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Oct 3, 2023
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

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Article Archives: Articles: Labor Unions, Organizing

Showing 19

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
News of the week

The big flour miles of Lerdio Brothers at Callao, Peru were burned July 26, and two Chinamen who were chained to a wall in one of the buildings for attempting to break their labor contracts were roasted alive.

Subjects: Accident Victims, Business Enterprises, Crime, Family, Fires, Food, Labor Unions, Organizing, Latin America, Murder, Racism, Strikes and Lockouts

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 31, 1875
News of the week

The strike of the mule spinners of Lowell came to a formal close on Mon., and large numbers of them have returned to work, first signing an agreement, presented by the corporations, that they would not become members of any association or union that assumes the right to regulate, or in any way interfere, with the price or hours of labor.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Economics, Labor Unions, Organizing, Massachusetts, Names, Strikes and Lockouts, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 1, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 3, 1875
New Salem

William H. Earle, President of the National Council Sovereigns of Industry, delivered an address in the Town Hall Wed. eve. Mr. Earle promised to tell the truth, and we think his promise was fulfilled. He portrayed in eloquent language the injustice of the present system of trade in our country, placing the power and wealth in the hands of a few and rendering impossible an equitable division between labor and capital. "Competition" said he "while it lowers the price of goods, also gives us impure groceries, shoddy cloth, short weight". The great remedy, said the speaker, for this state of affairs is "organization". Isolated and alone the laboring man has no chance. The laboring class combined have the power to resist successfully the encroachments of trade". The lecture was very interesting throughout, and was listened to with marked attention.

Subjects: Amusements, Clubs, Economics, Food, Labor Unions, Organizing, New Salem (MA), Poor, Rich People, Vendors and Purchasers, Words, Work, Clothing

Posted by stew - Tue, Aug 1, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 15, 1875
Eight persons have been arrested on suspicion of having participated in the robbery of Eight persons have been arrested on suspicion of having participated in the robbery of http://en.wikipedia....ondale,_Pennsylvania Carbondale Pa. Bank. (This case was solved by Allan Pinkerton)

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Crime, Criminals, Economics, Labor Unions, Organizing, Mines and Mineral Resources, Police, Robbers and Outlaws

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 8, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 4, 1875
The agents of 80,000 English laborers, have just arrived in Mobile, Ala. on a prospecting tour through the south.

The agents of 80,000 English laborers, have just arrived in Mobile, Ala. on a prospecting tour through the south.

Subjects: English (and England), Labor Unions, Organizing, Vacations

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 6, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 4, 1875
Over 6000 colliers in South Wales have struck, a consequence of a reduction in pay.

Over 6000 colliers in South Wales have struck , a consequence of a reduction in pay.

Subjects: Coal, Economics, Labor Unions, Organizing, Strikes and Lockouts, Work, Europe

