Protest Against Permit System

During the labor troubles in 1899, a permit system was instituted by Bartlett Sinclair, the state auditor for Idaho who represented Governor Steunenberg. The permit system required miners to get a permit from the sheriff showing each was law abiding and not a member of any organization that had engaged in violence in the area. The federal military commander, Brigadier-General Merriam, signed off on the proclamation, thus giving federal backing to the permit system. The proclamation did not actually name the WFM or the Miners Union of the Coeur d'Alenes, but it was clearly drafted to break the WFM.