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single men. The company claimed the discharge was on account of a lessened demand for coal, and that they had discriminated in favor of men with families. The miners, however, attributed the discharge to other causes; notably, that single men did not expend so much of their earnings at the store of the company, and that the object was to fill their places with married men. Forty men were discharged. One hundred others quit work for four days, when the discharged men were reemployed and all resumed work. About the 1st of August, after the reduction of the price of mining from 80 to 70 cents per ton, the wages of mule drivers in the mines were reduced from $2 to $1.75 per day, resulting in a strike at some of the mines in Perry County. After a few days the matter was compromised.
MINING MACHINES. Some three years ago the Straitsville Central Mining Company introduced in their mines a machine worked by compressed air, to do the "bearing in” or under-cutting of the coal. The machines required two men to work them, besides the miner to knock down and load the coal. The miners who followed the machine were paid at first 35 cents per ton, when the price paid for regular mining was 50 cents per ton.
This price was afterwards reduced to 30 cents per ton. When the price per ton for coal mining advanced, the miners following the machines also demanded an advance, and it was agreed that the price for mining after the machine should be three-fifths of the regular inining price.
In August, 1880, the company desired to make a change, and offered to pay $2 per day for miners to follow the machine; the offer was accepted by some of the regular miners, but they soon became dissatisfied, and a mass meeting of miners was held, and the men instructed to quit work, the claim being that they were working at 25 per cent below the regular wages. The company then advertised for men, and some 25 were secured, who went to work. At the end of a week the miners in the vicinity held a mass meeting at the mine of the company; the men at work were invited to attend and did so. The result of the meeting was that the new men left in a body, their expenses being paid by the miners, and the company paid the price, three-fifths of the regular mining price, the men being idle about two weeks.
In April, 1880, mining machines were introduced at Longstreth's mines, in Hocking County. In June, during the dull season, the miners claimed that the machines did all the work, and they were called on to sign a contract for one year to work for $45 per month, 5 per cent to be retained to secure the fulfillment of the contract. They claimed a miner could mine 3} tons of coal per day, which, at 80 cents per ton, would make them $70 per month. In August the coal trade began to brighten, and other miners were hired at the regular terms. In September the machine capacity was doubled, miners being hired at $2 per day to follow the machines, and laborers at $1.75 to load the coal. About this time the men following the machines were induced to come out for the price fixed by the miners; that is, three-fifths of the regular mining price. The firm secured a number of men to work after machines, and issued and posted the following notice:
“I am employing good workmen to work in my mines, at mining, filling coal, and other work, at the rate of $2 per day, and now have a large force of honest, earnest men, who are not only willing but anxious to do my work, as the pay is nearly double any wages ever before obtained by them, and for much harder work. This method of conducting my business is preferable and pleasant to me, because my employees will never accuse me of charging them exorbitant prices for powder, oil, tools, or smithing, nor will they accuse me of stealing coal from them by taking too much weight; hence there can be no excuse for the farce of check weighman, as in the old manner of mining. This method also prevents all causes for disputes, and tends to perpetuate friendship between employees and employer.
“Now, whereas I ain doing a lawful and just business; and whereas large numbers of miners formed into riotous mobs for unlawful purposes have recently visited my mines, where day labor has been employed, and intimidated by threats of violence and otherwise said day laborers, causing them to leave their work: Now, therefore, I hereby give notice to all miners and the general public that if such bodies of rioters make their appearances on or near my premises again it shall be distinctly understood by me and my employees to be å mob to commit violence upon the person of myself and employees, and upon our property; hence all such are hereby warned that they must accept the consequence of such or other unlawful procedure. And further, no committees of one or more persons will be allowed to make the so-called friendly visits upon my premises.
“T. LONGSTRETH. “LOXGSTRETH, OHIO, September 21, 1880."
Without heeding this notice and warning, the miners met and proceeded in a body to the dwelling places of the new men, and succeeded in prevailing on the men to quit work, the miners paying their expenses back to the places from which they came, which was reported to be some railroad in Virginia.
In two days after, the firm agreed to pay the three-fifths of the regular mining price and work was resumed.
THE CORNING TROUBLE. The building of a railroad from Columbus to the Sunday Creek Valley caused the opening of a number of mines in that valley, the coal vein being the largest in the State. The sinking of shafts and the usual preliminary work of opening mines was done by the day instead of by the yard or ton, as was customary. The miners at Straitsville and Shawnee claimed that the plan of working was really a cutting under of wages, and so persistent were they in asserting this as a fact that the miners at Coalton finally demanded to be paid by the ton.
Colored miners had been introduced, and this was supposed to have given rise to much of the dissatisfaction among the regular miners. The Ohio Central Coal Company, in response to the demands of the men, presented a contract, which was agreed to by the colored miners, but generally objected to by the white miners. The following is a copy of the contract proposed: “The Ohio Central Coal Company, of Corning, make the following
contract with each miner employed: “It is hereby agreed by and between
- and the Ohio Central Coal Company as follows: The said — — hereby agrees
to mine coal for the said company from the date of this contract until August 1, 188—, 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.
“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 - 188—,
“ 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 cuiminated 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 miner's 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 bad 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,
Sheritt 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. SMITII,
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 O. 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. Á. 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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