Hellraisers Journal: From the United Mine Workers Journal: Gunthug Murders Miner in Raleigh, West Virginia

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

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Hellraisers Journal, Monday December 3, 1917
Raleigh, West Virginia – Union Miner Murdered by Gunthug

Reported by U. M. W. Executive Board Member, Lawrence Dwyer:

UMWJ, Nov 29, 1917

On last Wednesday night one of our members, Brother W. P. [Thomas] Baldwin, was brutally murdered at Raleigh, W. Va., by one of the professional gunmen of that camp. His name is Sam Crews. He sneaked up behind Brother Caseybolt, who was on his way home, and slugged him with a blackjack. Thirty minutes afterward he sneaked up behind Brother Baldwin and struck him over the head with a blackjack, crushing his skull. He died one hour and thirty minutes afterward. Brother Baldwin leaves a widow and four small children, who were dependent upon him. The thug walked away and has not been arrested.

During last week four of our members were assaulted and beat up by the thugs.

From the United Mine Workers Journal of November of 29, 1917:

FROM WEST VIRGINIA
Agreement Satisfactory—The Thugs Again

[By Lawrence Dwyer,
International Board Member,
District 29 of Beckley, W. Va.]

Beckley, W. Va., November 22. — Doctor Garfield on November 12 O.K.d and approved the penalty clause adopted by the representatives of the operatives and our district officials, and beginning on November 1, 1917, every member will receive the same advance as was granted in the four competitive states. I feel that the penalty clause adopted meets with the approval of the rank and file, as I have not heard of one member criticising it. I wish to advise, from several reports that came into our district office, that there are some operators who are putting a wrong interpretation as to the meaning of the penalty clause, as they are telling the men that in the future should any of them remain from their work one day they will be fined, so I will take this method to inform our members that such statements are wrong. By adopting the penalty clause we promised and assured our government that in the future there would be no stoppage of any mine contrary to the provisions of the present existing contract between the miners and operators of this district; therefore, section 2 of our agreement reads: Should any employe, without the consent of the mine foreman, absent himself from his work for two continuous days, or should an employe, unless due to sickness, persist in working irregularly, it shall be construed as sufficient cause for discharge.

Now, this penalty clause does not take away from us any of our rights granted us by our contract. It means that in the future the miners and operators will live rigidly up to the contract.

The reason I am taking this method of informing our members is because I feel it is the quickest way to convey it to the members of our district, as Brother Kruger, a representative of the Journal, has been in this field for the past month and through the policy he has introduced the results of his labor will be that in the future our Journal will be read regularly every week by our members, and owing to the limited number of field workers we have we intend in the future to give out such information to our members through the columns of our official Journal.

On last Wednesday night one of our members, Brother W. P. [Thomas] Baldwin, was brutally murdered at Raleigh, W. Va., by one of the professional gunmen of that camp. His name is Sam Crews. He sneaked up behind Brother Caseybolt, who was on his way home, and slugged him with a blackjack. Thirty minutes afterward he sneaked up behind Brother Baldwin and struck him over the head with a blackjack, crushing his skull. He died one hour and thirty minutes afterward. Brother Baldwin leaves a widow and four small children, who were dependent upon him. The thug walked away and has not been arrested.

During last week four of our members were assaulted and beat up by the thugs.

The men of Glen White mine have been on strike for the past month, and the district organization is giving strike benefits to them. The cause of the strike is because the operator, E. E. White, refuses to allow the men to meet, and he has forty thugs and guards on the job. E. E. White was one of the No. 5 operators of the Winding Gulf Operators’ Association that was a member of the scale conference that negotiated and made the present contract. His name is attached to the contract. He operates Stotesbury, a non-union mine, in the Winding Gulf, and when the men of Glen White laid their tools down White transferred a bunch of his men from the mine at Stotesbury to the Glen White, so with them and some strike-breakers they are putting out five railroad cars a day. Their average daily output before the strike was thirty-one railroad cars a day.

Last Saturday E. E. White called three members of the local into his office and he told them that the Raleigh County court and High Sheriff Foster were with him, and with their influence he couldn’t lose out in this strike. The next day (Sunday) the men of Glen White telephoned to us that they were going to hold a meeting, and that the gun men threatened to shoot them up if they attempted to meet. Brother Stafford and myself at once went over there and were present at their meeting. Sheriff Foster was in the Glen White camp, and between seventy and one hundred members were at our meeting on the County Road. The members in that meeting stated that High Sheriff Foster that morning advised them to go back to work, and that if they did not return to work within five days Mr. White would put them out of their houses.

I told the men that it was the duty of the high sheriff to be trying to locate and arrest that professional murderer, Sam Crews, who brutally murdered one of our members at Raleigh a few days ago instead of being over here encouraging E. E. White to violate the law by unlawfully dispossessing these men. One of the deputy sheriffs at Glen White last week brutally assaulted one of our members by striking him over the head with his pistol without any provocation for doing so. Then he got into an automobile and drove to Lester, W. Va., and appeared before a Justice of the Peace and pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting this man with his pistol, and the magistrate fined him $5. On his way back to the camp in the machine he fired his pistol promiscuously in the County Road, again violating the law, yet he is still holding the position of deputy sheriff under High Sheriff Foster.

LAWRENCE DWYER,
International Board Member.

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SOURCE
The United Mine Workers Journal, Volume 28
(Indianapolis, Indiana)
-Nov 1, 1917-May 2, 1918
Executive Board of the United Mine Workers of America
(Also, search separately: garfield; “penalty clause”)
https://books.google.com/books?id=OAxOAAAAYAAJ
UMWJ Nov 29, 1917
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=OAxOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PT138
“From West Virginia” by Lawrence Dwyer
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=OAxOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PT152
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=OAxOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PT167
Lawrence Dwyer of District 29, Beckley, W. Va.
(See Executive Board)
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=OAxOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PT140

IMAGE
UMWJ, Nov 29, 1917
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=OAxOAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PT140

See also:
Federal Fuel Administration and Harry A Garfield
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Fuel_Administration
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Augustus_Garfield

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