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to mine coal for the said company from the date of this contract until August 1, 1884, on the terms and conditions hereinafter named. “And the Ohio Central Coal Company agrees to employ the said
- during said period if the conduct and services of said miner are in all respects satisfactory, and will pay for such services according to the terms and conditions aforesaid. Said employment during said period to be governed and regulated by the demand for coal and the capacity of the mine.
"And this contract shall cease and determine whenever coal on the car, at the mine, sells higher than $2 or lower than 80 cents per ton.
“1. The miner shall dig and deliver coal on the car at the face of room under the direction of the mining boss, and shall be paid for all saleable coal dug and delivered as above, during the month, one-half the average selling price on cars at the mine during such month. The distribution of nut and other coal shall be in proportion to lump coal dug by each miner. Odd pounds less than one hundred shall be counted against waste and water.
O“Settlements with miners who quit work, or are discharged, will be at prices paid for mining during the preceding month, and if the miner occupies any of the leased property of the company he will give immediate possession thereof, and the balance will be paid him only after the surrender of the possession of such property.
“2. Payment.-Miners will be paid on the third Wednesday of each month for all services performed during the next preceding month.
“3. Check weighmaster and accountant.--Miners may, at their own expense, employ and put on check weighman and accountant to ascertain that weights and accounts are correctly kept, who shall have all reasonable facilities for the discharge of their duties.
“In witness whereof said parties have hereto subscribed their names this —- day of — , 1884
“ The Ohio Central Coal Company."
This proposed contract created a great commotion in the Hocking Valley, the miners generally looking upon it as the forerunner of a large decrease in wages. They claimed that if miners were permitted to work under it, that the operators in Corning could reduce the price of coal in the cars at the mine to 80 cents per ton, and the miner would be obliged to work for one-half such price, or 40 cents per ton; and as the coal district was a new one that the operators would readily reduce coal in price to secure a market, and that, as a result, the Hocking Valley operators and miners, to hold their markets, must reduce prices and wages the same as at Corning.
The Ohio Central Coal Company denied any such intention or possible result. Their object was to prevent possible trouble or strikes with their miners, securing peace and prosperity to both, and pointed to the fact that their miners, under the contract, were receiving the same, if not better prices, than miners in other parts of the county.
At this time there were about 100 miners at Corning, with every prospect of a very rapid increase in their numbers. The trouble culminated when, on Saturday, September 18, a large body of miners from Shawnee and New Straitsville congregated at or near the mines at Corning, remaining there all night, and endeavoring to secure a meeting with the colored men who were working under the contract. The sheriff of the county was called on, and called out a company of the National Guard of the State, which was located at New Lexington.
The company immediately went on duty, and the attitude of the miners became so threatening that the sheriff telegraphed to the governor for two more companies, wbich were immediately sent from Columbus. Before their arrival at Corning the miners' committee were in conference with the superintendent, and, it not being satisfactory, the mass of miners made a rush for the mine at which the colored men were employed and were met by the New Lexington militia, and in the mêlée three miners were wounded, and all retired. An hour or two later the Columbus militia arrived, and no further rioting occurred. Militia were kept at the mine until October 3, when they were ordered home, all danger of another outbreak having been allayed by the coal company withdrawing the contract and agreeing to pay the Hocking Valley prices.
The miners claimed that they entertained not a particle of animosity to the colored miners because of their color, and the fact that the withdrawal of the contract ended the trouble is proof of their assertion.
THE COALTON TROUBLE.
The new coal field of Jackson County, known as Coalton, at the then terminus of the Dayton and Southeastern Railroad, and also of the Springfield Southern Railroad, had employed in it some 300 miners, who, in July, 1880, were paid the same price for mining as was paid in the Hocking Valley, 80 cents per ton. The price for mining had fluctuated according as prices were paid in the Hocking Valley, commencing with 50 cents per ton and advancing as high as $1 per ton. After the price for mining in the Hocking Valley had been reduced from 80 to 70 cents per ton (July 28) some of the operators at Coalton gave notice, on August 1, that the price for mining after that date would be 70 cents. To this the miners demurred, claiming that the Hocking Valley price should not govern them, as their coal was only 4 feet (or less) thick, about half that in the Hocking Valley. A strike was the result at all the mines but four, which continued to pay 80 cents per ton. The strike continued three weeks without any unusual demonstrations.
Within this time Patterson & Co. had secured the services of 23 men, and were getting out considerable coal with a possibility of defeating the strikers, when, on the night of August 26, some forty men visited the places of abode of the men who were working, and exacted from them a promise (some say an oath) not to mine any more coal at 70 cents per ton. There was no violence to persons or property further than exacting the promise not to work.