Posted by stew - Tue, Jan 3, 2006

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 4, 1875
Mr. John Russell

http://www.knifeworl...d/skinningknife.html Mr. John Russell - http://memorialhall....tail.jsp?itemid=5248 Mr. John Russell , who died on Sun. morning, Dec. 27th, was not only one of the oldest citizens of Greenfield, but his name, from its connection with the business of which he was the founder, was well known to the remotest bounds of the continent. He was born in this village [Greenfield] in 1797; his father, also John Russell, was an influential citizen. His mother was a daughter of Nathaniel Edwards of Northampton. All the children of Major John Russell were carefully trained and educated. In fact, John Russell Jr. went to the south, where he was successfully engaged in business, chiefly at Augusta, Georgia, until 1830, when he returned to his native town. Of an active mind and enterprising temper, he could not remain idle, and looking for occupation, he evolved the idea of establishing in this country the manufacture of the class of goods of which Sheffield, England had for centuries held the monopoly. With this view, he built small works upon land west of the present Railway Station, near where the Agricultural House now stands. The motive power used was steam. Three buildings were burned shortly after their occupation. Mr. Russell was convinced by this experience that there was an opportunity, and being joined by his brother Francis Russell, they proceeded to establish the "old cutlery works", celebrated as the " Green River Works ". The first goods made here were chisels, and the place was known for years in this neighborhood as the "Chisel Factory", but it was Mr. Russell's determination to make cutlery, and all his plans were directed to that end. The cooperation of Mr. Henry W. Clapp [ Henry Wells Clapp] , who had large unemployed capital, now made a very strong house, and the business was planned upon a scale magnificent for a "lot of small things". Skillful artisans were imported from England, and goods rivaling the quality of Sheffield work, were sown in the market, stamped with the bold legend "American Cutlery". Buyers were, however, incredulous, and rather repelled by the name, which confessed domestic origin and inexperience, costly labor and imported material made the business very difficult. But it was continued with hopeful energy and continued improvement in the processes of manufacture. The disaster of 1837 retarded but did not ruin them, and with the revival of trade great advances were made. New patterns were introduced, an efficient force of American mechanics had learned the various branches of the cutler's trade, and first class Sheffield workmen began to emigrate to this country. At this stage of the business, new dangers threatened. The competition of the American work began to be felt by the old Sheffield houses. Hitherto they had sold at prices absolutely regulated among themselves, and they resolved to crush the American enterprise in the bud. In pursuance of this policy the prices of cutlery were reduced to a point that left no margin to the Americans. The protection afforded by the tariff of imports was very small, and much more than offset by the extra cost of iron, steel, tools, and labor. So that it appeared an easy thing to break down the new-sprung rivalry, when the accumulated English skill and capital of centuries chose to set about it. But the English master cutlers left out of their calculation the genius of the American mechanics, manifested in their irrepressible disposition to invent machines and methods to save labor. This disposition is the natural outgrowth of American conditions, and it was rapidly developed when the cutlers realized the inequality of their struggle, with the experience and capital of England. The most important improvement was in the application of the power hammers run by belting, to blade forging; it was then but a step to abolish hand swaging, and to shape blades by trimming or stamping. These processes thus did away with all hand forging in America; the ring of the cutler's anvils was music of the past. Here they were upon ground where the Sheffield master cutlers could not then follow. The innovation was one that the Workman's Trade Union of Sheffield would not permit, and the American cutlers took possession of the home market. The later history of the Green River Works is well known to all our readers, though this slight sketch of the rise and progress of the great industry established in America by Mr. Russell would be most incomplete if it failed to mention two men, still living in this community, to whose powerful co-operation through long years, much of the success of the business was due. We allude to Mr. Nathaniel E. Russell and to Mr. Matthew Chapman. Through all the yeas of his business life, Mr. Russell was noted for sound judgment, unflagging industry, and for his personal influence over his large number of sometimes turbulent workmen. He was a man of much natural dignity and presence. His word was a bond, and his signature was never, in all the long years of his business, dishonored by a protest. He retired from business in 1862, though his name has since been in use as a trade mark [i.e. trademark]. In 1870, he experienced a great shock in the death of his son Francis, and since that time he has lost all interest in affairs, and gradually sunk into the extremity of age. Mr. Russell was married in 1830; his wife and three children survive him. The funeral was attended in St. James church Wed. aft., Rev. Mr. Burgess of Springfield officiating, and the remains were interred in the family lot in Green River Cemetery . [Omitted from this account - The John Russell Cutlery moved to Turners Falls, Massachusetts in 1870. The largest manufacturer of cutlery in the world, the building provided two hundred thousand square feet of floor space on four acres].

