1877: Year of Violence

1877: Year of Violence

Robert V. Bruce

Language: English

Pages: 341

ISBN: 0929587057

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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of July the strikers turned briefly stubborn again at points along the Fort Wayne road. And the Lake Shore men at Cleveland held out until August 3. On the Baltimore & Ohio, a freight moved out of Cumberland with an escort of regulars at midnight, July 27, and reached Martinsburg without interruption. There were flareups at Keyser on July Zg and 30, and ioo regulars had to be sent out. On August 2 some one took a shot at the conductor of a freight coming into Baltimore; and that same day "a

Pennsylvania. John Garrett went no further in largesse after the Great Strike than his usual annual donation of $ioo to the Railroad Y.M.C.A., even though the Y.M.C.A.'s secretary pointed out that its visitor had done "a good work at Martinsburg" that year. Yet the B. & 0. moved quickly to remedy certain grievances. Beginning in August 1877, its men were given passes home during layovers, were given regular runs with reasonable assurances of full time, were not called up more than an hour before

For years the tragic paradox had haunted Henry George. Now, in the fiery light of the Pittsburgh railroad yards and the San Francisco docks, he saw it in clear outline. On September 18 he began a magazine article. It turned into a book, which he called Progress and Poverty. Everywhere the shock of the Great Strike broke old patterns of thought and crystallized new ones. The nation put away childish things, the lead soldiers and toy drums of Reconstruction politics, and, for a season at least,

Strangely enough, Zepp waited a full week before getting mad. More strangely still-or else not strangely at all-he wrote on July ii, the day on which John Garrett announced his io per cent pay cut. No one, even in Martinsburg, paid much attention to the squabbl- ings of a militia company. Threshing machines were clattering on Berkeley County farms by mid-July, and a fair yield of wheat was reported. In the woods round about, and indeed all over the East, the seventeen-year locusts were breaking

spending a dollar, selling the cigars for five, and bringing home four dollars to support his family for a week. If unlucky, he might come home with two dollars and a box of cigars. Or he might even give in to what must have been very strong temptation and drink up what little cash he got. Working conditions shortened or cut off the industrial worker's life. Cooped up in dim light and foul air during his daily ten-hour stint (in some cases still as much as twelve or fourteen hours), he grew

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