go before the Executive board of the Knights i n Seattle. A l l discharges had to be approved by an a r b i t r a t i o n board, again composed equally of Knights and company representatives. "Under proper conditions," which were left undefined, the company was allowed to hire whom i t pleased. 1^ The two proposals were poles apart, which i s understandable since the OIC and the Knights had opposing p r i o r i t i e s . The company wanted to run i t s business cheaply and e f f i c i e n t l y , without interference from i t s employees. On the other hand, after repeated attempts by the OIC to destroy the Knights with use of b l a c k l i s t s , lockouts, discriminatory h i r i n g , company spies, "Pinkertons", and cheap labor, the Knights f e l t they had to have some say i n the d a i l y operation of the 86 business i n order to protect themselves i n p a r t i c u l a r and a l l employees i n general. The Knights t o l d Superintendent Corey that the company would run the mines, but the workers had to be protected from the company's economy and e f f i c i e n c y . The State Executive board of the Knights approved of the Newcastle response to the OIC. The board stated that the Ironclad contract would r e s u l t i n "a v i r t u a l surrendering of i n d i v i d u a l i t y to. the company" and would create a "system of bondage equal i f 16 not worse than chattel slavery." Quite l i k e l y the OIC never intended to have the contract accepted by the workers. The company did not discuss the con- t r a c t with the other operators, and had i t been accepted, the OIC would have l o s t many good workers to companies with less stringent working conditions. But i f the contract was rejected, then Charles Smith.could argue to the New York directors that he had done a l l he could, and now the only alternative was to import black mine workers. After only twelve miners could be persuaded to sign the contract, the OIC"withdrew i t and T.B. Corey mysteriously resigned and went East. Actually he had not resigned at a l l . F u l l y aware that the contract would be rejected, Corey con- structed an elaborate plan to quickly gather black workers. With the r e j e c t i o n of the contract the Executive Committee gave i t s approval to use blacks, and Corey immediately departed for Iowa, I l l i n o i s , Indiana, and Missouri. In St. Louis he published the following notice: 87 500 c o l o r e d c o a l miners 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. Steady- work f o r three years. No s t r i k e or t r o u b l e of any k i n d . The f i n e s t country on e a r t h . ^ Back i n Washington the mine workers became s u s p i c i o u s when T h i e l d e t e c t i v e s appeared at Newcastle and F r a n k l i n . A common rumour f l o a t i n g around the mining towns was t h a t Corey went E a s t to h i r e s i x hundred miners who would s i g n the c o n t r a c t , but i t was not u n t i l e a r l y May t h a t the Newcastle Knights l e a r n e d from the St. L o u i s Knights t h a t the new workers were to be b l a c k . 1 8 Corey's p l a n went smoothly; on 13 May 1891 over f o u r hundred b l a c k s , i n c l u d i n g f i f t y women and c h i l d r e n , l e f t S t . Paul Minnesota on the NPR. Corey had hoped to h i r e more f a m i l y men. They were more s t a b l e , and to Corey and the OIC these b l a c k s were not temporary workers. They were a new, improved and permanent work f o r c e . The b l a c k workers, both miners and l a b o r e r s had signed a three year c o n t r a c t s i m i l a r to the one o f f e r e d to the Newcastle miners i n March except the b l a c k s were to be p a i d 15-25% l e s s than the whites were o f f e r e d . On 15 May a mine workers' meeting was h e l d at the Knights of Labor H a l l i n S e a t t l e . The mine workers denounced the OIC, but they c o u l d not decide what to do about the r a p i d l y approaching b l a c k workers. 1^ The f r o n t page of the Post-Intelligencer had a huge double h e a d l i n e on Sunday 17 May 1891 — "The Black T r a i n , " "OIC C o l o n i z i n g I t s Camps w i t h Non-Union Labor." Very e a r l y t h a t morning an NPR t r a i n w i t h ten coaches, a baggage c a r , and 88 a caboose arrived at Palmer, some three miles from Franklin. The white workers knew that the blacks were a r r i v i n g that day, but they mistakenly assumed that the blacks would go to Newcastle, and there a large crowd had gathered. Under the guard of the T h i e l detectives, the blacks walked to Franklin, a r r i v i n g there about 6:00 A.M. Since the mines were closed the town was nearly deserted. A dozen people watched the blacks walk into town and one woman shouted, "Look at the Nigger slaves." Soon afte r they arrived, the guards strung a barbed-wire fence around the mine buildings and the negro quarters. Franklin's main street became a "deadline" and no unauthorized whites were permitted within the compound. The school playground, a common meeting place, was fenced o f f , and one hundred white and f i f t y black guards enforced the peace. The next day the Franklin mine opened for the f i r s t time i n over six months. Technically, the blacks were not strikebreakers as the OIC had discharged p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of i t s Franklin employees when i t closed the mine to dig a new slope. The immediate reaction to the blacks was varied. OIC Superintendent Corey was " j u b i l l a n t . " He arrived with the blacks and maintained they were brought to Franklin because the company.was "determined to take possession of i t s own property and manage i t . " Resident Manager C.J. Smith said the use of blacks would not have been necessary i f the Newcastle men had signed the contract. The OIC, according to Smith, was t i r e d of the "constant agitation of parasites." Corey and Smith apparently had forgotten the terms of the contract for 89 they, both claimed that the OIC had nothing against labor organizations. In fact, Smith argued, the use of blacks would be " b e n e f i c i a l " to labor organizations because the mines would be run more e f f i c i e n t l y and economically which would allow the company to employ more men.^ The Seattle Daily Press-Times was content with the obser- vation that "[t]he majority of negroes are coarse, uncouth, and ignorant." The P o s t - I n t e l l i g e n c e r , on the other hand, feared that "... smouldering prejudices of race could be observed breaking out again." Such fears, however, did not prevent the "P-I" from stating that i t "regretted" the action of the OIC because of the e v i l of contract labor and the fact that Negroes were " a l i e n to t h i s state" and "poorly furnished i n the q u a l i t i e s that go to make substantial and independent c i t i z e n s h i p . " The paper went on to say that i t placed at least part of the blame on the mine workers because of t h e i r regular work stoppages 22 and "questionable demands." The response of labor was not of one kind. A group of people, "representing a l l classes of labor," met at Wilkeson and resolved: We w i l l no longer submit to the introduction of the Negro among us, and ... we cannot and w i l l not recognize the Negro as worthy of association with us; neither w i l l we submit to association with them in any manner whatsoever.