The Anthracite Coal Strike



"If the work of this Commission does not result in getting rid of this abominably, disgraceful evil of child-labor in Pennsylvania, then I think the people may well say that it has been a failure. You may not get rid of it at once, but no man ever lived that could make an excuse for it. I do not think any man ever lived that would not blush because of the money he gets from it. I was surprised that my friend Reynolds in his zeal should defend it,—defend the taking of a boy 12 years old, and setting him down to labor in this everlasting cloud, for 10 hours, or 8 hours, or any hours—for what? That you may get gold. That is all. Can any man frame an honest defense for it? Where are your sons and your daughters? Let me say this, that until you, Mr. Railroad President, or you Mr. Lawyer, will take your child by the hand and lead him up the breaker stairs and sit him down to pick at that trough of moving coal, until you will take your pale girl to the silk mills, let me speak for the children of the poor. Is there any one who can defend it? This custom has grown up in the State of Pennsylvania because there is money in it, and the industries of Pennsylvania are dependent upon it. Shame upon the industries of Pennsylvania if this is true! If it is so, of little avail have we protected this great State for half a century, if the result of all of it is that men shall grow rich from the labor of these small children."

– Clarence Darrow during closing arguments on behalf of the United Mine Workers before the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission,
               February 13, 1903.


Statutes

Mining - Minors.

Pennsylvania Assistant Deputy Attorney General's interpretation of a 1909 Pennsylvania statute. The statute reduced the age when minors would be eligible to work inside an anthracite mine from sixteen to fourteen. From the Pennsylvania County Court Reports.

Government Documents

Argument of George F. Baer before the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission (1902).

George F. Baer, president of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, made this argument on behalf of the operators in the Anthracite Coal Strike.


Report to the President on Anthracite Coal Strike by Carroll Davidson Wright, Commissioner of Labor.

President Roosevelt was sufficiently concerned about the anthracite strike that on June 8, 1902, he directed his Commissioner of Labor, Carroll D. Wright, to investigate the strike and report back with his findings. Wright believed that if he went to the anthracite region his presence would be disruptive, so he instead went to New York and interviewed key figures from both sides. He interviewed railroad presidents, bankers, independent mine operators and mine management personnel such as foremen and superintendents. He called on John Mitchell to come to New York so Wright could learn about the miners' side of the issues. Working diligently, Wright compiled a comprehensive report in 12 days which he sent to the President. Roosevelt was worried that he would seem too pro-union if the report was published. Newspapers accused the President of refusing to publish the report because it favored unions which Wright denied. The President made the report public in August of 1902.


Report to the President on the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission (1903).

Report of the commission appointed by President Roosevelt at the request of both operator and miners, "to inquire into, consider, and pass upon the questions in controversy in connection with the strike in the anthracite region" of Pennsylvania, "and the causes out of which the controversy arose."


Arguments during Proceedings of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission (1903).

This transcript includes arguments given on behalf of both mine owners and mine workers during the Proceedings of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission. Clarence Darrow's arguments start on page 9841, which is page 79 of this document.


Opening Argument for the Operators by James H. Torrey.

James H. Torrey was counsel for the Delaware and Hudson Company.


Argument of H.T. Newcomb of Counsel for the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company (1903).


Compilation of Grievances and Action Thereon, As decided by the Board of Conciliation.

The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission established the Board of Conciliation on March 18, 1903. This compilation is from its first meeting in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on July 9, 1903, to and including the meeting at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, from September 29-30, 1903.


Report of the Department of Mines of Pennsylvania: Part 1 Anthracite 1905.

Report on the fifteen Anthracite Districts in Pennsylvania.


Work of the Board of Conciliation Appointed by The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission For Three Years Ending March 31, 1906.

