WE NEVER FORGET: Mamie Fasig-13, Who Lost Her Life in Freedom’s Cause at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, November 1907

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

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WNF Mamie Fasig, IWW Lancaster Silk Strike PA, Nov 19, 1907


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WE NEVER FORGET
Mamie Fasig-13
Member: Industrial Workers of the World
Lancaster Silk Strike
November 19, 1907

From The Industrial Union Bulletin of December 7, 1907:

The Striking Silk Workers

…In Lancaster the recently chartered local of the I. W. W. is fighting bravely against one of the most bitter enemies of organized labor. Mr. J. E. Stehli, a man who with his two sons and a brother (a general in the Swiss army), owns several large mills in Switzerland, France and Italy, besides the one owned by that family in Lancaster.

The strike is now in progress four weeks and the girls and men and children are standing out firmly, although it is their first strike, their first battle. And it is a battle, indeed.

On Friday they all marched out to give the last escort to one of the little comrades who died, a victim of the cruel conduct of the firm.

In order to humiliate the strikers the firm’s representative superintendent, Mr. Schnabeli (whom the firm imported from Switzerland), had issued the order that the strikers would not be paid off at the mill, but at a small store on Grand street. Upon arriving there the strikers were not permitted to enter the store but were paid off through the window. Here all the men as well as girls had to stand in a drenching rain for a long time.

Mamie Farig [Fasig], one of the youngest I. W. W. members, 15 [13] years old, caught cold and died several days after, a victim of capitalist brutality. A wreath of red carnations bearing the I. W. W. emblem was laid on her grave.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Mamie Fasig-13, Who Lost Her Life in Freedom’s Cause at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, November 1907”

WE NEVER FORGET: Thomas Baldwin, Union Coal Miner, Murdered at Raleigh, West Virginia, November 13, 1917

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

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WNF Thomas Baldwin, UMW, Raleigh WV, Nov 13, 1917

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Brother Thomas Baldwin
of the United Mine Workers of America
Murdered by Company Gunthug
November 13, 1917
Raleigh, West Virginia

Brother Thomas Baldwin, union miner, was going about his business in Raleigh, West Virginia on the evening of Tuesday November 13, 1917, when company gunthug, Sam Crews, snuck up behind him and slugged him over the head with a blackjack. He died three hours later. He left a widow and three small children to survive as best they could without a husband and father. Brother Baldwin’s grave can be found marked by a simple stone at Raleigh Cemetery, Glen Morgan, Raleigh County, West Virginia.

“Raleigh Cemetery Watcher” at Topix has posted an article from the Raleigh Register Herald of November 1917 (exact date not given) which describes Brother Baldwin:

Baldwin, say his neighbors at Raleigh, was a good, reliable man, a steady worker, and provided well for his wife and three children. He was a member of the United Mine Worker’s local that had been organized there some time ago, but was not inclined to give trouble. It appears that there was no reason whatever for his assailant’s attack upon him.

He lived with his family about 200 yards from the company store at Raleigh. After supper, on the night of the murder he had gone to the store for some purpose. As he started for his home he noticed that Crews was following him. He stopped and spoke in a friendly manner to the guard, who replied in kind and then suddenly dealt him a heavy blow on the head with some blunt weapon, presumably a blackjack. Badly wounded, Baldwin made his way to his home and dropped upon a bed. Two physicians were called. They found his skull fractured and an artery severed. In about three hours he died.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Thomas Baldwin, Union Coal Miner, Murdered at Raleigh, West Virginia, November 13, 1917”

WE NEVER FORGET: Oct 4, 1917, Butte, Montana, Fellow Worker Verner Nelson Murdered for Calling a Scab a Scab

Don’t worry, fellow-worker,
all we’re going to need from now on is guts.
-Frank Little

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WNF, Butte MT, Verner Nelson IWW, Oct 4, 1917

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Fellow Worker Verner Nelson
Martyr of the Industrial Workers of the World

On October 4, 1917, Fellow Worker Verner Nelson was gunned down on the streets of Butte, Montana. His crime was that he had called a scab a scab.

Nelson was about 26 years of age and a card carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World. At the time of his death, his Red Card proved that his dues were paid up in full, and that he had joined the Agricultural Workers’ Union (IWW) of Larimore, N. D.

A note found on his body read: “In case of accident, notify Tom Nelson of Erie, Pa.”

