Hellraisers Journal: Montana News: Pettibone Trial Begins; Adams Trial Ends; The “Big Stick” & the Goldfield Miners

There are no limits to which
powers of privilege will not go
to keep the workers in slavery.
-Mother Jones

Hellraisers Journal, Friday December 6, 1907
Idaho and Nevada – Western Federation of Miners on the Firing Line

Through their ownership of state and federal government power, the Mine Owners carry on their battle against the Western Federation of Miners. The Socialist Montana News of December 5th reports:


George A Pettibone, Darrow Collection

Boise, Idaho, Dec. 1.—Sheriff Shad Hodgins and force of deputies yesterday completed the serving of summons on the talesmen for the special venire of 100, to respond for service when the Pettibone trial is resumed Monday morning at 10 o’clock.

During the day yesterday the eleven talesmen now in the custody of the bailiffs awaiting the opening of court Monday, informally reported at the court house and to the court. They were given magazines, papers and reading matter, all of which had been censored relative to anything concerning the trial, after which they returned to the quarters at 612 Bannock street where they enjoyed a session of news, fiction and romantic. In the afternoon they took a long walk out beyond the Boise barracks returning just before the supper hour.

Attorney W. E. Stone of counsel for the state was appointed by the court to censor the reading matter that is to go to the jury during the trial and Leon Whitsell for the defense.

The defendant’s health is still very poor and he is barely able to climb the two flights of stairs to the court room. He continues to give assurances however, that he will be able to sit through the trial.

The elimination of testimony in regard to the Colorado labor war, which was stricken out by Judge Wood in the Haywood trial, will mean the saving of much time, and it is believed that the taking of testimony will not require over four weeks.



Rathdrum, Nov. 25.

Steve Adams, Haywood-Moyer-Pettibone Case of 1906-07, Darrow Collection

Saturday evening Judge Woods read his instructions to the jury. No one could find any fault with them, and the defense attorney said they were much more lenient than those read before the Wallace jury.

The jury retired at 8.30. The feeling prevailed that a verdict would be reached in a couple of hours. At 12 o’clock the judge sent the jury to bed with instructions to be ready for work at eight o’clock Sunday morning. All day Sunday attorneys, reporters and court attachees hang around the court house. At 5:45 the twelve men sent word that they were ready to report, and then the world knew that once more the state had failed to convict Steve Adams of the murder of Fred Tyler. At the last trial the disagreement stood 7 for acquittal and 5 for conviction. This time the defendant bad gained a vote, and the jury stood 8 for acquittal and 4 for conviction. It appeared that the count was about this way from the first, and the 21 hours’ deliberation had made no material change in the minds of the jurors.

Adams and his wife both took the result calmly. Indeed reports were showing that perhaps this fate was better for Steve than some others that might have been awaiting him.

Monday morning the court convened at 10 o’clock and Mr. Darrow asked if the court would entertain a motion for bail. The judge said he had decided to grant bail, that he thought any court would grant it to a man that the state had twice failed to convict.

He placed the bail at $25,000. Mr. Darrow said he thought that was exorbitant as that was the bail given for Moyer [President of the W. F. of M.]. The judge then stated that the amount would be $20,000. The defense attorneys have not yet decided whether they will get bail for Steve or not. It has been impossible to find out what the plans of the prosecution are for Adams. Varying rumors and conjectures are rife. It is said that he is to be taken to Wallace and held for retrial in the Ty’er case. Again it is said that he is to be tried as soon as possible for the Boulier murder. It is also said that the indictment in Telluride last week for the murder of Arthur Collins shows that the intentions is to take him to Colorado. It was thought that it would be useless to go to all the trouble to get a heavy bail and then Adams be arrested again as soon as he stepped outside of the court house.

But the state has so far failed to divulge its purposes.

Ida Crouch-Hazlett.


Roosevelt to Send Troops to Break Miners Strike


Washington, Dec. 4.-President Roosevelt issued orders to have federal troops in readiness to aid in restoring order at Goldfield, Nev. This action was taken upon representation from Gov. Sparks of that state that state that the miners at Goldfield are in revolt and riot.

Nevada is the one state in the union which has no state militia. Gov. Sparks does not deem the situation such as to justify immediate federal interference. The nearest military base is at San Francisco.

Prepare for Trouble

Goldfield, Nev. Dec. 4.—The executive committee of the Mine Owners’ Association of Goldfield tonight received assurances from Governor Sparks that he had called upon Washington requesting that government troops be held in readiness for use in the Nevada mining camps and that a garrison of regulars be established at Goldfield.

There is nothing in the immediate situation to require the intervention of troops. The town is as quiet as usual. But it is feared by the mine owners that trouble it brewing and that overt acts might be committed at any time.

Governor Anticipates Situation

When Governor Sparks was queried by the committee what he would do with respect to a call for government troops should such conditions arise seeming to require them, he answered that he had already taken the matter up with Washington ten days before. The nearest troops are at the Presideo at San Francisco, 18 hours distant by special train. The mining camps all over Nevada are co-operating with the Goldfield mine operators and are acting in harmony with them.

The mine operators have declared for the open shop and thrown down the gauntlet to the miners’ union. No lawlessness or disturbances have taken place, the miners are acting in a lawful and dignified manner, but it is necessary to use coercion to intimidate the miners and get the weak kneed ones to break ranks, therefore Goldfield is to become a garrison town at the request of the mine owners.