The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission established the Board of Conciliation on March 18, 1903. This "permanent joint committee, to be called a "Board of Conciliation" would mediate grievances or disputes that could not be settled at the mine. The joint committee was to include three members representing a majority of mine workers and three members representing the operators from each district in the anthracite coal industry. In disputes where the Board could not reach a decision, the case went to an umpire appointed by a circuit judge from the United States 3rd Circuit. Any decision made by either the Board or an umpire was binding and final. While a grievance was in hearing, lockouts, strikes or suspension of work was not permitted. Decisions of the Board or umpire became common law for the anthracite industry with past decisions setting precedent for future settlements.


The Passing of the Breaker Boy by Florence I. Taylor, Publication Secretary, National Child Labor Committee (1917).

Discussion of how mechanical pickers are replacing breaker boys in the coal mines. Published in the Child Labor Bulletin.

Pamphlets

The Coal Mines and the Public: A Popular Statement of the Legal Aspects of the Coal Problem, and of the Rights of Consumers as the Situation Exists Sept. 17, 1902.

Written by Heman W. Chaplin, a leading equity lawyer.

Magazine Articles

Story of a Great Monopoly by Henry Demarest Lloyd (1881).

Critical view of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil published in the Atlantic Monthly. Lloyd called Standard Oil the "greatest, wisest, and meanest monopoly known to history." The article was so popular it was published in seven editions and launched Lloyd's career as an anti-trust writer. William Dean Howells, assistant editor at the Atlantic Monthly, is credited with showing courage in publishing the article. In 1894, Lloyd wrote "Wealth against Commonwealth," a book-length study of Standard Oil. These criticisms of Rockefeller and Standard Oil established Lloyd's reputation as one of the most influential muckrakers in the country which in turn help lead to his being chosen by labor to represent the miners during before the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission. Both Lloyd and Howells were friends with Clarence Darrow.


The Operators Side of the Great Coal Strike by John Markle (1902).

Published in Collier's Weekly..


Children of the Coal Shadow by Francis H. Nichols.

Published in McClure's Magazine, this article details the adverse effects on children of coal mining families who live and work in nine "hard coal counties" of the Anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania.


The Right to Work: The Story of the Non-striking Miners by Ray Stannard Baker (1903).

Investigation about the estimated seventeen thousand miners who continued to work in the anthracite mines during the strike and describes the violence they faced. Baker was a well-known muckraking journalist and in 1918 worked as President Woodrow Wilson's press secretary at Versailles. Published in McClure's Magazine.


Freight Factors by George F. Baer (1903).

Published in Freight: The Shippers' Forum.


Warning from Labor's Counsel (1903).

Commentary on address given by Clarence Darrow in Chicago on "The Perils of Trade Unionism."


The Anthracite Coal Strike and its Settlement (1903).

A political science perspective on the strike from Political Science Quarterly.


George F. Baer Obituary (1914).

Published in the Railway Age Gazette.


The Coal Strike of 1902--Turning Point in U.S. Policy by Jonathan Grossman.

Article focusing on the roles of President Roosevelt and Commissioner of Labor, Carroll D. Wright, in ending the Anthracite strike. Published in the Monthly Labor Review from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Newspapers

Strike Spells War: Clarence Darrow Makes Some Lively Assertions (1903).

News report about a speech Clarence Darrow's delivered at a YMCA meeting about the anthracite coal strike in which he denounced federal judges as tools of the railroads. From The Washington Bee.

Books

A Strike of Millionaires Against Miners or The Story of Spring Valley by Henry D. Lloyd (1890).

In 1888, John Mitchell, a nineteen year old itinerant coal miner and second generation Irish immigrant although some sources say he was of Welsh ancestry. Although born in Illinois, Mitchell had traveled and worked out West before moving to Spring Valley where he got a job in one of the coal mines. In late 1888 and in 1889 many others miners, including Mitchell, lost their jobs when the Spring Valley Coal Company locked the miners out in an effort to reduce wages. Henry Demarest Lloyd was a forty-two year old journalist and reformer who wrote about the Spring Valley labor trouble in this book. Mitchell and Lloyd did not know each other during this 1889 labor struggle but they would both work together fourteen years later in the Anthracite Strike of 1902. Spring Valley is located in Northern Illinois on the Illinois River in Bureau County. It was founded in 1884 as an immigrant coal town in the center of a coal field region.