From The Butte Daily Post of October 5, 1917:

NELSON INQUEST IS HELD TODAY
—–
Conflicting Evidence Over the Death
of I. W. W. Who Was Shot.
—–

Verner Nelson, the I. W. W. leader shot by Ziki Savichevich on South Arizona street yesterday afternoon after he had called the latter a “scab,” received the gunshot wound which caused his death while he was in flight from Savichevich, according to the testimony of Joseph Schellhorn before a coroner’s jury this afternoon.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Oct 4, 1917, Butte, Montana, Fellow Worker Verner Nelson Murdered for Calling a Scab a Scab”

WE NEVER FORGET: Oct 1, 1917, Pineville, Kentucky, Gunthugs Shoot Down Unarmed Local Leader of Coal Miners

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

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WNF, Pineville KY, Shipman L & F, UMW, Oct 1, 1917

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From the United Mine Workers Journal of October 4, 1917:

Gunmen Murder Unarmed Miner

Pineville, Ky., October 1. — On the pretense of serving a warrant on Luther Shipman, a leader among the miners on strike in this district, a posse headed by County Judge Ward of Harlan county called at the home of Mr. Shipman.

They ordered him to dress and accompany them. As he turned to get his hat one of the gang shot him in the back of the head, instantly killing him. They then opened a general fusilade on the other occupants of the miners’ cabin and mortally wounded Frank Shipman, a relative of the other murdered man.

Press dispatches, inspired by the influential men who headed this murder raid, state that there was a battle. There was no battle; the gang of gunmen had made the boast they would shoot down the leaders and drive the other miners back to work on the company’s terms.

Luther Shipman was a quiet, religious man, well liked and trusted by the miners. The men are very bitter, but the leaders hope to prevent reprisals in kind.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Oct 1, 1917, Pineville, Kentucky, Gunthugs Shoot Down Unarmed Local Leader of Coal Miners”

WE NEVER FORGET: Political Prisoners of World War I Repression Who Lost Their Lives in Freedom’s Cause, 1917-1931

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

WNF, WWIR, Political Prisoners 1917-1931

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From American Political Prisoners by Stephen M. Kohn:

Between 1917 and 1931, at least thirty-one young men died as a direct result of imprisonment for their opposition to World War I or for their radical trade union activities. For the most part, these men died in obscurity at a time when the general public ignored the First Amendment abuses that led to their imprisonment and death.

April 8, 1918 – Fort Hancock, New Jersey
-Ernest Gellert. Socialist CO.

June 29, 1918 – Leavenworth Penitentiary
(Date of death from Davenport Daily Times of July 1, 1918, page 1.)
-Daniel H. Wallace, convicted under Espionage Act for anti-war speech given at Davenport, Iowa. Member, League of Humanity.

July 19, 1918 – Leavenworth Penitentiary
-Ricardo Flores Magón of Mexico City and Los Angeles.
Mexican Revolutionary and Anarchist.

October 14, 1918 – Bellevue Hospital, New York
-Jacob Schwartz of New York City. Anarchist who criticized US intervention in Russia.
Transferred to hospital from Blackwell’s (? needs verification) after severe beating.

November 1918 – Sacramento County Jail
-R. J. Blaine, IWW-Federal Prisoner, died while awaiting trial.
-Ed Burns, IWW-Federal Prisoner, died while awaiting trial.
-Ed Evans, IWW-Federal Prisoner, died while awaiting trial.
-James Nolan, IWW-Federal Prisoner, died while awaiting trial.
-Frank Travis, IWW-Federal Prisoner, died while awaiting trial.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Political Prisoners of World War I Repression Who Lost Their Lives in Freedom’s Cause, 1917-1931”

WE NEVER FORGET Frank Little Who Gave His Life in Freedom’s Cause at Butte, Montana on August 1, 1917

Don’t worry, fellow-worker,
all we’re going to need from now on is guts.
-Frank Little
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WE NEVER FORGET, Frank Little, Butte, MT, Aug 1, 1917

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Fellow Worker Frank Little

Organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World

Frank Little Martyr, Truth Butte Tompkins, 1917

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Frank Little was lynched in Butte, Montana, at 3 A. M. on August 1, 1917, by vigilantes who, many alleged, were in the employ of the Anaconda Copper Company. He came to Butte to support striking metal miners despite having been warned of the dangers involved in that assignment. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn said of him:

He was tall and dark, with black hair and black eyes, a slender, gentle and soft-spoken man…He was dependable in all situations.