HMP, Undesirable Citizen, TR Cartoon, Wilshires June 1907

This is Teddy’s chance to get back at the Western Federation of Miners as they are an

Undesirable Body of Men

and he is not slow in using the Big Stick against them. No troops were ordered to Cripple Creek when Russian methods were being practiced by the mine owners. Neither were federal troops used to prevent kidnapping of union men. Troops like judges, are only used for the benefits of corporations. It is little wonder that the spirit of militarism is dying rapidly in our land.

The miners are in the majority in Nevada and if they have any sense about them they will elect a Socialist governor at the next election.

[Photographs added. Cartoon added is from Wilshire’s Magazine of June 1907.]


The Montana News
“Owned and Published by the
Socialist Party of Montana”
-Dec 5, 1907

George A Pettibone, Darrow Collection
Steve Adams, Haywood-Moyer-Pettibone Case of 1906-07, Darrow Collection
HMP, Undesirable Citizen, TR Cartoon, Wilshires June 1907

See also:

Re Pettibone and Adams Cases

The Cripple Creek Strike:
a History of Industrial Wars in Colorado,
Colorado, 1903-4-5
[with appendix to about April 1908]
-by Emma Florence Langdon
Pettibone Trial
Adams Case

Re Federal Troops Sent to Goldfield”

Tonopah Daily Bonanza
(Tonopah, Nevada)
-Dec 6, 1907
Goldfield Strike, TR sends troops, Tonopah Dly Bnz, Dec 6, 1907

Goldfield Strike, TR sends troops, Tonopah Dly Bnz, Dec 6, 1907

Re Federal Troops in Nevada

The Public, Volume 10
– ed by Louis F Post
Public Publishing Company, 1907
Public of Dec 14, 1907
“Federal Troops in Nevada”

Article states in part:

Regarding the President’s action, the executive board of the Western Federation of Miners issued from Denver on the 8th an address to the working class of the country, in which they say:

On December 6 President Roosevelt issued a proclamation ordering Federal troops to go to Goldfield, Nev., ostensibly for the purpose of protecting life and property. That there was even any danger to person or property is emphatically denied by officers of Esmeralda county and by the merchants and citizens of Goldfield. The only reason for the present trouble was the decision of the mine operators to force upon the miners a scrip that would not be taken at par. Neither would the mine owners agree to guarantee that they would redeem this scrip at any time in the future. In refusing to accept this worthless scrip in exchange for their hard labor the miners of Goldfield are taking a manly stand against the usurpation of governmental functions by unreliable banking firms which assume the right to set aside the legal money of the nation.

We desire to call the attention of the American people to the disaster at Monongah, W. Va., where 500 coal miners were murdered by the capitalist system in its greed for profits. Had President Roosevelt been as anxious to enforce the mining laws of West Virginia, had he considered as well the protection of the lives of those miners by demanding that the mine owners safeguard their employes against unnecessary dangers, as he is to send the regular army to crush our organization, 500 blackened corpses would not today be laid upon the altar of greed at Monongah, W. Va., around which weep widow wives and orphaned children.

We protest against this action of President Roosevelt, knowing that he was animated by personal hatred against the Western Federation of Miners and its officers. The moving of troops on a peaceable community must be regarded at least as hasty and ill advised, and we call upon the working class of the country to protest against this unwarranted and unprecedented act of mimic warfare.

[Paragraph breaks added.]

Re Goldfield Miners Strike to the End of 1907

The International Year Book
[Re Events of 1907]
Dodd, Mead, 1908
Summary of Goldfield Miners Strike to end of December 1907

A strike of the year causing very wide interest was that of the miners at Goldfield, Nevada. The strike was led by the local branch of the Western Federation of Miners, the objects being a complete recognition of the union, a readjustment of the wage scale and payment in coin, instead of half in coin and half in cashier’s checks. The checks had been called into use after the money stringency of October [Panic of 1907].

On December 5 Governor Sparks, at the request of the Mine Owners’ Association, telegraphed President Roosevelt that great disorder prevailed at the mining camp, resulting in serious infringements of personal liberty and destruction of property, and asked that Federal troops be sent to maintain order. General Funston was at once ordered to despatch a sufficient body of troops to meet demands and about 275 regulars provided with full field equipment and machine guns were immediately sent to Goldfield.

On December 11 Lawrence O. Murray, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Labor, Chas. P. Neill, Commissioner of Labor, and Herbert Knox Smith, Commissioner of Corporations, left Washington at the President’s request, to make an investigation of the trouble.

The regular troops were used only to maintain order, not to guard the mines. About 100 special deputies were sworn in to patrol mining property.

On December 14 some of the union men returned to work pending settlement of differences. A number of strike breakers were imported and by December 16 several mines were running full shifts.

On the 20th the President ordered that the troops be withdrawn on December 30, the reports of General Funston and of the President’s commission having indicated that there was no danger of insurrection. Numerous protests to the President against recalling the regular troops followed.

On December 26 Governor Sparks stated that the miners’ union at Goldfield numbered 3000; that they kept arms and munitions as a body, and that the mine owners also had employed a considerable number of armed guards. These opposing forces had kept the camp in a state of turmoil for more than a year and the civil authorities were able to cope only with occasional offenders, but not with a general conflict between armed forces. The State had no militia and the Governor stated that three weeks would be required to convene the legislature and secure action from it.

President Roosevelt replied on December 28 that the troops would be allowed to remain at Goldfield five days beyond December 30, the time previously set for their departure.

On December 30 the Governor issued a call for a special session of the legislature. The main purpose of this session was to provide for the effective exercise of the State’s authority to maintain civil order within its own borders.

[Paragraph breaks added.]