The Anthracite Coal Industry: A Study of the Economic Conditions and Relations of the Co-operative Forces in the Development of the Anthracite Coal Industry of Pennsylvania by Peter Roberts (1901).

"In this work we have undertaken to describe and discuss the economic history and condition of the anthracite coal industry of Pennsylvania." Preface, at vii.


Organized Labor; Its Problems, Purposes, and Ideals and the Present and Future of American Wage Earners by John Mitchell (1903).

John Mitchell was president of the United Mine Workers of America. He writes about the Anthracite Strike in the The Coal Strike of 1902.


A Trooper's Narrative of Service in the Anthracite Coal Strike, 1902 by Stewart Culin.

The author was a private in the Second Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry.


Speech at the Mitchell, Darrow, Lloyd Reception (1903).

Published in Men, the Workers in 1909 by Henry Demarest Lloyd.


Anthracite Coal Communities: A Study of the Demography, the Social, Educational and Moral Life of the Anthracite Regions (1904).

A study by Peter Roberts, Ph.D which focuses on the social and moral life of anthracite miners. This contrasts with his work entitled, "The Anthracite Coal Industry," which focused on the miners' economic life.


The Slav Invasion and the Mine Workers: A Study in Immigration by Frank Julian Warne (1904).

Investigation of the conflict between "so-called Slav races, including the Italian" in the competition for work with English-speaking mine workers from Ireland, England, Wales, Germany and Scotland in the anthracite coal fields of Northeastern Pennsylvania.


"Hard, Very Hard Coal" (1912).

Chapter about the Anthracite Strike from Henry Demarest Lloyd 1847-1903: A Biography, by Caro Lloyd.


Conciliation and Arbitration in the Coal Industry of America by Arthur E. Suffern (1915).

Extensive study of voluntary settlement methods used in numerous coal industry labor disputes.

Miscellaneous

Henry Demarest Lloyd.

Short bio of Henry D. Lloyd published in The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge (1919).


Life in the Pennsylvania Coal Fields With Particular Reference to Women by Annie Marion Maclean (1909).

Results of a six and one-half week study undertaken for the National Board of the Young Women's Christian Associations of the United States. Published in The American Journal of Sociology.


Johnny McCaffery: The Breaker Boy (1902).

Clarence Darrow wrote a series of articles for Hearst's Evening American newspaper called "Easy Lessons in Law." He used this forum to illustrate shortcomings in the law that worked hardships on victims and legal areas in need of reform. In December 1902, in the aftermath of the Anthracite Strike that had captured the nation's interest, he published "The Breaker Boy" in the Chicago American. It tells the story of Johnny McCaffery to illustrate the issue child labor in coal mines. This typewritten draft is from the Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.


Proceedings of The Anthracite Mine Strike Commission.

Reprinted from The Scranton Tribune 1902-03.


Partial List of Acts of Violence or Intimidation During the Anthracite Strike of 1902.

"This list has been prepared for the use of Counsel only, and has been compiled from newspapers and reports of Superintendents. Errors have been avoided as far as possible, but not all incidents cited have been verified."


Documents Relating to the Anthracite Strike of 1902.

Wide variety of correspondence and other documents important to the Anthracite Strike.


George Baer's "Divine Right" Letter (1902).

George Baer, president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Co. and spokesman for the operators, received a letter appealing to him as a good Christian to make concessions. Baer wrote in response that 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." The United Mine Workers were able to exploit this "divine right" letter to help gain public support and shift opinion against the operators. Baer denied the authenticity of the letter.


Minutes of Special Convention of United Mine Workers of America Called to Consider the Anthracite Strike.

Held in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 17, 18, and 19, 1902.


In Memoriam: Henry Demarest Lloyd May First, 1847 - September Twenty-Eighth, 1903.

Henry Demarest Lloyd was a journalist and reformer who worked closely with Clarence Darrow during the three months of the Anthracite Commission hearings. Lloyd presented an argument to the Commission on behalf of the miners. This memoriam contains a brief address by Clarence Darrow that starts on page 29 which is page 16 of the pdf document.