The next day, August 27, the following telegrams were exchanged:
JACKSON, Ohio, August 27, 1880. CHARLES FOSTER,
Governor of the State: Riot at Coalton, this county. A large body of masked men at midnight invaded the village; took many men from their beds; compelled them to take an oath not to dig coal, and to leave the neighborhood, and violated the laws in various ways. There is reasonable apprehension the laws will be resisted, and further riot and damage will be done; that the rioters have threatened to return hundreds strong, and that the aid of the State is necessary to hold the peace.
PATTERSON & Co.
I have examined the above and find it to be the truth that danger is to be apprehended.
E. T. JONES,
Sheriff' Jackson County. Samuel B. Smith, assistant adjutant-general, replied as follows:
BARNESVILLE, Ohio, August 27, 1880. John P. PATTERSON,
Coalton, Jackson County, Ohio. Governor can not recognize call for troops except from sheriff. Sheriff must first exhaust his own resources, and state that he is unable to protect persons and property with any posse or force at his command.
S. B. SMITH,
A. A. G. On the 28th of August, no further trouble having occurred, the following telegrams were sent:
COLUMBUS, Ohio, August 28, 1880. PATTERSON & Co.,
Coalton, Ohio. The 0. N. G. are subject to legal call only. When the sheriff of the county will officially state that he is unable with any posse or force at his command to protect persons and property, substantially in the form I gave you, the governor will promptly respond to such a call.
S. B. Smith,
A. A. G.
Jackson, Ohio, August 28, 1880. Governor CHARLES FOSTER:
There is reasonable apprehension of trouble at Coalton, this county. I have no force or posse at my command sufficient to protect persons and property at this place, and desire immediate executive assistance. Please send one company troops.
E. T. JONES,
Sheriff Jackson County.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, August 28, 6 p. m., 1880. Col. J. C. ENTREKIN,
Chillicothe, Ohio: Send Co. A to Coalton immediately, with tents and ammunition. Instruct captain to contract for subsistence, and report for orders to
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E. T. Jones, sheriff of Jackson County. Have telegraphed Gimperling for transportation. Report action taken and when company will start. By order of the governor:
S. B. SMITH,
A. A. G.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, 6 p. m., August 28, 1880. E. T. JONES,
Sheriff Jackson County, Ohio: Have ordered Chillicothe company to report to you at Coalton as soon as possible.
S. B. SMITH,
A. A. G.
The Chillicothe company arrived at Coalton on Sunday morning, August 29, and remained until September 6, when they were relieved by a company from Dayton, who remained on duty until September 18. On September 11 Patterson & Co. posted a notice at their mine that on and after September 13 they would pay 75 cents per ton for mining, or 5 cents above the Hocking Valley price. This was accepted as a compromise by the miners, the agreement to remain in force until September 15, 1881, and within the following week the other mines resumed operations on similar terms. The strike had continued between six and seven weeks.
During the time the troops were at Coalton the residents in and about that place, other than miners, claimed there was no necessity for the presence of the troops-an opinion held by many, if not all, the troops themselves. The striking miners had many of them left the region temporarily, and the citizens prepared a petition to the governor, asking that the troops be sent home. The sheriff, however, did not entertain such an opinion, as the following telegram to the governor evidences:
“Jackson, Ohio, August 30, 1880. “His Excellency CHARLES FOSTER,
“Governor of Ohio: “The Sill Guards, Captain Hamilton, are now on duty at Coalton. At present the strikers are quiet, but a strong feeling of lawlessness exists among them. They seem determined to prevent the employment of any miners save such as belong to the Miners' Union. The trouble culminating in the midnight riot, already reported, was for the purpose of driving away those employees who are not members of the Miners' Union, and who are willing to labor provided they can be protected. Upon Saturday evening, previous to the arrival of the military, excitement ran high, threats of burning and violence were freely made, and everything seemed to indicate an outbreak of a serious character; but it having been ascertained that the military was approaching, quiet was in a great measure restored. It is feared that this lawlessness is encouraged, directly or indirectly, by persons not immediately connected with strikers, as there is some talk of petitioning your excellency to remove the troops. There is an absolute necessity that the troops should be permitted to remain on duty here some weeks; how long can not now be determined.
“E. T. JONES, “Sherit' of Jackson County, Ohio.”
In the following table an attempt has been made to summarize the information given in the preceding pages in regard to the strikes and lockouts occurring prior to the year 1881--the beginning of the regular investigation by this Bureau. This has been rendered difficult by the incompleteness and the general character of the information afforded by the published works consulted, and, in fact, some of the material was so very general in its nature as to be utterly incapable of summarization. In such cases notes have been made indicating the tenor of the information given in the collated text. A few duplications may also bave occurred despite the care which has been taken to avoid all such, but if any have occurred they are so few as not seriously to affect the general result, and the great weakness of the summary must lie in the other direction—that of incompleteness.
SUMMARY OF STRIKES AND LOCKOUTS OCCURRING PRIOR TO 1881.
a Frequent small strikes for reduction of hours; some succeeded, others failed.