FW Little was much admired by the miners of Butte, and his funeral was one of the largest ever held in that city. His coffin was covered by a red silk banner, inscribed:

A MARTYR TO SOLIDARITY

———-

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET Frank Little Who Gave His Life in Freedom’s Cause at Butte, Montana on August 1, 1917”

WE NEVER FORGET Frank Thornton Who Gave His Life in Freedom’s Cause at Troy, Montana During July of 1917

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

WE NEVER FORGET, Frank Thornton, Troy MT, July 1917


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Fellow Worker Frank Thornton

Organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World

Fellow Worker James Rowan, in his work entitled “The I. W. W. in the Lumber Industry,” described the death of Frank Thornton:

LWIU, IWW Label, Lumber Rowan, ab 1920

Near the end of July there occurred at Troy, Montana, an incident of shocking barbarity. A man named Frank Thornton was arrested in a saloon after a quarrel with the bartender, and the constable took him to the jail, a small wooden structure. According to the statements of by-standers who witnessed the arrest, two Lumber Trust gunmen followed them, and the sound of blows was heard coming from the jail, as if they were giving Thornton a terrible beating. That night the jail was burned down and Thornton, the only prisoner, was burned in it. It is thought by some that Thornton was beaten to death by the constable and gunmen on the afternoon of his arrest, and that the jail was purposely set on fire to cover up the crime. Others claimed that while the jail was burning, they could see Thornton writhing in agony among the flames. This much is certain: the jail burned and either Thornton or his dead body was burned with it. Thornton was beaten to death or burned alive in the jail, and the authorities who arrested him and put him in that jail are responsible for his death.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET Frank Thornton Who Gave His Life in Freedom’s Cause at Troy, Montana During July of 1917”

WE NEVER FORGET: FW James H. Brew who gave his life in freedom’s cause on July 12 1917 at Bisbee, Arizona

Pray for the dead
and fight like for the living
-Mother Jones
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WE NEVER FORGET James H Brew, Bisbee AZ, July 12, 1917

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Fellow Worker James H. Brew
Card-Carrying Member of the Industrial Workers of the World

WNF James H Brew, Tombstone, d. July 12, 1917

Fellow Worker James H. Brew was a card-carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World. He was a miner and a boilermaker, and a seasoned veteran of the Cripple Creek Strike of 1903-1904.

During the early morning hours of July 12, 1917, he was asleep at his rooming house when a band of Sheriff Wheeler’s army of deputized gunthugs and citizen vigilantes came to grab him as part of their warrantless round-up of the striking miners and strike sympathizers of Bisbee, Arizona.

Leading this band of kidnappers was Orson P. McRae, shift boss at the Copper Queen Mine and a member of the Loyalty League. McRae was accompanied by five deputized gunthugs.

FW Brew warned the would-be kidnappers not to enter, but with McRae in the lead, they were determined to force their way inside.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: FW James H. Brew who gave his life in freedom’s cause on July 12 1917 at Bisbee, Arizona”

WE NEVER FORGET: Alexander Obremski Who Gave His Life in Freedom’s Cause at Rugby, Colorado on May 18, 1907

Link up in one socialist company;
Evil must perish!
Only together and united!
Long live the Western Federation of Miners!
-Alex Obremski

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WE NEVER FORGET, Alex Obremski, Rugby CO May 18, 1907

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Alexander Obremski
Union Organizer for the Western Federation of Miners

In 1907, Alexander Obremski was a union organizer for the Western Federation of Miners, working in the very dangerous field of the Trinidad area of southern Colorado. The field was considered to be so dangerous that organizers took the precaution of traveling in pairs.

On the evening of May 18, 1907, Brother Obremski was shot down in a saloon in Rugby, Colorado, near Trinidad, by Juan Espinosa, “a Mexican allegedly hired by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) for this purpose.” [See below.]

A large funeral was held in Trinidad on May 22nd to honor the intrepid union organizer. He was survived by two brothers who lived in Starkville, Colorado.

According to M. E. White who had charge of WFM headquarters in Trinidad:

Much credit is due for the three hundred members initiated here in the last five months, and at Pueblo, to the faithful and diligent work of your organizer, Brother James Peretto, and the late Brother Obremsky who took their lives in their hands in the work of educating the slaves of this district.

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SOURCE I

Essays in Colorado History, Issues 5-10
Colorado Historical Society, 1987
(Search with “alex obremski” reveals signature: “Alex. Obremski.”)
https://books.google.com/books?id=_ngjAQAAIAAJ

Note: not available online except in snippet view. By using various search-words, I was able to bring up some relevant information. I will be attempting to track down this source in a library.

Page 55-

Alexander Obremski (1876-1907)
Correspondence from Trinidad, Colorado
Published as “Korespondencje. Trinidad, Colo.” in Robotnik Polski

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Alexander Obremski Who Gave His Life in Freedom’s Cause at Rugby, Colorado on May 18, 1907”