^ The mineworkers at Newcastle took more d i r e c t action. They went on s t r i k e . Almost immediately ,sympathy strikes were ca 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 Franklin as the only operating mine in 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- ation with the other mine owners so that none of the miners w i l l be taken back again except on contract ... and a l l the d i s - turbing and agitating elements w i l l be eliminated from a l l 24 mines." Suddenly the stakes of the c o n f l i c t had been raised dramatically. No longer was this simply a dispute between the OIC and i t s employees. Other operators had joined with the OIC, and the mine workers were gathering support for a d i r e c t confrontation. Each side had reached the l i m i t of i t s fore- bearance and tolerance, and each was determined to s e t t l e matters once and for a l l . Like the Chinese before them, caught somewhere inbetween were the black workers at Franklin. The Executive board of the Knights i n Seattle quickly realized the seriousness of the s i t u a t i o n . The Knights had learned b i t t e r lessons at Roslyn and Newcastle i n 1889. If they were to be successful, they had to be as organized as the - coal operators. The Knights board approved of the mine workers' decision to s t r i k e , but i t wanted to make sure that the focus of the workers' animosity was the company and not the blacks. A press release stated, "This act of the Oregon Improvement Company ... must prove to workingmen that there i s r e a l l y no protection to American labor ... Workingmen must look for 25 protection among themselves." The Knights attacked the OIC because to d i r e c t t h e i r attack against the blacks would have meant f a l l i n g into the company's hands. The OIC would have 91 loved nothing more than to have the whites focus t h e i r hatred on the blacks. In such a s i t u a t i o n the OIC's goal 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 attained. Accordingly, the Knights board announced i t was the p o l i c i e s and practices of the OIC with which the Knights were i n contention, and they were opposed to the practice of employing blacks i n the mines. Ultimately such d i s t i n c t i o n s proved too fine for most mine workers to make, but i n the beginning such d i s t i n c t i o n s meant that, although the Knights were not w i l l i n g to welcome the blacks, they were w i l l i n g to attempt to reasonably persuade them to depart i n peace. 2 6 In order to withstand the pressure of the operators the mine workers needed wide-ranging labor support. The Knights believed that i f labor unions cooperated with each other then the mine workers had a good chance of winning. Naturally the Knights were not above suggesting to other unions that t h e i r turn might be next: once successfully used i n the mines, blacks could be used i n a l l industries. On 18 May, the day after the blacks arrived at Franklin, the Knights arranged a meeting with the Western Central Labor Union (WCLU), Seattle's a f f i l i a t i o n of trade unions. The meeting went well and a committee of f i v e s t r i k i n g miners and four WCLU members was established. The main purpose of the committee was to rai s e money in order to provide r e l i e f for the s t r i k e r s and to o f f e r return fare to the blacks at Franklin. If possible the committee was also to speak with the blacks and "see i f they could not be induced to return whence they came." Blacks 92 were s t i l l not welcome i n Washington and no one suggested that the blacks be asked to j o i n with the white mine workers. Formal permission to speak with the blacks was sought from C.J. Smith who wisely refused the request. The deadline and the detectives 27 were meant to keep the blacks in as well as the whites out. The mine workers hoped to add to t h e i r strength by con- vincing other unions to c a l l sympathy strikes or refuse to handle OIC coal. But i n 1891 the Washington economy was sluggish and unemployment was high. Unions risked immediate s e l f - destruction i f they struck i n sympathy, which overwhelmed any long term concerns they might have had about blacks entering t h e i r trades. Consequently, OIC coal was carried to market, and only a few workers of the Columbia and Puget Sound Railway 2 8 joined the mine workers. In s p i r i t , but hardly i n cash, fund r a i s i n g was more successful. Over $500.00 was col l e c t e d i n Seattle by a group of small businessmen who formed a committee to a s s i s t the mine workers. Local businessmen had never been fond of the OIC as i t purchased i t s supplies from San Francisco and pressured i t s employees to purchase from the company. The Tacoma Knights sent $120.00 while the Tacoma bricklayers and Typographical Union contributed a t o t a l of $125.00. Though well removed from the dispute, the San Francisco Brewery Workmens1 Union sent $50.00 to the mine workers. F i n a l l y , the white workers of Roslyn were i n no position to o f f e r much assistance, but they did express t h e i r sympathy with the s t r i k i n g workers of King 29 County. 93 In order to b o l s t e r morale and dramatize t h e i r cause, the Knights and WCLU organized a huge fund r a i s i n g p i c n i c and demonstration a t F r a n k l i n on 24 May, one week a f t e r the a r r i v a l of the b l a c k s . Over nine hundred people attended w i t h d e l e g a t e s from a l l the surrounding mining camps. An outdoor band e n t e r t a i n e d , and l o c a l l a b o r leaders,gave r o u s i n g speeches most o f which were d i r e c t e d a t the b l a c k workers who watched the proceedings on the other s i d e of the d e a d l i n e . The speakers urged the b l a c k s to leave and cease defending c o r p o r a t e tyranny. Two S e a t t l e Knights, n e i t h e r of whom were mine workers, even o f f e r e d to he l p o r g a n i z e the bl a c k workers. T h e i r sentiments, however, were not expressed i n the r e s o l u t i o n passed a t the end of the day: That we the miners and mine l a b o r e r s of King and P i e r c e c o u n t i e s i n the s t a t e of Washington ... do p r o t e s t the inhuman a c t i o n o f the Oregon Improvement Company i n importing cheap c o l o r e d l a b o r to take the p l a c e of honest white l a b o r . H o s t i l i t y toward the 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 , but i t was not f a r below the s u r f a c e . The s t r i k i n g mine workers operated under the assumption t h a t the b l a c k s would leave once they understood how they were being used by the company. T h i s was a mistaken assumption. Looking c a r e f u l l y we can see t h a t the b l a c k workers themselves had c l e a r ideas as to why they were there and why most chose to remain. A f t e r the f i r s t week about f o r t y b l a c k s , roughly 10% of the t o t a l , d ecided to break