Letter from John Mitchell to Clarence Darrow (1905).

Mitchell wrote to Darrow because he had heard some miners were criticizing Darrow and accusing him of having a selfish motive in helping labor. As proof, these miners point to Darrow charging $10,000 for his work before the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission. This letter is also included in letter collection.


In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker by Owen R. Lovejoy, Acting Secretary, National Child Labor Committee (1906).

Report about child labor in the Anthracite coal mines.


The Extent of Child Labor in the Anthracite Coal Industry by Owen R. Lovejoy, Assistant Secretary, National Child Labor Committee.

1906 study of child labor in the anthracite coal region in Pennsylvania.


Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company.

Financial information about George Baer's Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company published in The Manual of Statistics (1908).


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Photos


Coal Breaker, Anthracite Coal Mining, Scranton, Pennsylvania c. 1905.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-66304.

Neil Gallagher.
National Child Labor Committee No. 954. 1-legged boy. Neil Gallagher, Wilkes Barre, Pa. Born January 14, 1891. Went to work at about 9 years. Worked about two years in breaker. Went inside at about 11 years. "Tripper," tending door. 83 cents [a] day. Injured May 2, 1904. Leg crushed between cars. Amputated at Mercy Hospital, Wilkes Barre. "Baltimore Tunnell" - "Black Diamond" D. & H. Co. Thomas Lewellin Superintendent (inside boys); Samuel Morgan, Superintendent. In Hospital 9 weeks. Amputated twice. No charge. Received nothing from company. "Was riding between cars and we aren''t supposed to ride between them." No written rules, but they tell you not to. Mule driver (who was on for first day) had taken his lamp and he tried to reach across car to get it. Slipped between bumpers. Been working in breakers since. Same place $1.10 a day. Work only about 1/2 time. Work about 6 hour day. Left 3 months ago. Been in N.Y. - no work. Trying to get work in Poolroom. Applicant at Bureau for Handicapped, 105 E. 22nd Street, N.Y. Nov. 1, 1909. Father living, (Mother dead.) Miner same place. Hurt month ago Rock fall. 2 brothers 25, 27. Home 15 Pennsylvania St. Location: Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-04573.

Emergency Hospital in Anthracite Coal Mine.
One man bandages head of injured man while another bandages his arm. Meadville, Pennsylvania [between 1900 and 1920]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZC2-6215.

Holding the door open while a trip goes through.
"Holding the door open while a trip goes through. Willie Bryden, a nipper, 164 Center St. A lonely job. Waiting all alone in the dark for a trip to come through. It was so damp that Willie said he had to be doctoring all the time for his cough. A short distance from here, the gas was pouring into the mine so rapidly that it made a great torch when the foreman lit it. Willie had been working here for four months, 500 feet down the shaft, and a quarter of a mile underground from there. (Shaft #6 Pennsylvania Coal Co.) Walls have been whitewashed to make it lighter. January 16th, I found Willie at home sick, His mother admitted that he is only 13 yrs old; will be 14 next July. Said that 4 mos. ago the mine boss told the father to take Willie to work, and that they obtained the certificate from Squire Barrett. (The only thing the Squire could do was to make Willie out to be 16 yrs old.) Willie's father and brother are miners and the home is that of a frugal German family. Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania." Photographs from the records of the National Child Labor Committee, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-01111.

Group of Breaker Boys, Pittston, Pennsylvania.
Photographs from the records of the National Child Labor Committee. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-01137.

Coal Miners in Battle with Coal and Iron Police, near Shenandoah City, Pennsylvania in 1888.
Depicts earlier troubles in the Anthracite region of Schuylkill County. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, v. 66, 1888 Feb. 18, p. 1. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-121660.

Breaker #9, Hughestown Borough, Pennsylvania Coal Co.
One of these is James Leonard. Corner Central St. & Ross St., Pittston, Pa. Another is Stanley Rasmus, Main Street Near Church Street, Du Pont, Pa. Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-23753.