Subjects: Art, Births, Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Cemeteries, Children, Cutlery, Economics, Education, Emigration and Immigration, English (and England), Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Fires, Government, Greenfield (MA), Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Inventions, Labor Unions, Organizing, Montague (MA), Mourning Customs, Music, Names, Natural Resources, Noise

Posted by stew - Fri, Dec 10, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 17, 1871
When industrious mechanics form a co

When industrious mechanics form a co-operative association for the purpose of placing the fruits of their skill and labor in the market without the aid of capitalist and employer, they do more for the cause of working men than all the "Unions" and "strikes" in the world, and will receive the hearty sympathy and support of the public. We have a Co-operative Machine Company in Greenfield, composed of some dozen young men, and they have every promise of success. They have rooms and power in the old Steam Mill below the Depot. The principal occupation of the company is the manufacture of http://memory.loc.go.../r?ammem/ncps:@field(DOCID+@lit(ABS1821-0006-586)):: bolt cutting machines . This is a patent secured by John J. Grant , [also seen as John Grant, the founder of Greenfield Tool & Die] a member of the company, and one of the best machinists in this section. The bolt cutter is a great improvement on the old method of making bolts by hand with dies. With it one man can do more than 5 in the old fashioned way. It is being sold very rapidly, and the Co. have more orders than they have facilities to fill. Another useful patent is the planer knife grinder, which is also manufactured by the Co., and they have made a large no. of apple parers and slicers.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Cutlery, Economics, Food, Greenfield (MA), Inventions, Labor Unions, Organizing, Sales, Strikes and Lockouts, Trains, Work

Posted by stew - Mon, Apr 19, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 17, 1874
Shocking murder caused by trade unionism

Shocking murder caused by trade unionism - The details of a shocking murder, growing out of the outrageous conduct of the society men of masons and plasterers, in New York Fri. eve., show that James Kilduff, Thomas McLaughlin and John Kingston, 3 society men of the masons, went to a row of houses being built at North sixth Street, and commenced quarreling with the men at work there, who continued working till 6 o'clock, which is an hour later than the society rules allow. Kilduff struck two, named Burke and Keenan, who retaliated by throwing Keenan to the sidewalk. The other two society men had, at the same time, got into a fight inside the building with the other workmen, the fight gradually working out to the sidewalk, where Kilduff again joined in. At this time Mr. Daniel Schaeffer, the private watchman, arrived, and seeing strangers in the fight, attacked Kilduff with a http://www.heraldicm...vcomps/comp046a.html plasterer's hammer , breaking his skull, from the effects of which he died almost instantly. An immense mob gathered around, but the police dispersed them, and all parties engaged were arrested.

Subjects: Clubs, Crime, Criminals, Freemasonry, Households, Labor Unions, Organizing, Murder, Police, Roads, Work, Architecture / Construction

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 9, 2004

Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 29, 1874
(Greenfield) A gentleman of our village thought it a good time to have his winter boots repaired, and put in proper shape for another campaign of snow and mud. But unfortunately, in going to the cobb

(Greenfield) A gentleman of our village thought it a good time to have his winter boots repaired, and put in proper shape for another campaign of snow and mud. But unfortunately, in going to the cobbler’s, he took by mistake with one of his heavy "stogers" a light French calf boot that belonged to a pair he kept for dress occasions. He told the man of the awl and last to put on some of the heaviest soles he could find, and the Knight of St. Crispin carried out the instructions to the letter. Imagine the man’s indignation when he discovered the match that had been made with the two odd boots. Worse than that, the joke leaked out, and no peace has been allowed him since.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Fashion, French, Greenfield (MA), Jokes, Labor Unions, Organizing, Weather

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 27, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 18, 1874
The town of Nelsonville, Athens County, O., experienced a reign of terror Fri. and Sat., on account of a strike of The town of Nelsonville, Athens County, O. , experienced a reign of terror Fri. and Sat., on account of a strike of http://www.geocities...vern2001/History.htm coal miners . It began Fri. aft., when the union miners drove the citizens off the streets and severely beat a large number of non-union men. The storehouse of the late Troy works was set on fire twice, and http://www.rootsweb....eenlawn_cemetery.htm McClurg 's residence once, but the flames in each case were extinguished. Th tumult, alarm and confusion continued all night, and Sat. morning, ripened into a riot, in which James Elderton, R.T. Myers, and John Woodard were shot and mortally wounded. The shooting began between Myers and Elderton, each shooting the other, Myer's brother in turn shooting Woodard . A railroad train was finally sent to Athens for help, and 5 men were arrested.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, Coal, Crime, Criminals, Family, Fires, Households, Labor Unions, Organizing, Mines and Mineral Resources, Murder, Police, Riots, Roads, Strikes and Lockouts, Trains

