Hellraisers Journal: 12,000 Killed for Four Yards of Dirt, Art Young for the International Socialist Review

I gave my life for freedom-This I know;
For those who bade me fight had told me so.
-W. N. Ewer


Hellraisers Journal, Monday April 30, 1917
From the International Socialist Review: Thoughts on the War

For Four Yards of Dirt by Art Young:

WWI, Young Men Killed, Art Young, ISR, Apr 1917


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Hellraisers Journal: At Scene of Hastings Mine Disaster: “Widows and Orphans Weep In The Snow Storm.”

Hastings Mine Disaster Quote from Kansas Newspaper, Apr 28, 1917


Hellraisers Journal, Sunday April 29, 1917
Hastings, Colorado – Women and Children Wait and Weep

From the Kansas Arkansas City Daily Traveler of April 28, 1917:

Widows and Orphans Weep In The Snow Storm.

Broken Air Ducts in Tunnel Cost
119 Lives of Miners.

Hastings Mine Disaster, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, Apr 28, 1917

Trinidad. Colo., April 28-With men in relays bringing up the workings as they go, every effort was being made early today to reach the 113 men still entombed in the Hastings mine No. 6 of the Victor-American Fuel company near here, where an explosion occurred yesterday morning. Just what caused the disaster is as much of a mystery now as it was then.

Rescue crews, a mine official said, has found “five or six” bodies at 2 o’clock this morning, but had removed none. One hundred and nineteen [120] men were entombed. The rescue crews are unable to make their way down the main mine stope, but by working along the air ways, have “gone a considerable distance into it,” according to a mine company officer.

Believe They Have Perished

The working in which the men are entombed is a running tunnel, opening from the main mine entrance. Above this is an almost level tunnel abandoned some time ago. For several years this has been on fire. Since it was abandoned however and the fire was only smouldering, it was “sealed” off from the rest of the mine with an air tight wall and work continued in the other sections.

Air ducts run into the stope where the men were trapped. Air in unusually large amounts has been pumped into these ever since the fire was discovered, but officials fear the ducts have been broken.

It is snowing in Delagua Canyon, where the mine is located, and miners’ wives and children stand waiting at the mine mouth in the bitter winds.

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Hellraisers Journal: 120 Coal Miners Feared Dead at Hastings, Colorado; Smoke Pouring from Victor-American Mine

Pray for the dead
And fight like hell for the living.
-Mother Jones


Hellraisers Journal, Saturday April 28, 1917
Hastings, Colorado – 120 Coal Miners Trapped in Victor Mine

From the Spokane Daily Chronicle of April 27, 1917:

Rescuers Rush Into Smoke-Filled Shafts-
Fear Every Man Is Lost.

Hastings Colorado Victor American Fuel Company

TRINIDAD, Col., April 27.-Fire in the Victor American Fuel Company mine No. 2, at Hastings, near here, is believed to have trapped 120 coal miners.

Reports were in circulation this afternoon that the fire was the result of a war plot, Austrian miners being suspected. A company of troops has been guarding the property for some weeks.

Fire was first noticed coming out of the mouth of the mine shortly after 9:30 this morning. Helmet crews which entered had made no report this afternoon as to whether or not they had reached the entombed men.

Heavy smoke was pouring from the mine at 1:20 o’clock and it was feared there was little hope of rescuing the men.

Rescuers are being hurried into the workings. At 1:50 o’clock this afternoon 50 men had descended to aid in the fight to save the entombed workmen.

A messenger who reached here from the scene said:

The fire broke out shortly before 9:30 o’clock, when smoke was seen coming from the mine. We think there was an explosion also, but there is no sign of it on the outside. Heavy smoke is pouring from the mine.

Not a word has come from the inside since the fire started.

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Hellraisers Journal: From The Montana News: Undesirable Citizens of Organized Labor Are Aroused to Action

To advocate peace with things as they are
is treason to humanity.
This is a class struggle and on class lines
it must be fought out to a finish.
-Ida Crouch-Hazlett


Hellraisers Journal, Saturday April 27, 1907
American Labor Responds to President Theodore Roosevelt

From The Montana News of April 25, 1907:


HMP, Undesirable Citizen, Walker 1, AtR, Apr 20, 1907

The statement of President Roosevelt in a letter to James S. Sherman, regarding the Harriman controversy, re-which he refers to Debs, Moyer, and Haywood as ‘undesirable citizens’ has raised a storm of protest among the labor unions and aroused to action those few that were hitherto luke-warm. The Executive Committee of the Moyer-Haywood Protest Conference of New York, representing over three hundred labor organizations, with a membership aggregating more than two hundred thousand men, addressed an open letter to the president protesting against the stand he has taken in this matter and asking him to “make such public amends as any true gentleman is bound to offer when inadvertently he has made a mistake and inflicted grievous wrongs upon men who have nothing to do with his personal quarrel.”