Theodore Roosevelt.
President Roosevelt pleaded with labor and management to end the strike as he feared "untold misery . . . with the certainty of riots which might develop into social war." Letter, Theodore Roosevelt to Winthrop Murray Crane (Governor of Massachusetts), Oct. 22, 1902, in Elting E. Morrison, ed. The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, Vol. III (1951). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-13026.

Breaker Boys.
Typical Group of Breaker Boys in a Pennsylvania Mining Town.

Breaker boys in Pennsylvania Coal Company.
View of the Ewen Breaker of the Pa. Coal Co., Pittston, Pennsylvania. "The dust was so dense at times as to obscure the view. This dust penetrated the utmost recesses of the boy's lungs. A kind of slave-driver sometimes stands over the boys, prodding or kicking them into obedience." National Archives and Records Administration, ARC Identifier: 523378.

Coal Miners in Hazleton Pennsylvania.
https://commons.wikimedia.
org/wiki/File:Coal_miners_in
_Hazleton_PA_1900.jpg

John Mitchell, President of the United Mine Workers of America Arriving in a Coal Town.
His open four-horse carriage is surrounded by a crowd of boys, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USF343- 040406-D.

John Mitchell, President of the United Mine Workers of America.
Clarence Darrow wrote in his autobiography The Story of My Life: "John Mitchell was then the president of the United Miners. He was a man of strong will, fine judgment, and great energy." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-88632.

United Mine Workers of America poster.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-pga-01953.

John Mitchell.
John Mitchell (1870 - 1919) was President of the United Mine Workers of America during the Anthracite Strike of 1902. Mitchell was a conservative labor leader. He was careful not to alienate public opinion by appearing too radical, especially since his union worked in an industry that directly affected the welfare of so many citizens. He repeatedly announced publicly his desire to work with the railway and coal operators, offer concessions and participate in arbitration. Like many labor leaders, Mitchell used a strike as a last resort, because going on strike was fraught with trouble. He wrote, "I can conceive of few positions so unenviable, so filled with the peril of an evil choice as that of a labor leader on the eve of a great industrial conflict. "JOHN MITCHELL, ORGANIZED LABOR: ITS PROBLEMS, PURPOSES, AND IDEALS AND THE PRESENT AND FUTURE OF AMERICAN WAGE EARNERS 305-06 (1903). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-78457.

20th Annual Convention, United Mine Workers of America, Indianapolis.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, DIGITAL ID:6a25579.

At the Close of Day. Just up from the Shaft.
"All work below ground in Shaft #6 Pennsylvania, Coal Co. Clement Tiskie, (smallest boy next to right hand end) is a nipper. Arthur Havard, (on Clement's right hand) is a driver. Jo Puma, (on Arthur's right) is a nipper. Jo's mother showed me the passport which shows Jo to be 14 years old, but he has no school certificate although working inside the mine. Frank Fleming, (boy on left of photo), a nipper. Works a mile underground from the shaft which is 500 ft. down. South Pittston, Pennsylvania." National Archives and Records Administration, ARC Identifier: 523373, Local Identifier: 102-LH-1915, Item from Record Group 102: Records of the Children''s Bureau, 1908 - 1969.

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.

Louis Brandeis.
At one point during the hearings, Henry D. Lloyd suggested that Clarence Darrow contact Louis D. Brandies, a then prominent attorney in Boston. On November 28, 1902 Darrow wrote to Brandeis: "Mr. Lloyd has told me of your interest in our case and your willingness to help. We have decided to make an aggressive move along the lines discussed by you and Mr. Lloyd–the extortionate charges for anthracite freight rates as compared with bituminous; the legal and economic wrong in the union of mining and transportation; the relation of over-capitalization to low wages., &c. Mr. Lloyd understood that you would be ready to make an argument before the Commission on this part of our case. Could you do so, and also spend a few days here with us before the Commission in the presentation of the evidence on this subject? We should be glad to have you do so. Kindly let me know what compensation would be expected."
Brandeis replied by letter that he would gladly help without pay, but he was tied up with another case. However, Brandeis gave Darrow and Lloyd a law memorandum setting forth information they could use during the hearings. About fourteen years later, on June 4, 1916, Louis Dembitz Brandeis become an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-06024.

