Anthracite Coal Strike Commission

The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission appointed by President Roosevelt needed information about the operation of the coal fields so Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner of Labor, sent numerous agents to gather facts. The commissioners spent a week touring the coal regions to gain a sense of what coal mining was like. The commission held preliminary meetings on October 24 and October 27, 1902. Then it met in Scranton and Philadelphia from November 14, 1902 to February 5, 1903 with a few intermission breaks. The vast majority of this time was devoted to taking testimony from witnesses. They would hear from 558 witnesses, which included 241 witnesses testifying for the striking miners, 153 witnesses for the nonunion mineworkers and 154 witnesses for the operators. The extraordinary number of witnesses produced over 10,000 pages of information in 50 volumes. Testimony was followed by five days of closing arguments from February 9 - 13. The Commission's sessions were closely followed by the public through news reports and thousands attended the sessions. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-95897.