t h e i r c o n t r a c t w i t h the OIC (which meant sneaking past the T h i e l d e t e c t i v e s at night) and accept 94 the o f f e r of the WCLU f o r t r a i n fare back East. A number of those who departed f e l t cheated by the OIC, as they had been t o l d there were no la b o r problems i n the mines. Many who l e f t d i d not want to be part of a labor d i s p u t e . Others expressed more b a s i c concerns. One anonymous miner s a i d , . " I don't know much about who i s r i g h t . Perhaps they are both r i g h t , but 31 they've got a l l the guns and a dead nigger gets a w f u l l y c o l d . " The v a s t m a j o r i t y of black workers remained at F r a n k l i n . Most were too poor to leave, but they expressed l i t t l e d e s i r e to leave. The blacks d i d not need the white s t r i k e r s to t e l l them what was going on. They q u i c k l y understood the s i t u a t i o n and chose to stay. Charles Anderson, a black miner and former Knight, informed the e d i t o r of the " P - I " , "we are aware th a t p r e j u d i c e i s against us here, but where can we go? I t i s against us everywhere ... Let them c a l l us scabs i f they want 32 t o . We have concluded t h a t h a l f a l o a f i s b e t t e r than none." The black mine workers received support from the t i n y L S e a t t l e black community. Under the d i r e c t i o n of Rev. Hesekiah C. Rice, the Committee of Colored C i t i z e n s pledged to a i d the workers at F r a n k l i n and to p u b l i c i z e the b l a c k s ' p o s i t i o n . According to R i c e , "the only way we [blacks] can get employment as workingmen i n the North i s to go i n a great crowd to a place and take possession of i t as we have done here. But we don't want to d r i v e the white men out of here. 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 blacks a r r i v e d the Colored C i t i z e n s Committee spoke to the black workers. They t o l d them to remain 95 with the OIC, that they were U.S. c i t i z e n s and f u l l y e n t i t l e d to a l l rights as c i t i z e n s , including the r i g h t to l i v e and work i n the West. A l l speakers referred b i t t e r l y to labor unions that would not accept black members. Rice said i f the unions would not help Negroes then they would and could help 34 themselves. While the band was playing on the other side of the deadline at the 2 4 May demonstration, the black workers were also holding a meeting. To the white workers' resolution they r e p l i e d : That we came here to stay and w i l l use a l l lawful means to accomplish said end. In coming to Franklin we have exercised the r i g h t of every American c i t i z e n ... [W]e expect to enjoy a l l the rights and immunities guaranteed to a l l p a t r i o t i c American c i t i z e n s •••35 To the black workers at Franklin the phrases "labor s o l i d a r i t y " and "corporate tools" were hollow and devoid of any r e a l meaning. The blacks harbored no fondness for the OIC, nor were they r e t a l i a t i n g against white labor for years of discrimination. If anything the blacks saw themselves as pawns, used by both c a p i t a l and labor whenever i t suited t h e i r needs. Each side was quite w i l l i n g to s a c r i f i c e the blacks i n order to gain the upper hand against the other and disgard them when t h e i r useful- ness was spent. Hence the speeches c a l l i n g for the blacks to understand the white mens' p l i g h t and depart f e l l on t i r e d ears. They had heard that tale too many times before. The blacks who remained at Franklin were not trying to support corporate hegemony or destroy labor unions. They were trying to earn a l i v i n g , support t h e i r families, and l i v e a respectable l i f e 96 i n a s o c i e t y which d i d i t s utmost to perpetuate t h e i r former s t a t u s as s l a v e s . Richard Davis, a b l a c k miner from V i r g i n i a who i n l a t e r years served on the Uni t e d Mine Workers board, a p t l y d e s c r i b e d the awkward p o s i t i o n i n which b l a c k s o f t e n found themselves: Now i f there i s anything 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 p l a c e s i n t h i s country t h a t they w i l l not a l l o w the negro to work simply 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 not a b l a c k l e g i n t a k i n g your p l a c e s . He i s o n l y doing h i s p l a i n duty i n t a k i n g chances with the world. We ask no one to g i v e us anything, a l l we want i s the chance to work and we assure you t h a t we want j u s t as much wages as the whites. In the end l a b o r s o l i d a r i t y had l i t t l e meaning f o r the whites e i t h e r . The 2 4 May demonstration was the peak of r e s i s t a n c e to the OIC. The neg a t i v e response o f the b l a c k workers was both a p s y c h o l o g i c a l and p r a c t i c a l setback f o r the white s t r i k e r s . R a c i a l animosity skyrocketed a f t e r the demonstration, and l a b o r groups began to q u a r r e l among them- s e l v e s . The Knights and the WCLU squabbled over j u r i s d i c t i o n . The WCLU t o l d the Knights l o c a l s t h a t i t would c o o r d i n a t e a l l s t r i k e a c t i o n or withdraw i t s support. The WCLU wanted a l l workers except those from Newcastle and F r a n k l i n t o go back to work because they had no j u s t i f i a b l e d i s p u t e w i t h t h e i r employers, and the WCLU b e l i e v e d p u b l i c support c o u l d be gained by the workers' show of good f a i t h toward t h e i r employers. The Knights balked a t t h i s i d e a , arguing t h a t a l l mine workers had to stand together a g a i n s t the op e r a t o r s and now a g a i n s t the b l a c k s . In order t o make t h e i r i n t e n t i o n s c l e a r l y known the mine workers met at Cedar Mountain on 13 June and passed the f o l l o w i n g 97 resolution: That we, the miners and mine laborers of King County, hereby agree to l e t the coal companies have t h e i r choice of either employing a l l white miners or a l l colored men, and we w i l l not return to work unless a l l white miners are employed.