The Central Federated Union of New York adopted a motion calling upon Roosevelt to retract his statement that Moyer and Haywood are “undesirable citizens.”

The Boston Central Labor Union adopted a resolution condemning Roosevelt for “usurping prerogatives which neither the laws nor the constitution of the United States gave him.”

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Hellraisers Journal: From the International Socialist Review: “Red flag of the Revolution” flying in Petrograd.

The workers flag is deepest red;
It shrouded oft our Martyred Dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold
Their hearts’ blood dyed its ev’ry fold.
-Jim Connell, 1889


Hellraisers Journal, Thursday April 26, 1917
From the International Socialist Review: “The Russian Revolution”


“And let us not fear that we may go too fast. If, at certain hours, we seem to be running at a headlong and dangerous pace, this is to counter-balance the unjustifiable delays and to make up for time lost during centuries of inactivity.”

Soldiers Demonstration, Petrograd Feb 1917

AS WE go to press, cablegrams bring the good news from Russia that “the national colors, with their eagles, have given place to plain red flags. The red flag of the Revolution is flying from almost every building in Petrograd, even over the famous winter palace of the Czar; tiny red ribbons have been distributed among the people and they are being proudly worn.”

While it is still too early to predict the results of the three day revolt, it is safe to say that the bloody absolutism of centuries is doomed and that the Russian people are on the way to a liberal democracy that will leave Germany the only remaining powerful autocracy on earth.

Hundreds of bread riots and strikes in many large cities culminated in mass action in Petrograd where 13,000 Cossacks were promptly dispatched to quell the “open and violent revolution of the people.” Several thousand imperial police were stationed about the city, provided with machine guns, with orders to mok [mow?] down the hungry crowds clamoring for bread.

Continue reading “Hellraisers Journal: From the International Socialist Review: “Red flag of the Revolution” flying in Petrograd.”

Hellraisers Journal: Albert Brilliant for the Seattle Union Record: “Tracy Defense Scores Heavily”

You ought to be out raising hell.
This is the fighting age.
Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday April 25, 1917
Seattle, Washington – Trial of Fellow Worker Tom Tracy Continues

On April 18th the trial of Tom Tracy was taken to the scene of Everett’s Bloody Sunday where deputized company gunthugs shot down five of our fellow workers who were engaged in a struggle there for Free Speech. The description of the Court’s visit to Everett is covered in the article below.

From the Seattle Union Record of April 21, 1917:



Everett Massacre, Tom Tracy, Trial Photo, ab Mar 5, 1917

The defense succeeded in striking another blow at the state’s evidence in the trial of Thomas H. Tracy, who is being tried as an abettor in a conspiracy to murder before Judge Ronald of King county superior court, when it subpoenaed Fred Luke, a deputy sheriff who was in the employ of Snohomish county at the time of the free speech fight and whose name has been constantly mentioned by the witnesses in the course of their testimony. This makes the second deputy who disclosed the inside of the Commercial club’s scheme, in stopping free speech.

Luke testified that he was present at Rowan’s meeting but did not hear anything said to which as an officer of the law he could take exception. The reason he caused the arrest of Rowan was because McRae had give him orders to. He denied that any violence or disobedience to authorities was ever advocated at I. W. W. meetings that he attended. He told about the crowd that gathered around the county jail, but it was “easily dispersed.” The fence that been broken down was there for a long time; it had rotten posts, the witness explained. There was no resistance at the time the crowd was dispersed. Mrs. Frenett was around but he did not hear her incite anyone to violence. When he was asked by Attorney Vanderveer why the deputies had white handkerchiefs he replied, “So we would not beat up our own men.”

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Hellraisers Journal: “Undesirable Citizen” Eugene Debs Takes on “Roosevelt and His Regime” for the Appeal to Reason

A thousand times rather would I be
one of those men in Ada county jail
than Theodore Roosevelt in
the White House at Washington.
-Eugene Victor Debs


Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday April 24, 1907
From the Appeal to Reason: Eugene Debs on Theodore Roosevelt

HMP, Moyer Haywood Pettibone, ab 1906

Eugene Debs, who, along with Bill Haywood and Charles Moyer, has been adjudged an “Undesirable Citizen” by President Theodore Roosevelt, had a few words to say upon the subject in this week’s edition of the Appeal to Reason:

When Roosevelt stepped out of the White House and called Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone murderers, men he had never seen and did not know; men who had never been tried, never convicted and whom every law of the land presumed innocent until proven guilty, he fell a million miles beneath where Lincoln stood, and there he grovels today with his political crimes, one after another, finding him out and pointing at him their accusing fingers.