Elihu Root [between ca. 1890 and ca. 1910].
Elihu Root (1845 - 1937) was the Secretary of War under President Theodore Roosevelt. During the Anthracite Strike, Root and the powerful banker John Pierpont Morgan who represented the coal mine and railroad operators, met on Morgan's yacht and worked out an arbitration deal. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-83103.

Clarence Darrow during the Anthracite Coal Strike Arbitration.
In his autobiography, The Story of My Life Clarence Darrow includes this picture and describes it as being from the period of the Anthracite Coal Strike Arbitration case. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-06468.

Henry D. Lloyd and John Mitchell.
Taken at the time of the Anthracite Strike Commission hearings.

Arbitrators at the Mines.
The members of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission spent a week traveling around the coal region to get a sense of the coal mining industry. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-32674.

Anthracite Arbitration Commission.
President Roosevelt appointed a commission whose members were accepted by the operators and the United Mine Workers. The commissioners were Thomas H. Watkins, Brigadier General John M. Wilson, Judge George Gray, Edward W. Parker, Edgar E. Clark, and Bishop John L. Spalding. Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner of Labor, was chosen to be the recorder. The commission met for nearly months and listened testimony from over 500 witnesses. The testimony produced over 10,000 pages of information in 50 volumes.

Samuel Gompers and John Mitchell.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-00422.

Judge George Gray.
President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Judge George Gray (1840 - 1925) as chairman of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission to arbitrate the 1902 strike. Judge Gray served in numerous positions including the U.S. Senate from 1885-1899 and Attorney-general of Delaware. President William McKinley appointed him as a judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1899-1914). Judge Gray was a widely respected international arbitrator and he served on arbitration commissions with Canada, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Great Britain, and Mexico; and the permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. Photo taken between 1900 and 1920. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-06342.

Wayne MacVeagh.
Wayne MacVeagh (1833 - 1917) was the lead attorney for the anthracite operators during the Proceedings of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission. In 1881, MacVeagh served as the 36th U.S. Attorney General. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-cwpbh-04727.

Departure of coal fleets from Pittsburg.
Library of Congress Washington, LC-DIG-ppmsca-17700.

"The Miners' Trinity" Henry D. Lloyd, John Mitchell, Clarence Darrow.
Photo from Henry Demarest Lloyd, 1847-1903, A Biography by Caroline Augusta Lloyd (1912).

Henry Demarest Lloyd.
Henry Demarest Lloyd (1847 - 1903) was one of the most well-known "muckrakers" in the United States so he was a logical choice to represent the United Mine Workers before the Strike Commission. Lloyd was a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1869. In the 1870s Lloyd became a writer at the Chicago Tribune and left the paper in 1885. Lloyd married the only daughter of one of the Tribune's major shareholders and his wife's wealth allowed Lloyd to become a "millionaire socialist" who had time to write and speak on social issues. Lloyd became famous in labor and socialist circles with an article very critical of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil titled "Story of a Great Monopoly" that was published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1881. Lloyd called Standard Oil the "greatest, wisest, and meanest monopoly known to history." In 1894 Lloyd wrote a book titled Wealth Against Commonwealth which is very critical of Standard Oil.

"First Aid to the Injured"
Man equipped with Draeger Oxygen Helmet. Avondale Shaft, D.L.W. Colliery. The need for and the presence of these rescue outfits is a strong argument against the employment of young boys. Location: [Pennsylvania. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-01122.

The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission in Session at Scranton Pa., November 17, 1902.
Henry Demarest Lloyd is the person with the arrow pointing to him. Clarence Darrow is seated two seats in front of Lloyd.