^ The day a f t e r t h i s resolution was passed a reporter found T.B. Corey writing "Approved T.B. Corey, Superintendent of Mines, Oregon Improvement Company" on the Knights' notices ordering a l l s t r i k i n g workers away from the mines. The reporter asked Corey why he was i n such a p l a y f u l mood and good s p i r i t s . Corey rep l i e d that the demand by the s t r i k e r s for a l l black or a l l white workers would help the coal companies because " i t made the issue one of race between the white and colored miners,, and not one of wages or conditions of work between the coal companies and t h e i r employees." Corey's analysis was correct. Repressed r a c i a l animosity now surfaced, and the mine workers vented t h e i r h o s t i l i t y at the blacks while attacks against the company became less strident. The coal operators were l e f t i n the enviable position of watching various groups of workers — black mine workers, white mine workers, trade unionists — quarreling among themselves. Worker resistance 3 8 to the operators had quickly fragmented. By late June the s t r i k e r s from Gilman and Black Diamond were negotiating contracts with t h e i r employers, much to the chagrin of the OIC s t r i k e r s . At Franklin the mines were operating without trouble, and C.J. Smith reduced the guards by half and decided that the time was r i g h t to put blacks to work at Newcastle which was barely operating because of the 98 s t r i k e . Even after nearly twenty years of a c t i v i t y , Newcastle was more productive than Franklin, and Smith wanted i t going at f u l l capacity as soon as possible. Eventually he hoped to have a mixture of blacks and whites at both mines which he 39 assumed would prevent any further disturbances. Once again the OIC wisely chose an early Sunday morning to transport i t s black workers. At 3:00 A.M. on Sunday 28 June 1891 ten guards and eighty blacks l e f t Franklin for Newcastle. At 5:00 A.M. t h e i r t r a i n arrived without incident as Newcastle was almost deserted because of the s t r i k e . Franklin, however, proved to be a d i f f e r e n t story. In the afternoon a s c u f f l e broke out between s t r i k e r s and black workers and one Negro was injured. By that evening, when the Newcastle t r a i n returned, Franklin was a powderkeg lacking only a spark. The spark came from the guards on the returning t r a i n who, apparently drunk, began to f i r e indiscriminately from the t r a i n . The white s t r i k e r s returned the guards' f i r e . Hearing the shooting, the blacks grabbed t h e i r guns and attacked the s t r i k e r s . In the ensuing melee over a thousand rounds were exchanged. When the smoke cleared 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 to accept the blame for s t a r t i n g the shooting, but that made l i t t l e difference to Governor E l i j a h Ferry. He ordered National Guard Colonel J.C. Haines, whose other employment was as attorney for the OIC, to take a f u l l regiment and disarm a l l sides. Haines placed m i l i t i a companies not only at Franklin and Newcastle, but also at Gilman and Black Diamond. The one hundred and twenty-five T h i e l detectives soon returned to Portland, but the s t r i k i n g 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 of July the "P-I" declared the coal operators had won as the s t r i k e r s were slowly giving up t h e i r arms and returning to work. Under the protection of the m i l i t i a white strikebreakers were brought to Gilman, and by the end of the month the s t r i k e r s had signed a contract similar to that of the OIC, and the m i l i t i a was withdrawn from a l l mines. The Cedar Mountain men soon returned to work, and on 24 July the Black Diamond workers signed a two year contract which was more lenient than the Ironclad contract of the OIC. The contract included a s l i d i n g scale of wages, a committee composed of miners and company representatives which would discuss discharge procedures, and the Black Diamond contract was the only one which included the clause that the company would employ only 42 "good, honest-working white miners." Tensions remained high at Newcastle and Franklin for some time, but by the end of July C.J. Smith announced, "the s t r i k e i s over." He added l a t e r that the OIC had been "compelled to clean out the greater portion of the old force." The s t r i k e r s had either signed the contract and returned to work or they l e f t . To prove that the OIC had indeed won, Smith said wages would be reduced another 25%. Needless to say the OIC was not popular with Washington mine workers. When T.B. Corey went to Wilkeson to talk 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 collapse of the s t r i k e the whites became increasingly h o s t i l e to the blacks. Their h o s t i l i t y was double-edged. Since they had l o s t the s t r i k e , there was 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 blacks, but there was every reason to hate them. The OIC now had a group of workers who would be used to keep whites " i n t h e i r place." As the s t r i k e was ending the "P-I" declared that "... race animosity has reached such a point that 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 to prove t h e i r i d e n t i t y to escape abuse." In early July a "Committee of C i t i z e n s " held a meeting i n Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle. One speaker announced, "You take 500 or 6 00 niggers, put f i r e arms i n t h e i r hands, and they w i l l not only menace the peace, but the purity of our mothers and daughters." The thought of having large numbers of blacks 44 permanently i n t h e i r midst was abhorrent to many people. In response to such invective a "Committee of Colored Miners" passed a resolution which claimed: That the allegations made by the s t r i k i n g miners that the Negroes were an u n c i v i l i z e d class of 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 that they were l i a b l e to attack peaceably d i s - posed c i t i z e n s and commit outrage and murder, are fal s e i n every p a r t i c u l a r and without found- ation i n fact.., c The black workers were just as determined as whites to maintain t h e i r dignity and defend t h e i r r i g h t s . They proved to be less docile than the OIC had imagined. When a "few" blacks at Newcastle were discharged to make room for returning 101 s t r i k e r s , some t h i r t y blacks went out on s t r i k e to protest. The company was forced to reinstate the discharged blacks, which again worked to the company's advantage as tension between 46 blacks and whites increased as a r e s u l t of the incident. At f i r s t the use of black workers was successful. The white mine workers were completely defeated, and they accepted the OIC's demands for an ironclad contract, reduced wages, and a no s t r i k e guarantee. In 1893 wages were reduced another 15% and the following year another 10% as the national economy s l i d into another depression. In 1894 labor s t r i f e again rocked the P a c i f i c Northwest. A l l the major railr o a d s were on s t r i k e , and Coxey's army gained six hundred r e c r u i t s i n Washington. But the coal mines, except for a very b r i e f s t r i k e at Roslyn, remained quiet. The OIC, i n fact a l l the operators, reaped the benefits of the 1891 trouble, and C.J. Smith proudly exclaimed, "our force i s the only bulwark against a general miners' s t r i k e 47 in Washington." The 1891 s t r i k e f a t a l l y wounded the Knights i n Washington, and they succumbed i n the Panic of 1893. Nationally the Order lingered u n t i l 1917, but i t was an anachronism after 1890. In 1893 many former Knights joined the newly formed Western Federation of Miners (WFM). As individuals former Knights from Washington were welcome at the organizational meeting of the WFM, but the l a s t struggling assemblies i n Washington were not inv i t e d to attend because they "had agreed to wage scales that i II 4 8 were too low. Coal mining unions did not reappear i n Washington u n t i l 102 