No president of the United States has ever descended to such depths as has Roosevelt to serve his law-defying and crime-inciting masters.

The act is simply scandalous and without a parallel in American history.

What right has Theodore Roosevelt to prejudge American citizens, pronounce their guilt and hand them over to the hangman? In a pettifogging lawyer such an act would be infamous; in the president of the nation it becomes monstrous and staggers belief.

All that Roosevelt knows about Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone he knows from his friends, their kidnapers.

The millions of working men and women, embracing practically ever labor union in America, count for nothing with him. He is not now standing for their votes. He is fulfilling his obligation to the gentlemen (!) who put up the coin that elected him; paying off the mortgage they hold upon his administration.

Theodore Roosevelt is swift to brand other men who even venture to disagree with him as liars. He, according to himself, is immaculate and infallible.

The greatest liar is he who sees only liars in others.

When Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States, denounced Charles Moyer, William Haywood and George Pettibone as murderers, he uttered a lie as black and damnable, a calumny as foul and atrocious as ever issued from a human throat. The men he thus traduced and vilified, sitting in their prison cells for having dutifully served their fellow-workers and having spurned the bribes of their masters, transcend immeasurably the man in the White House, who, with the cruel malevolence of a barbarian, has pronounced their doom.

A thousand times rather would I be one of those men in Ada county jail than Theodore Roosevelt in the White House at Washington.

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Hellraisers Journal: 40 Acres at Site of Ludlow Massacre Dedicated by UMWA as Thousands Gather to Honor Martyrs


Hellraisers Journal, Monday April 23, 1917
Ludlow, Colorado – John R Lawson Speaks at Memorial for Martyrs

CO Strike 1913-14, UMWA Policy Com, Lawson Doyle, Ludlow Massacre Fink 1914

Yesterday on the field where the Martyrs of the Ludlow Tent Colony lost their lives in Freedom’s Cause during the Ludlow Massacre, thousands of miners and their families gathered to remember and honor the sacrifice of those heroic men, women and little children. They came by special trains from Trinidad and other towns of Southern Colorado. Every road leading up to the former Colony was lined with automobiles and horse-drawn rigs.

Trains arriving at Ludlow station were met by a dozen bands as thousands of miners and their families, speaking many different languages, left the platform and marched to the site of the Black Hole where the two women and eleven children had perished three years earlier in the fight for shorter hours and higher wages and decent living conditions.

From Tollerburg came a parade of five thousand men and women, each one wearing a red bandanna and carrying a small American Flag. The Flag of Ludlow led the parade, perhaps reminding the strikers of the day in December 1913 when the Martyred Hero of Ludlow, Louie Tikas, had marched beside Mother Jones in Denver carrying that same flag.

Marching in the parade were John R. Lawson and Ed Doyle, who were enthusiastically greeted by the thousands who lined the roads to cheer as the parade pass by them to the site of the Ludlow Massacre.

Lawson and Doyle, although no longer officials of the United Mine Workers, are yet much beloved by the miners and their families who will never forget the courage of these two big men who never bowed before the terror of the company gunthugs nor cowered before the mine-guard infested militia.

Both Lawson and Doyle spoke from the platform to those assembled. They remembered the Ludlow Tent Colony, recounted the strike, and spoke of hope for a better future. They were followed by others speaking in Italian, Slavic, Spanish and Greek.

John Lawson dropped flowers into the The Black Hole of Ludlow were the women and children had perished when the militiamen had set fire to the tent above their heads.

Ceremonies ended with the band playing and the crowd singing, “Nearer My God to Thee.”

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WE NEVER FORGET: The Costa Family Who Lost Their Lives in Freedom’s Cause at Ludlow, Colorado, April 20, 1914

Pray for the dead
And fight like hell for the living.
-Mother Jones


The Costa Family, Martyrs of Ludlow

Costa Family


Cedi and Charlie Costa had three children in 1913, Tony-2, Lucy-4, and Onofrio-6. They lost little Tony that year to the flu. At the time of the Ludlow Massacre, Cedi had carried another baby to term. That tiniest striker is not on the list on the back of the Ludlow Monument, but is mentioned as one of our martyred dead in a few accounts of the massacre.