Posted by stew - Thu, Dec 4, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 20, 1874
Serious labor troubles are in prospect at Bolton. The operatives in one of the cotton mills struck, whereupon the

Serious labor troubles are in prospect at Bolton. The operatives in one of the http://www.thisisbol...gone/photosfebruary/ cotton mills struck, whereupon the association of master cotton spinners at once resolved that unless they yield before Thurs., notice will be given that in a fortnight all the mills in that city will be closed, throwing 15,000 operatives out of work.

Subjects: Business Enterprises, English (and England), Labor Unions, Organizing, Strikes and Lockouts, Work

Posted by stew - Tue, Jul 22, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 23, 1874
More victories for the praying women

More victories for the praying women - Over 80 saloons in 14 towns in southwestern Ohio have been closed permanently since the great temperance movement began in the State...A vigilant eye is kept on all dealers who surrender...The work is being carried into Covington Ky., and 150 postal cards have been sent through the city post office to the saloon keepers, requesting them to quit their business. The sale of liquors in Covington is licensed by the city and the State.

Subjects: Bars (Drinking establishments), Business Enterprises, Eye, Labor Unions, Organizing, Law and Lawyers, Liquors, Mail, Religion, Sales, Temperance, Women

Posted by stew - Thu, Jun 26, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, January 26, 1874
The American workingman

The American workingman - Labor is almost as essential to human health and happiness as food and drink. Labor is that which affords an escape valve for the pent up energies of man, and is also the means whereby riches and honors may be secured - thus answering a double purpose. The manual laborer who digs the turf, fashions some implement of toil, or forces from the bowels of the earth rare metals and precious fuels, is not the only one who experiences the daily drudgery of mechanical employment. Literary men, professional men, in fact all classes of men who use their brains in procuring the bare necessities of life, are as truly workers as those who handle the spade or swing the scythe. The habitual idlers are the only persons in the community who do not recognize the importance of labor, and they, as might be expected, are merely pensioners upon the bounty of the prudent and thrifty...As a class, American mechanics are intelligent, orderly, and well disposed citizens. They constitute, so to speak, the great reserve force of the nation, to be relied upon when some great emergency arises. As a rule they are well paid, well provided with the substantial comforts of life, and many of them are possessed of a handsome property...Any field of progress, including politics is open to his endeavors. In America the person and property of the workingman is as sacred in the eyes of the law as that of his employer. He is not taxed any greater amount in proportion to the value of his little property than the owner of the palatial mansion and broad acres on his right hand. No established church imposes burdens upon him, no tax collector demands tribute to the government upon every conceivable pretext, as is the case in England. In truth, the condition of the workingman in this country, as compared with the same in European countries, is indeed most enviable...but nevertheless, there is a certain dissatisfied class, generally composed of poor workmen who are continually endeavoring to excite the antagonistic relations between the capitalist and the laborer, and to ferment a discord which they hope will terminate in open hostility. If these agitators would only consider for a moment the condition of the workingmen in England...We imagine they might be convinced of the fortunate position in which the American laborer is placed...In England the poor must labor or starve, and they must let their employers fix the price of labor, and although some trades and employments receive good wages, yet the proportion of these, on the whole, is very small...England has a haughty aristocracy to support. Large amounts of money are needed to purchase elegant mansions, showy equipages, and costly jewels. Consequently the workingman is ill paid, and heavily taxed, even to the winding sheet and coffin in which he is confined to mother earth... Most of our great manufacturers are men who have risen from poverty and obscurity to their positions of wealth and usefulness solely through their own personal exertions...With the innumerable strikes among workingmen we have no sympathy...(from The Golden Age).