John Mitchell, President of the United Mine Workers of America.
John Mitchell was born in 1870 in Braidwood, Illinois to Irish immigrants, although some sources say he was of Welsh ancestry. He was orphaned at age six and entered the mines to work at age nine to help support his many siblings and a stepmother. He joined the Knights of Labor at the age of 15, and in 1890 at the age of 19 he joined the newly-formed United Mine Workers of America. Mitchell became vice-president of the United Mine Workers in 1897, and in 1898 at the age of 28 he became president, a position he would hold until to 1908.

Westmoreland Breaker c. 1905.
Coal Breaker, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-94996.

Economy in a Mining Town (Twenty-five families are supplied by this hydrant).

Breaker Boys.
Eventually breakers boys were replaced by mechanical slate pickers called "jigs" which could do the work of ten breaker boys.

Coal Breaker.
A coal breaker processes raw coal and breaks it into various sizes for different types of furnaces. Material which cannot be burned such as slate is removed. This was usually done with child labor - young boys called Breaker Boys.

"The Washington Schoolmaster."
Newspaper cartoon showing President Teddy Roosevelt lecturing coal barons during the Anthracite strike.

Mark Hanna.
Marcus Alonzo Hanna (1837 - 1904) most well known as Mark Hanna, was an industrialist and U.S. Senator from Cleveland, Ohio. Hanna was also the first president of the National Civic Federation (NCF), a federation of American businesses and labor leaders founded in 1900. The NCF approached labor and capital issues with a moderate progressive reform agenda and tried to resolve disputes arising between industry and organized labor. Hanna, a Republican, worked to solve the Anthracite Strike of 1900. The Republican Party was worried that the strike might influence the upcoming presidential election. Hanna and the NCF were unable to solve the Anthracite Strike of 1902.

George F. Baer, President Philadelphia and Reading Railway.
George Baer was the main representative for the operators. After the hearings ended representatives for both the operators and miners gave closing arguments. Baer gave the closing argument for the operators and was followed by Clarence Darrow. Baer was the focus of much of Darrow's wrath.

Presidents of Coal Roads During the Great Coal Strike of 1902.

George F. Baer, President Philadelphia and Reading Railway.
During his closing arguments on behalf of the coal operators, Baer told the commission: "The lawlessness in the coal regions was the direct result of mistaken theories of the rights of the Mine Workers. It will not do to say that the leaders have not encouraged violence and crime. It is true, no doubt, that they did not directly advise it. They at times counseled against it and issued paper proclamations calling for peace; and at other times, as they did on the witness stand, they have expressed regrets for it. Nevertheless, they are legally and morally responsible for the situation they have created, and from which this violence and crime resulted."

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.

Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt c. 1908.
Theodore Roosevelt became President at the age of 42 when President William McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo in September of 1901. The Anthracite Coal strike was one of the most important events in the early part of his presidency. Edith Roosevelt was the second wife of Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady of the United States from 1901 to 1909. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-96241.

John Pierpont Morgan c. 1902.
John Pierpont Morgan controlled the Reading Company which in turn controlled the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company of which George Baer was president. According to one source the Reading Company owned about two-thirds of the anthracite coal and handled about one-third of the transportation of anthracite coal. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-94188.

Edgar Erastus Clark, Commissioner of the Interstate Commerce Commission (I.C.C.).
Edgar E. Clark was an attorney, union leader and government official who served on the Interstate Commerce Commission from 1906 to 1921, and as its chairman from 1913 - 1914 and 1918 - 1921. In 1902, President Roosevelt appointed Clark to the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission not because he was a labor supporter but because he was "an eminent sociologist." At the time, Clark was also the Grand Chief Conductor of the Order of Railway Conductors. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-hec-03770.

J.P. Morgan Striking Photographer with a Cane c. 1910.
John Pierpont Morgan (1837 - 1913) was one of the most powerful and successful financier and bankers in the history of the United States. During the Anthracite Strike, President Roosevelt's Secretary of War, Elihu Root met with Morgan who represented the coal mine and railroad operators. Root and Morgan met on Morgan's yacht and worked out an arbitration deal. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-20579.