after the turn of the century. Although the United 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 disastrous s t r i k e s of 1894. At the turn of the century, however, both the UMW and WFM gained a foothold i n Washington coal mines. The f i r s t UMW l o c a l was established at Wilkeson i n 1902. The next year the WFM organized workers at Roslyn and Newcastle, twelve years 49 after the defeat of the Knights. Under the auspices of the OIC the Washington coal operators managed to suppress union a c t i v i t y for over a decade, but the OIC enjoyed such benefits for only a few years. Black workers could not improve the poor i n i t i a l planning and engineering at the OIC mines, or t h e i r weak roofs and highly pitched beds. Mining costs remained high and the qu a l i t y of the product did not improve. Fires and explosions continued to ravage both 5 mines, and i n 1895 an explosion completely destroyed Newcastle. The OIC did not outli v e i t s mines. On 4 October 1895 i t went into receivership for the second and f i n a l time. Charles Smith was appointed Receiver, and the OIC o f f i c e r s took great pains and went into great d e t a i l accusing each other for the company's demise. Charges of incompetency and i n e f f i c i e n c y appeared from a l l di r e c t i o n s . Charles Smith t r i e d hard to save the company, but without success. Somewhat desperate at the end, the man who worked for so long to have blacks put i n the mines i r o n i c a l l y accused "Corey and his colored men" for the OIC's g r i e f . According to Smith i t was the i n e f f i c i e n c y of the black miners that kept costs up, and to 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 blacks i n 1896. Hobart McNeill, the former Resident Manager of the OIC, was i n Seattle when he learned of Smith's action. No longer an OIC employee, he g l i b l y commented,"I thought Smith had exhausted his capacity to dp damage o u t here, but I was mistaken." The OIC and the blacks departed together. In 1896 the Oregon Improvement Company ceased to e x i s t when i t was purchased by the P a c i f i c Coast Company."*1 A f i n a l question remains: who i s to blame? Whom must i we judge as the cause of the trouble i n the mines? There are a number of l i k e l y candidates. The most obvious of course are the o f f i c e r s of the Oregon Improvement Company, or more generally the leading coal operators of Washington. It would be easy to picture these men as soulless ogres; sometimes i t has been d i f f i c u l t not to do so. Reading through the OIC correspondence one i s continually struck with the overwhelming concern for p r o f i t and personal aggrandizement. Men l i k e John Howard and Hobart McNeill do not e l i c i t much sympathy. To them the mine workers were at best an i r r i t a b l e but necessary factor of production, and at worst the workers were " c a t t l e " and "scum". Howard and McNeill were quite w i l l i n g to have t h e i r men t o i l long hours hundreds of feet below ground i n conditions which almost defy b e l i e f , and then "long-yard" t h e i r paychecks. Not only were the OIC o f f i c e r s b i t t e r l y opposed to unions, the one organization which could ameliorate the l o t of the workers, but they also jumped at the opportunity to nurture the poison of r a c i a l animosity 104 within 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 economically. The OIC o f f i c e r s deserve l i t t l e sympathy, but they can not be e n t i r e l y condemned. The haphazard nature -of Washington mining and the precarious f i n a n c i a l position of the OIC forced these men to be v i t a l l y concerned about costs and p r o f i t s . If one accepts the basic tenets of capitalism, then these men were doing a good job, for they l e t l i t t l e stand i n t h e i r way of reducing costs and increasing p r o f i t s . There i s l i t t l e doubt that the demands of the Knights would have increased costs and added to an already heavy burden for the OIC. In addition, considering the state of mining technology and the nature of coal mining, there was not much the OIC could have done to improve conditions. The OIC did cut corners i n regard to safety and comfort, but there were worse offenders, and even an impeccable record would have l e f t coal mining d i r t y and dangerous work. If not the coal operators then, are we to lay blame at the feet of the mineworkers, s p e c i f i c a l l y the Knights of Labor? After a l l , the Knights were agitators; they were aggressive, unconciliatory, and occasionally even v i o l e n t . They advocated worker s o l i d a r i t y and practiced i t by eliminating t h e i r competition i n the Miners Union and forcing t h e i r fellow workers to support t h e i r cause. But the worst charge against the Knights i s that they were hypocrites, and t h e i r hypocrisy helped to eliminate mining unions from Washington for over a decade. The Knights preached r a c i a l equality and practiced the v i r u l e n t 105 racism so common i n the Western United States. According to t h e i r l i t e r a t u r e they were cognizant of the differences between labor and c a p i t a l , aware that a l l workers had a good deal i n common. Yet, l i k e most white Americans, they could not go beyond t h e i r deeply rooted prejudices. The Knights are 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 values of the culture into which they were born or had adopted. To most Americans, innate Negro prejudice was not a sensitive subject of discussion, but a simple "fa c t " of l i f e . Fortunately there were a few who did not believe the "facts", but they were aty p i c a l and out of place. To make heroic demands of the Knights, to argue that they should have known better, i s a pious and pointless undertaking. On a less grand scale, the Knights were doing more than debating r a c i a l theories; they were defending t h e i r jobs and the i r homes i n a highly i r r e g u l a r industry. The OIC imported black workers to force whites to accept lower wages and to replace r e c a l c i t r a n t whites with blacks. Under such circumstances t h e i r reaction to the blacks i s perhaps not excusable, but i t i s understandable. Often the Knights' aggression and agitation was defensive i n nature. Quite c l e a r l y the operators wanted to eliminate a l l mining unions, and the Knights fought both to save themselves and to protect the interests of the white workers. Even the black workers are not above scrutiny. Should they not be condemned for allowing themselves to be used as 106 strikebreakers, cheap labor, and tools of corporate hegemony? When the blacks arrived, they learned that Washington-was not free of labor trouble, yet they chose to remain and t a c i t l y contributed to the destruction of the Knights. These are serious charges, but paradoxically, the blacks deserve at lea s t some respect for t h e i r actions. They accepted employment i n Washington with the assurance that there was no labor trouble of any kind. When they learned for what purpose they were there, almost a l l chose to remain, but they