George F. Baer

George F. Baer was the president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company and the leader of the anthracite operators. During the strike, Baer allegedly wrote a letter in response to a letter he received asking him as a good Christian to make concessions to end the strike. In his response Baer wrote:

"I see that you are a religious man; but you are evidently biased in favor of the working man to control a business in which he has no other interest than to secure fair wages for the work he does. I beg of you not to be discouraged. The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for, not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of the country."

Labor had a field day ridiculing Baer's "divine right" letter. The letter was a public relations disaster and helped turn public opinion against the operators and in support of the striking miners. Baer later denied the letter?s authenticity.