Owen R. Lovejoy, General Secretary, National Child Labor Committee.
The Anthracite Coal region in Pennsylvania was the first industry investigated by the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC). Although child labor was not one of the issues leading to the 1902 strike it became an important issue during the hearings before the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission. Clarence Darrow emphasized the evils of child labor in the mines through witness testimony and his closing argument. The elimination of child labor in mining was an important early win for the NCLC. It was actually easier to eliminate child labor in mining because it was such a horrendous occupation for children that, in most states, it came under more stringent regulation than other employment. Lovejoy was centrally involved in the investigation of child labor in the coal mine industry. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-04845.

John Pierpont Morgan c. 1902.
John Pierpont Morgan controlled the Reading Company which in turn controlled the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company of which George Baer was president. According to one source the Reading Company owned about two-thirds of the anthracite coal and handled about one-third of the transportation of anthracite coal. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-94188.

Archbishop John Ireland c. 1908.
In a last ditch attempt to avoid a strike, the United Mine Workers sent a telegram on May 8, 1902 to the railroad presidents offering to submit the miners' demands to an arbitration committee whose five members would be selected by the Industrial Branch of the National Civic Federation or in the alternative by a committee composed of Archbishop John Ireland of St. Paul, Minnesota, Bishop Henry Potter of New York and an another person these two religious men would select. But the railroad men unanimously refused this arbitration offer. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-52059.

Bishop Henry Codman Potter.
On May 8, 1902 the United Mine Workers proposed that the two sides submit the dispute to an arbitration committee that Bishop Henry Potter of New York would be part of but the miner operators refused the offer. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-hec-15561.

Red Cross Workers at Militia Encampment During 1902 Anthracite Coal Strike, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USF343-040459-D.

John Mitchell and Samuel Gompers.
Samuel Gompers, longtime leader of the American Federation of Labor, was involved in some of the most important labor disputes in the nation's history. Gompers wrote in his autobiography:
"Several times I have been asked what in my opinion was the most important single incident in the labor movement in the United States and I have invariably replied: the strike of the anthracite miners in Pennsylvania ... from then on the miners became not merely human machines to produce coal but men and citizens.... The strike was evidence of the effectiveness of trade unions ..." Samuel Gompers, Seventy Years Of Life And Labor: An Autobiography 126 (1925).
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ggbain-00424.

Working in the Breaker.
Breaker boys became a symbol of child labor in the coal fields for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) when it investigated the anthracite coal region:
"the NCLC found a cultural icon-the breaker boy. The breaker boys, who endured some of the most grueling conditions among child workers anywhere, came to symbolize all that was wrong with child labor. If the chimney sweep is the symbol of British child labor it was the breaker boy in America." Hugh D. Hindman, Child Labor: An American History 90 (2002).
Photo from In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker by Owen R. Lovejoy, Acting Secretary, National Child Labor Committee.

Newspaper clipping about Teenager Killed in Coal Breaker.
From the records of the National Child Labor Committee. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-01135.

Fooling the Inspector.
Children under age routinely hid from or were able to fool the limited number of inspectors who were tasked with inspecting conditions in the mines. From In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker by Owen R. Lovejoy, Acting Secretary, National Child Labor Committee.

An Honorable Discharge?
Boy named Peter who lost his arm at the shoulder when it was caught in the belt of a scraper line in a coal breaker. He received no compensation from the company. From In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker by Owen R. Lovejoy, Acting Secretary, National Child Labor Committee.

Exhibit Panel from the National Child Labor Committee.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-04926.

Newspaper Comments on New Child Labor Law in Pennsylvania.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Photographs from the records of the National Child Labor Committee. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-nclc-04610.

Supply of Coal for the White House.
Arrival of a portion of the winter's supply of coal for the executive mansion. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-npcc-23417.

Philander Chase Knox c. 1904.
Knox served as Attorney General under President McKinley and President Theodore Roosevelt from 1901 to 1904. Knox advised President Roosevelt not to get involved in the anthracite strike and told Roosevelt that he had no legal basis for getting involved. Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-93379.

State Military Troops Deployed during the Anthracite Strike.

Mr. Clarence Darrow.
Photo from The American Monthly Review of Reviews (1903).

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