Subjects: Beverages, Business Enterprises, Businesspeople, Economics, English (and England), Eye, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Government, Households, Labor Unions, Organizing, Law and Lawyers, Literature / Web Pages, Medicine / Hospitals, Mines and Mineral Resources, Mourning Customs, Politics, Poor, Religion, Rich People, Royalty, Strikes and Lockouts, Transportation, Work, Europe

Posted by stew - Sun, Apr 6, 2003

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 24, 1873

Sunderland - Noticing a statement in your paper in regard to the population of Sunderland, and also speaking of the good old age to which some of the fathers and mothers have arrived, I think it is justice due to one of the oldest persons in the town that a history of the labors he has performed during the past season be published in your paper. The old gentleman is in his 93rd year. He was born in Wendell, and never having the advantage of seeing much of the world in his younger days, he thought that before old age should fasten his grip too strong upon him he would spend a few months in visiting some of the principal cities of the United States. Starting from the town of Sunderland, he thought he would visit Hoosac Tunnel and see the wonderful hole which the Shanlys are trying to drill through the mountain. Arriving at the tunnel and being somewhat weary he stayed a few days to recruit and then bent his steps toward Brattleboro. Stopping there a few days, he then started for Royalston. He tarried there a few days and then thought he must visit the Hub. He went to Athol and purchased a ticket, stepped aboard a train and started for the Hub. Arriving at the city the first thing that attracted his attention was a recruiting office. Being full of the spirit of '76 he stepped into the office and offered his services to Uncle Sam. The officer in attendance told him he might be examined and see if he would pass muster. He doffed his clothing and stepped upon the scales, but found he did not come up to the standard. The officer told him he would not pass and had better go home and see his mother and grow awhile. Having nearly exhausted his funds he thought he must set about something to earn an honest dollar. Procuring the necessary outfit for a bootblack he started for the first time in business for himself, but being a little stiff in the joints, the young Teddies were too much for him, so consequently it proved a failure. He next purchased 50 copies of the Daily Union and commenced the cry "Daily Union, 5 cents", but luck was not on the side of the old man this time, so feeling somewhat discouraged he turned his steps toward the wharf and cast his dailies into the Atlantic. But to beg he was ashamed, so he obtained a situation in a market. After laboring a few days he was told that he must join the association if he wanted to be protected while at the Hub. Being no friend to secret societies he positively declined. But he was told it was no use to refuse, so he must submit. So the old gentleman, much against his own wishes, was compelled to take the oath. He did not feel very well satisfied with his position, so he left the Hub and went to Providence R.I. Stopping there a few days he then went to Hartford. Arriving there and being very much exhausted he wandered into the park and sat down to rest. He was picked up by a police officer and lodged in the station house for the night. After a good night's rest he awoke somewhat refreshed, and procuring some refreshments he bent his steps for Springfield, Holyoke and Deerfield, and then to his home in Sunderland. The old gentleman is quite smart this winter. He assists in taking care of a stock of cattle and ties up tobacco as fast as 3 men can sort. His eyesight is good, being a constant reader of the Gazette and Courier and the New York Tribune. He has never entered into the holy bands of wedlock, but as he begins to feel old age creeping on he thinks that the smiles and affections of a young wife would be a great comfort to him while passing down the decline of life.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Athol (MA), Boston (MA), Business Enterprises, Charity, Clubs, Connecticut, Deerfield (MA), Eye, Family, Food, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Hoosac Tunnel (MA), Jokes, Labor Unions, Organizing, Literature / Web Pages, Luck, Marriage and Elopement, Old Age, Parks, Police, Poor, Prisons, Smoking and Tobacco, Sunderland (MA)

Posted by stew - Fri, Dec 20, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 27, 1871
The Labor question part III