did not remain because of a desire to be corporate tools or union busters. The black workers wanted to earn a l i v i n g and l i v e a responsible l i f e i n a society which denied them not only many avenues of employment, but also as many of the i r r i g h t s as possible. In Washington these black men and women decided to stand t h e i r ground. They were t i r e d of being used by warring factions, only to be cast aside when the i r usefulness was spent. The black workers were not docile creatures bowing to the company. They knew why they were there and why they chose to remain. In the f i n a l analysis no fundamental condemnation can be made of any individuals or groups of people. The most we can say i s that company o f f i c i a l s , Knights, and blacks were a l l looking out for themselves, perhaps overenthusiastically. But again t h i s enthusiasm r e f l e c t e d the society of which they were a part. As much as cooperation and generosity were admired in .nineteenth century America, the t r a i t s of success.were acquisitiveness and s e l f - i n t e r e s t . In previous pages I have 107 argued that the structure of mining towns and the nature of coal mining made c o n f l i c t almost inevitable between coal operators and mine workers. In a p a r a l l e l manner one could argue that the structure of American society also made c o n f l i c t l i k e l y . With individualism 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 driving forces, 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 necessarily l e f t by the wayside. Hence when one seeks to f i x r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for c o n f l i c t , i t i s f u t i l e to examine only individuals, for the roots of c o n f l i c t penetrate deeply into the f a b r i c of American society, into values upon which that society was established. 108 NOTES McNeill to E. Smith, 10 February 1890, OIC Records, 47:34. Senate B i l l 68, "An Act r e l a t i n g to the proper v e n t i l a t i o n and safety of coal mines," came before the l e g i s l a t u r e again and t h i s time passed. I t went into e f f e c t 7 June 1891. See Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7 June 1891. McNeill to 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 July 1890 (48:28). McNeill to E. Smith, 30 July 1890,and 12 June 1890, OIC Records, 46:36 and 40:25; C.J. Smith to 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 to E. Smith, 27 September 1890, OIC Records, 48:36. C.J. Smith to 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 to E. Smith, 17 October 1890, 23 October 1890, OIC Records, 49:4; Post-Intelligencer, 10 October 1890. Price Cards, OIC Records, 63:36, 63:40; McNeill quoted i n Post-Intelligencer, 12 October 1890. Howard to E. Smith, 6 November 1890, 20 November 1890, OIC Records, 64:3 and 64:4; McNeill to C.J. Smith, 18 November 1890, 49:4; J. Simon to P.W. Smith, 27 November 1890, 49:11; J. Simon to J u l i a n Davies, 27 December 1890, 49:19; Post-Intelligencer, 25-27 November 1890. C.J. Smith to E. Smith, 20 December 1890, OIC Records, 49:14; William Starbuck to E. Smith et a l . , 8 January 1891, 49:19. C.J. Smith to Starbuck, 23 February 1891, OIC Records, 49:27. Ibid, 28 January 1891, 49:20. Ibid; Smith to Starbuck, 23 February 1891, 49:27; Post- Intelligencer , 2 February 1891. The complete text of the contract and the debate between the Knights and the OIC can be found i n the 18 May 1891 edi t i o n of the Post-Intelligencer. 109 14. Ibid. 15. Ibid. 16. Ibid; Post-Intelligencer, 2 A p r i l 1891. 17. St. Louis advertisement quoted i n Seattle Daily Press-Times, 19 May 1891; see also Post-Intelligencer, 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. Post-Intelligencer, 23 A p r i l 1891; Seattle Times, 16 May 1891. : 19. Post-Intelligencer, 22 May 1891; Seattle Times, 16 May 1891. 20. Post-Intelligencer, 17, 18 May 1891; Seattle Times, 18 May 1891; C.J. Smith to Starbuck, 27 May 1891, OIC Records,50:12. The Post-Intelligencer gave extensive coverage to the events at Franklin i n the editions of 17-19 May 1891. 21. Post-Intelligencer, 17, 18 May 1891. 22. Seattle Times, 20 May 1891; Post-Intelligencer, 17, 19 May 1891. 23. Seattle Times> 23 May 1891. 24. C.J. Smith to Starbuck, 27 May 1891, OIC Records, 50:12. 25. Post-Intelligencer, 18, 20 May 1891. 26. Post-Intelligencer, 13 May 1891. 27. Seattle Times, 19 May 1891; Post-Intelligencer, 19, 20, 22 May 1891. 28. C.J. Smith to Starbuck, 27 May 1891, OIC Records, 50:12. 29. Seattle Times, 21, 27 May 1891; Post-Intelligencer, 15, 20 June 1891. 30. Post-Intelligencer, 20, 25 May 1891; Seattle Times, 25 May 1891. 31. Post-Intelligencer, 19 May 1891; Seattle Times 18 May 1891. 32. Post-Intelligencer, 5 July 1891. 33. Post-Intelligencer, 19 May 1891. 34. Seattle Times, 21 May 1891. 110 35. Seattle Times, 25 May 1891. 36. Quoted i n Herbert Gutman, "The Negro and the United Mine Workers," p. 78. 37. Post-Intelligencer, 28 May, 14 June 1891. 38. Post-Intelligencer, 15 June 1891. 39. Post-Intelligencer, 23, 27 June 1891; C.J. Smith to Starbuck, 5 June 1891, OIC Records, 50:16; Smith to C.B. Tedcastle, 1 July 1891, 50:21. 40. Post-Intelligencer, 29, 30 June 1891; Seattle Times, 30 June 1891; see also C. Thorndale, "Washington 1s Green River Coal Country," pp. 68-71. 41. Post-Intelligencer, 3, 7 July 1891. 42. On the Gilman agreement see Post-Intelligencer, 2, 22 July 1891; for Black Diamond see Ibid, 17, 24 July 1891. 43. C.J. Smith to Starbuck, 4 July 1891, 30 July 1891, and 3 August 1891, OIC Records, 50:22, 50:25 and 50:26; Post-Intelligencer, 21 July 1891. 44. Post-Intelligencer, 4 July 1891. 45. Post-Intelligencer, 10 July 1891. 46. OIC Scrapbooks, Box. 69. 47. Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," p. 74; Smith to Starbuck, 25 March 1894/ OIC Records, 52:27; C.J. Smith to Tedcastle, 9 May 1894, 52:30; Smith to Starbuck, 2 July, 7 July 1894, 52:37. 48. Richard E. Lingenfelter, The Hardrock Miners: A History of the Mining Labor Movement, 1863-1893 (Berkeley, 1974), p. 220; See also M. Dubsofsky, "The Origins of Western Working Class Radicalism," Labor History 7 (Spring 1966), pp. 131-153; Theodore A l l i s o n , "History of the Northwest Mining Unions Through 1920," (M.A. thesis, Washington State University, 1943), p. 1. 49. Frederick Melder, "A Study of the Washington Coal Mining Industry,"pp. 63, 66-68; Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," pp. 108-113; Norman Ware, The Labor Movement i n the United States, pp. 220-221. I l l Marilyn Tharp, "Story of Coal at Newcastle," p. 126; Thorndale, "Washington's Green River Coal Country," p. 7 5 C. Smith to Tedcastle, 29 August 1894, OIC Records, 52:42 Artemus Holmes to E. Smith, 7 October 1895, OIC Records, 53:38; T. Corey to E. Smith, 13 July 1896, 53a:9; Frank Kelly to T. Corey, 17 August 1896, 53a:ll; McNeill to E. Smith, 17 August 1896, 5 3 a : l l . 112 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY MANUSCRIPTS Oregon Improvement Company Records. University of Washington Library. NEWSPAPERS Portland Oregonian 1888-1889 Seattle Daily C a l l 1885-1886 Seattle Daily Press Times 1888-1893 Seattle Post-Intelligencer 1880-1895 GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880: Compendium, Part II. . Eleventh Census of the United States, 1890: Compendium. . Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900: Population, Part I I . . Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910: Population, Vol. I I . . Tenth Census of the United States, 1880: Report of Mining Industries, Vol. 15. . Negro Population, 1790-1915 Washington, Government Print i n g O f f i c e , 1918 (reprint ed., New York, Arno Press and the New York Times, 1968) U.S. Department of the Interior. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior, "Report of the Governor of Washington Te r r i t o r y to the Secretary of the Inter i o r , 1888." . U.S. Geological Survey. Mineral Resources of the United States. Washington: G.P.O., 1882-1900. . U.S. Geological Survey. Coals of the State of Washington by E. Eggleston Smith. B u l l e t i n 474. Washington: G.P.O., 1911. Washington. Annual Report of the Coal Mine Inspectors. Olympia, 1886-1912. 113 Washington. Washington Geological Survey. The Coal F i e l d s of King County, by George Evans. B u l l e t i n 3. Olympia, 1912. . Coal Fields of Southwest Washington by Harold Culver B u l l e t i n 9. Olympia, 1919. THESES AND DISSERTATIONS A l l i s o n , Theodore F., "History of the Northwest Mining Unions Through 1920." M.A. thesis, Washington State University, 1943. Bleeg, Joanne W., "Black People i n the T e r r i t o r y of Washington, 1860-1880," M.A. thesis, University of Washington, 1970. Henderson, Archie, "Introduction of the Negroes Into the P a c i f i c Northwest, 1788-1842," M.A. thesis, University of Washington, 1949. MacDonald, A. Norbert, "Seattle's Economic Development, 1880- 1910," Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , University of Washington, 1959. Melder, Frederick E., "A Study of the Washington Coal Mining Industry With Special Reference to the Industrial Relations Problem," M.A. thesis, University of Washington, 1931. Palmer, Robert, "The Northern P a c i f i c Railroad and Its Choice of a Western Terminus," M.A. thesis, University of Washing- ton, 1968. Rogers, Meryl E., "The Labor Movement i n Seattle, 1885-1905," M.A. thesis, P a c i f i c Lutheran University, 1970. Taylor, Quintard, "Blacks i n the P a c i f i c Northwest, 1788-1970," Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , University of Minnesota, 1977. Thorndale, C. William, "Washington's Green River Coal Country, 1880-1930," M.A. thesis, University of Washington, 1965. Wynne. Robert F., "Reaction to the Chinese i n the P a c i f i c Northwest and B r i t i s h Columbia, 1850-1910," Ph.D. disser- t a t i o n , University of Washington, 1964. ARTICLES "A B r i t i s h Report on Washington T e r r i t o r y , 1885." P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 35 (April 1944).: 147-156. Bercuson, David, "Labour Radicalism and the Western Industrial Frontier." Canadian H i s t o r i c a l Review 18 (June 1977): 154- 175. 114 Davenport, T.W. "The Slavery Question In Oregon." Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 9 (1908): 189-253, 309-374. DeGraaf, Lawrence. "Recognition, Racism, and Reflections on the Writing of Western Black History."' P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Review 44 (1975): 22-51. Destler, Chester. "Western Radicalism: Concepts and Origins, 1865-1901." M i s s i s s i p p i Valley H i s t o r i c a l Review 31 (December 1944): 335-368. Dubois, W.E.B. "The Great Northwest." C r i s i s 6 (September 1913): 237-240. Gates, Charles. "An H i s t o r i c a l Sketch of the Economic Develop- ment of Washington Since Statehood." P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 39 (July 1948): 214-232. . "Trouble i n the Coal Mines: Documents on an Incident at Newcastle, W.T." P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 37 (July 1946): 231-257. Gutman, Herbert. "Black Coal Miners and the Greenback Labor Party i n Redeemer Alabama, 1878-1879." Labor History 10 (Summer 1969): 506-535. . "Reconstruction i n Ohio: Negroes i n the Hocking Valley Coal Mines, 1863-1874." Labor History 3 ( F a l l 1962): 243-264. Hammet, Hugh. "Labor and Race: The Georgia Railroad Strike of 1909." Labor History 16 ( F a l l 1975) : 470-484. Harvey, Katherine. "The Knights of Labor i n the Maryland Coal F i e l d s , 1878-1882." Labor History 10 ( F a l l 1969): 555- 583. H i l l , D.G. "The Negro as a P o l i t i c a l and Social Issue i n the Oregon Country." Journal of Negro History 33 (April 1948): 130-145. Howay, F.W. "The Negro Immigration Into Vancouver Island." B r i t i s h Columbia H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 3 (April 1939): 101- 113. Hynding, Alan. "The Coal Miners of Washington T e r r i t o r y : Labor Troubles, 1888-1889." Arizona and the West (Autumn 1970): 221-236. Jensen, Joan. "Apartheid: P a c i f i c Coast Style." P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Review 38 (1969): 335-340. Kahn, Kenneth. "The Knights of Labor and the Southern Black Worker." Labor History 18 (Winter 1977): 49-70. 115 K a r l i n , Jules. "The Anti-Chinese Outbreaks i n Seattle, 1885- 1886." P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 39 (April 1948): 103- 129. Kessler, Sidney. "The Organization of Negroes into the Knights of Labor." Journal of Negro History 37 (July 1952): 248- 276. Lee, R. Alton. "Slavery and the Oregon T e r r i t o r y . " P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 64 (July 1973): 112-119. Lockley, Fred. "Some Documentary Records of Slavery In Oregon." Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 17 (June 1916): 107-115. . "Facts Pertaining to Ex-Slaves in Oregon and Documentary Records of the Case of Robin Holmes vs. Nathanial Ford." Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 23 (1922): 111-137. MacDonald, Norbert. "Population Growth and Change i n Seattle and Vancouver, 1880-1960." P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Review 39 (1970): 297-321. McLaurin, Melton. "The Racial P o l i c i e s of the Knights of Labor and the Organization of Southern Black Workers." Labor History 17 ( F a l l 1976): 568-585. Montgomery, David. "Trade Union Practice and the Origins of Syndicalist Theory i n the United States." Unpublished paper. Newby, Indus. "Historians and Negroes." Journal of Negro History 54 (April 1969): 32-47. O'Brien, Robert. "Race Relations i n the P a c i f i c Northwest." Phylon 7 (January 1946): 21-31. Rogers, William. "Negro Knights i n Arkansas." Labor History 10 (Summer 1969): 498-506. Savage, W. Sherman. "The Negro i n the History of the P a c i f i c Northwest." Journal of Negro History 13 (1928): 255-264. . "The Negro i n the Mining Frontier." Journal of Negro History 30 (January 1945): 30-46. . "The Negro i n the Westward Movement." Journal of Negro History 25 (October 1940): 531-539. Spoehr, Luther. "Sambo and the Heathen Chinee: Ca l i f o r n i a n s ' Racial 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): 185-204. Stanley, Gerald. "Racism and the Early Republican Party: The 1856 Pre s i d e n t i a l E l e c t i o n i n C a l i f o r n i a . " P a c i f i c H i s t o r i c a l Review 43 (1974): 171-187. 