Jack Reed, who arrived in the Trinidad on about April 30th, gives this account:

Two days after the burning of Ludlow, a reporter, some Red Cross nurses, and the Rev. Randolph Cook of Trinidad, were permitted by the militia to search among the ruins of Ludlow tent colony. The battle was still raging, and the soldiers amused themselves by firing into the ruins as close as they could come to the investigators. Out of the cellar under Mrs. Petrucci’s tent, which Louis Tikas had tried so hard to reach, they took the bodies of eleven children and two women, one of whom gave birth to a posthumous child.

And from Walter H. Fink:

Death Beats Life

Death, represented by the Hamrock-Linderfelt butchers, beat Life in the struggle, and young strikers were the penalty. They were just some of the many cases where the innocent had to suffer.

One particular instance of the results of this butchery was had in the undertaking parlor that night.

The young striker was unarmed.

Its mother lay on a cold, hard slab at the morgue, a victim of the Hamrock-Linderfelt murderers. She was found in the death hole at Ludlow when the Red Cross Society visited the devastated city.

If the murderous thugs in Colorado’s national guard uniform had remained away from Ludlow, had not felt it necessary to massacre the innocents to earn their $3 additional pay from the coal operators, there would have been at least one little striker two days old. But the Hamrock-Linderfelt assassins’ lust for blood could not be denied.

Thursday morning when the woman was buried a little heap lay in her arms against a breast that never had or never would nurse it.

Beshoar identifies the mother as the “wife of Costa:”

The women and children, too, were buried from Holy Trinity church. Huge, horse-drawn drays carried the white coffins to the church and away again. One long box contained the wife of Costa who had died with the union song on his lips. Against her cold breast was a young striker who had never had an opportunity to nurse it.



The Education of John Reed
Selected Writings
International Pub, 1955

The Ludlow Massacre
-by Walter H Fink
U. M. W. A., 1914

Out of the Depths
-by Barron B Beshoar
(1st edition 1942)
Colorado, 1980

Photo of Costa Family
Mother Jones Lives, Facebook

See also:

The above photo also appeared in the April 15, 1915 edition
of the United Miner Workers Journal:

Cedelina Mastro Petuccelli Costa

Costa Family Memorial, FindaGrave


Colorado Strike Song – John McCutcheon

The story is told that his fellow miners sang this song to Charlie Costa
after he fell defending the Colony and until he breathed his last.

Hellraisers Journal: Remembering Ludlow: Mary Petrucci fled burning tent as militia fired upon her and her children.

Pray for the dead
And fight like hell for the living.
-Mother Jones


Hellraisers Journal, Saturday April 21, 1917
Remembering Ludlow: Mrs. Petrucci’s Story of Grief and Sorrow

Mrs Dominiski & Mrs Petrucci, NY Trib, Feb 4, 1915

On Wednesday morning, February 3, 1915, Mrs. Mary Petrucci sat listening to Mr. Jerome Greene, Secretary of the the Rockefeller Foundation, give his testimony before the Commission on Industrial Relations. She heard this man speak of the vast amounts of money donated to worthy causes by the foundation bearing the name of the man who controls the condition under which the Colorado miners and their families work and live. Pennsylvania’s New Castle Herald described her response to that testimony:

“The Rockefeller way of philanthropy,” he said, “is a far better way than if he [Mr. Rockefeller] were to blow it in on his own amusement or give his money away in an ostentatious manner.”

Mrs. Mary Petrucci seated in the front row, threw her arms about Mother Jones and, in an audible whisper, said:

“My God! What do you think of that, and we and our families facing starvation in Colorado.”

That afternoon, Mrs. Petrucci followed Mrs. Dominiski to the witness stand and recalled that terrible day, April 20, 1914, when her three youngest children perished in the Ludlow Massacre. Her eldest had died just a few weeks earlier, on March 7, 1914, of illness. She described fleeing her burning tent, carrying the baby and pulling her little daughter by the hand while her four year old son ran along behind:

Well, in the evening when the fire started I came out of my tent; it was all on fire, and I came out of my tent, and as I was coming out of my tent under that tank there was a lot of militiamen, and I was running out and hollering with my three children, and they hollered at me to get out of the way and they were shooting at me and I ran into this place [the cellar where the children died].

She awoke early the next morning and made her way to the Ludlow depot, and from there to Trinidad. She lay ill with pneumonia for the next nine days, and only when she recovered did she learn that all of her little children were dead.

Continue reading “Hellraisers Journal: Remembering Ludlow: Mary Petrucci fled burning tent as militia fired upon her and her children.”