The Labor question part III - When the Coleraine Co. reduced from 12 to 11 hours, quite a no. of the hands went to a neighboring mill because they chose to work from 12 to 15 hours, & some have left because they wanted to sell more of their product. We hear from them in California; they are now in the saddle 16 hours a day tending 500 acres of grain and a flock of 4000 sheep. Take a look with the writer from the steps of a western City Hotel: daily you notice that tall, slender lady in plain attire, pass & repass. She is a teacher of music and supports a large family; over on yonder corner sits a fat, good-natured, red-faced loafer, smokes his pipe, gets off his vulgar stories, for which he occasionally gets a free drink. The writer recognizes him as one who left him long years ago, because he would not get up to breakfast at 5 o’clock, but went home where he could lay abed until 7. Another young man of intelligence refused to stay with this writer though required to work less, by four hours a day, than he. Said the writer was a hard master, & that anyone who called for more than 6 hours a day reaped where they did not sow. He said he would go through the world working only 4 hours a day...You can see this man today, when darkness shoots down, put a full jug & a very small supply of groceries into his wagon, & in the small hours drive up to an obscure shanty in a lane on the mountain, where sits a downcast old lady by a feeble light, toiling on as she has done for 40 years, from 16 to 20 hours a day, to clothe her large family & keep the wolf from her door... Signed, a taxpayer. Coleraine.

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Business Enterprises, Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Education, Family, Food, Hotels, Labor Unions, Organizing, Law and Lawyers, Liquors, Music, Smoking and Tobacco, Strikes and Lockouts, Transportation, Wife Abuse, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Fri, May 10, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 27, 1871
The Labor question part II

The Labor question part II - Every able-bodied male when he comes to maturity, with proper habits and industry (in an average life) has, in mind, bones, muscle and flesh, 10,000 days work, which Nature gives him for capital...Most of those who undertake to live by their wits (says the adage) fall for want of stock. It is a self-evident truth that we are all laborers (unless we are drones) only different in degree, whether writers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, merchants or mechanics, and whatever affects one class affects the whole...The idea that 8 hours will give the same commodity as 10 or 12 is perfectly fallacious...The writer does not dispute that a venal set of Legislators might pass a law that 8 hours should be a day’s work, & even go so far as to pay the expense out of the public crib...The writer, the first 30 years of his business life, averaged 16 hours a day at work, & since, about 12 hours a day, & has had ample leisure to keep posted in the mechanical & scientific publications of the day...Leisure begets bad habits, & finally leads to misery & poverty.

Subjects: Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Labor Unions, Organizing, Strikes and Lockouts, Work

Posted by stew - Fri, May 10, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 27, 1871
The Labor question part I (letter to the editor)

The Labor question part I (letter to the editor) - Dear Sir: I wish to call your attention particularly to the question of labor. There has been for the last few years a constant effort to reduce the hours of labor in factories and mills, & also to supervise & meddle with the manufacturing business generally, as though it was not an honorable, honest & proper calling. This has a tendency to bring reproach upon the trade & is a damage to business. The principal movers in these labor agitations are men who use the laboring man to lift themselves up the political ladder and to feather their own nests. Now, laborers, kick out the foot of this ladder & let these men down, & if there is not labor enough in their legs & muscles to take up self and put, then let them lay there. Laborers of Franklin County, the writer (who has been a common manual laborer for more than half a century) wishes to have a plain chat with you & tell you his experiences and observations.

Subjects: Coleraine [now Colrain] (MA), Labor Unions, Organizing, Strikes and Lockouts, Work

Posted by stew - Wed, May 1, 2002

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 11, 1870
It is rumored that the miners' union has ordered a general strike among the miners of the It is rumored that the miners' union has ordered a general strike among the miners of the http://cdl.library.c...sid=ABP7664-0001-106 anthracite coal regions of Pennsylvania, for the purpose of enforcing the eight hour system. Coal miners now get better pay for fewer hours work than any other laboring men in the world. The introduction of a few Chinese might bring them to terms.

Subjects: Chinese, Coal, Labor Unions, Organizing, Mines and Mineral Resources, Strikes and Lockouts, Work

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