116 Stone, Harry. "The Beginning of the Labor Movement i n the P a c i f i c Northwest." Oregon H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 42 (June 1946) : 155- 164. Tharp, Marilyn. "Story of Coal at Newcastle." P a c i f i c Northwest Quarterly 48 (October 1957): 120-126. Wilcox, W.P. "Anti-Chinese Riots in Washington." Washington H i s t o r i c a l Quarterly 20 (July 1929): 202-212. BOOKS Al l e n , James. The Company Town i n the American West. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966. Aurand, Harold. From the Molly Maguires to the United Mine Workers. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1971. Bagley, Clarence. History of Seattle. 3 Vols. Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1916. Barnum, Darold. The Negro i n the Bituminous Coal Mining Industry. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1970. Berwanger, Eugene. The Frontier Against Slavery: Western Anti-Negro Prejudice and the Slavery Extension Controversy. Chicago: University of I l l i n o i s Press, 1967. Bloch, Louis. The Coal Miner's Insecurity. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1922. Bontemps, Arna, and Conroy, Jack. Anyplace But Here. New York: H i l l and Wang, 1966. Burton, Anthony. The Miners. London: Andre Deutsch Ltd., 1976. Clark, Norman. Washington: A Bicentennial History. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1976. Daniels, Joseph. Coal In Washington. Engineering Experimental Station Report No. 3. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1934. David, Henry. The History of the•Haymarket A f f a i r . New York: Russell and Russell, 1936. Foner, P h i l i p . Organized Labor and the Black Worker. New York: Praeger, 1974. _. American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century. Urbana: University of I l l i n o i s Press, 1975. 117 Fredrickson, George. The Black Image i n the White Mind; The Debate on Afro-American Character and Destiny, 1817-1914. New York: Harper and Row, 1971. Genovese, Eugene. Rol l Jordon R o l l : The World the Slaves Made. New York: Praeger, 197 4. Goodrich, Carter. The Miner's Freedom. Boston: Marshall Jones Co., 1925. Grant, Frederick. History of Seattle Washington. New York: 1891. Gutman, Herbert. Work, Culture and Society i n I n d u s t r i a l i z i n g America. New York: A l f r e d A. Knoff, 1976. . "The Negro and the United Mine Workers." In The Negro and the American Labor Movement, pp. 49-127. Edited by J u l i u s Jacobson. Garden C i t y New York: Anchor Books, 1968. Hedges, James. Henry V i l l a r d and the Railways of the Northwest. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1930; r e p r i n t ed., New York: Russell and Russell, 1967. Hynding, Alan. The Public L i f e of Eugene Semple. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973. Jacobson, J u l i u s , ed. The Negro and the American Labor Move- ment. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1968. Johannsen, Robert. Frontier P o l i t i c s and the Sectional C o n f l i c t . Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1955. Jordan, winthrop. White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812. Chapel H i l l : University of North Carolina Press, 1968. Karson, Marc, and Radosh, Ronald. "The American Federation of Labor and the Negro Worker, 1894-1949." In The Negro and the American Labor Movement, pp. 155-187. Edited by J u l i u s Jacobson. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1968. Kerr, Clark and Siegel, Abraham. "The Interindustry Propensity to Strike." In Industrial C o n f l i c t , pp. 189-212. Edited by Arthur Kornhauser, Robert Dublin and Arthur Ross. New York: McGraw H i l l Inc., 1954. Kolde, Endel. From Mine to Market: A Study of Production, Marketing, and Consumption of Coal i n the P a c i f i c Northwest. College of Business Administration, University of Washington. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1956. Lingenfelter, Richard. The Hardrock Miners: A History of the • Mining Labor Movement i n the American West, 1863-1893. Berkeley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1974. 118 Mandell, Bernard. "Samuel Gompers and the Negro Workers." In The Making of Black America, Vol. 2, pp. 75-94. Edited by August Meir and E l l i o t Rudwick. New York: Antheneum, 1969. Meir, August and Rudwick, E l l i o t . "Attitudes of Negro Leaders Toward the American Labor Movement from the C i v i l War to World War One." In The Negro and the American Labor Movement, pp. 27-48. Edited by J u l i u s Jacobson. Garden City, New York: 1968. Morgan, Edmund. American Slavery, American Freedom. New York: Norton, 1975. Morgan, Murray. Skid Row: An Informal P o r t r a i t of Seattle. New York: Viking, 19 51. Pollard, Lancaster. A History of the State of Washington, 4 vols. New York: American H i s t o r i c a l Society, Inc., 1937. Porter, Kenneth. The Negro and the American Frontier. New York: Arno Press and the New York Times, 1971. Powderly, Terrence. Thirty Years of Labor. Philadelphia: By the Author, 1890, reprint ed., New York: Augustus M. Kelley, 1967. Ruffner, W.H. A Report on Washington T e r r i t o r y . New York: Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway, 1889. Savage, W. Sherman. Blacks i n the West. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976. Sale, Roger. Seattle: Past to Present. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1976. Saxton, Alexander. The Indispensible Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement i n C a l i f o r n i a . Berkeley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1971. Taft, P h i l i p . Organized Labor i n American History. New York: Harper and Row, 1964. Voegeli, Jacques. Free But Not' Equal: The Midwest and the Negro During the C i v i l War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967. Ware, Norman. The Labor Movement i n the United States, 1860-1895. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1929, reprint ed. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, Inc., 1959. Young, Otis. Black Powder and Hand Steel: Miners and Machines on the Old Western Frontier. Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1976. 119 APPENDIX POPULATION OF WASHINGTON AND SEATTLE 1860-1900 TOTALS WHITE BLACK • .CHINESE OTHERS WASHINGTON Number 'o T o t a l Number - 6 T o t a l Number Q. "O T o t a l Number % Tot a l 1900 518,103 496,304 95.8 2,514 0.5 3,629 0.7 15,656 3.0 1890 357,232 340,829 95.4 1,602 0.5 3,260 0.9 11,541 3.2 1880 75,116 67,199 89.5 325 0.4 3,186 4.2 4,406 5.9 1870 23,955, 22,195 92.7 207 0.9 234 1.0 1,319 5.5 1860 11,594 11,138 96.1 30 0.3 426 3.6 SEATTLE Number % Tot a i Number % Tot a l Number Q, T o t a l Number Q, "6 T o t a l 1900 80,671 76,815 95.3 406 0.5 438 0.5 3,012 3.7 1890 42,837 42,056 98.1 286 0.7 359 0.9 136 0.3 1880 3,533 - - - • — — _ 1870 1,107 - - - — — Sources: 13th Census of the U.S. (1910) Population Vol. I l l pp. 970, 1104. 12th Census of the U.S. (1900) Population. Part I pp. 562, 570.

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