This is the fighting age.
Put on your fighting clothes.
Hellraisers Journal, Saturday August 18, 1917
Mother Jones News for July, Part II: Organizing West Virginia
From the United Mine Workers Journal of July 12, 1917:
The following was published as an advertisement in the The Beckley (West Virginia) Messenger of July 10, 1917, but without the final paragraph.
“Mother” Jones’ Refreshing Experience
“Mother” Jones had a most refreshing experience at a great meeting of the miners at Quinnimont, West Virginia, on the 14th day of June. The Layland mines, where the meeting was held, is owned by the Berwin-White Coal Company, and a large number of men are employed at this place. It is in the very heart of the mountainous New River coal fields. In the years gone by this section has been a veritable Gibraltar of the foes of unionism, and armed guards have patrolled the works of the companies looking for those who were trying to carry the message of unionism to the miners of this section. Happily, this condition has passed away in many parts of this field, and the private gunman is being driven farther and farther back into the remote mountain fastnesses.
The refreshing part of the Layland meeting was the manner and spirit in which Mr. O. A. Kneer, the superintendent of the Berwin-White Coal Company received the visit of “Mother” Jones. Instead of following the tactics of some of the less enlightened companies and forbidding “Mother” holding a meeting at the mines, he told the miners to go to the meeting, and was present himself. After the meeting was over he said it was one of the best addresses he had ever heard. Having an open mind and the spirit of fair play, he was ready to meet the miners half way and deal with them as men with rights.
If all the coal companies were enlightened enough to show the same spirit, the coal fields of the country would not so often be the scene of bitter industrial struggles. Mr. O. A. Kneer, by his fairness and good will, has done much to bring peace between the miners and operators in that section. His attitude is commended to the companies who think to crush the miners by private armies of gunmen. There is nothing that appeals to the average miner so much as fair play.