All Quiet on the Border: The Civil War Era in Greene County, Pennsylvania

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Baugh, 19 December ; Virginius N. Baugh, 12 April ; H. Reid to William F. Baugh, 3 October The original of one of the letters dated 4 December is located at the Eleanor S. Bayless, W. Letter, 16 December Letter, 16 December , from W. Bayless of Company B, 1st Tennessee Infantry, to his mother detailing his regiment's march from home, to Staunton, Virginia, and its final destination of Strasburg, Virginia.

He describes Staunton and the surrrounding countryside. Bayless also mentions his plans to move to another regiment. Baylor, W. Papers, , of W. Baylor of Petersburg, Virginia, consistiong of: a commission, 5 February , as assistant surgeon in the Confederate army from Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin ; oath of allegiance, 6 April , of W. Baylor; two letters, 7 September and 8 November , from George A.

Otis , assistant surgeon-general, to Baylor transmitting abstracts of cases treated at the Confederate hospital in Petersburg during October and June ; and a letter, 20 April , from Charles H. Military order, 2 September Photostat negative. Special order no. Baylor temporarily relieving him from duty at the Confederate Hospital and reassigning him to other duties immediately. Beadles, George Andrew, Jr. Papers, , Papers, , , of George Andrew Beadles, Jr. Beall, John Bramblett. He also gives a description of Lynchburg, and writes about his duties as an officer, lack of clothing and supplies, and visits with friends and news of fellow soldiers.

He requests Merrell to write more, encloses poetry to her, and reminiscences about their time together. Also included is a letter concerning genealogy on the Beall family, as well as an unidentified tintype and a photograph of Beall when he was in his later years. Bean, Thomas. Reminiscences, no date. Reminiscences, no date, of Thomas Bean b. These reminiscences were apparently dictated to, and written by, an unknown individual. They begin with his capture by Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Weldon Railroad in August , and detail his subsequent imprisonment at Belle Isle and Libby Prisons in Richmond, as well as the military prison at Salisbury, North Carolina.

They include details of the searches to which the prisoners were subjected, rations allowed, descriptions of the buildings and grounds, and the conditions which they endured. A hand-drawn map of Belle Isle prison is also included. Beard also provides information on her family during this time, stating that two brothers served in Company G, 31st Virginia Infantry.

These recollections first appeared as an article in the Pocahontas Times 4 November Beard, William M. Essays, 26 July Essays, 26 July , written by William M. Beard , Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and an unidentified author, on religion in the Confederacy. The essays were written in commemoration of the 91st Manassas Battlefield celebration. Topics include support of the Confederacy by various denominations, the suffering endured by their congregations, destruction to their churches, the clergy's loyal oratory and their service in the Confederate army, the spirit of piety in its troops, and the work of Archbishop Jean-Marie Odin , as well as the American Bible Society.

Beauregard, G. File copies of letters and telegrams, , of General G. Also includes an invoice of ordnance and orndance stores. Letter, 19 November Letter, 19 November , from G. Beckley, Alfred. Diary also notes some of the battles that were raging in Richmond, Virginia, Fayette and Raleigh Counties, West Virginia, and includes some personal financial information.

Bell, Charles H. Letter, 12 May Letter, 12 May , from Charles H. Bell b. Bell writes about skirmishing with the enemy and the tactics used by both sides, the surrender of Confederate soldiers, and he describes the scene of thousands of Union troops waiting to cross the Rappahannock River. A transcription of the letter is included. Bell, Miller G. Letter, 3 May Letter, 3 May , from Miller G. Bell ca. Benjamin, Judah P. Letter, 25 March Letter, 25 March , from Judah P.

Benjamin , Richmond, Virginia, to A. Stuart , Staunton, Virginia, requesting that Stuart come to Richmond as soon as possible for a conference with Jefferson Davis Bennett, C. Receipts, 4 March Receipts, 4 March , of Coleman D. Receipt, 4 March Receipt, 4 March , issued by C. Bennett , sheriff of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, for the hire of Ceaser [sic] and Len, slaves of Samuel Hairston for work on fortifications in the department.

Payment ordered by Colonel W. Stevens Bennett, Edgar B. Letter, 13 November Letter, 13 November , from Edgar B. He also notes that General William Sherman has captured Atlanta, Georgia, and is moving towards Charleston, South Carolina, and adds that it is the job of the army in front of Petersburg to occupy Robert E.

I.N. Dreamer Park Richhill Township, Greene County, Pa

Lee's army so that it cannot move against Sherman. He adds that he is disappointed in the presidential election. Includes ribbon bits. Bennett, Risden Tyler. Speech, 10 May Berkeley family. Accession , Miscellaneous Reel 2. Papers, , of the Berkeley family of Aldie, Loudoun County, Virginia, containing correspondence pertaining to the following members of the Berkeley family: Lewis Berkeley, his sons, Edmund and William N. Berkeley, and Francis L. Other correspondents include Thomas Griffin, A. Ramsey, C. Smith, George G.

Thompson, P. Thompson, Beverley Tucker, and William Waller. The letters are mostly of a personal nature, discusssing college life, family news, farming, politics, and the Civil War. Berlin, Ira, editor. Records of southern plantations from emancipation to the great migration. Collection consists of papers and records of postbellum tobacco and cotton plantations in North Carolina and Virginia, dating and containing personal and family correspondence, store account books, rental account books, farm ledgers, legal records, cash books, and a diary.

Contains information on the credit system that developed following the war, postbellum store owners and the accounts of freedmen, the Freedmen's Bureau, the southern labor system including African American wage labor, sharecroppers, the African American experience following the Civil War, African American politicians, slavery, abolitionism and abolitionists, and Civil War, Reconstruction and New South politics.

Bernard, D. Order, 2 February Copy of Special Order No. Bernard, George S. Papers, , no date. Papers, and no date, of George S. Bernard of Petersburg, Virginia, consisting of letters, , from Pattie B. Cowles of Petersburg to Bernard while serving in the Petersburg Rifles later Company E, 12th Virginia Infantry stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, describing life in Petersburg in the early days of the Civil War; providing social and family news and gossip; declaring the devotion of the women of Petersburg to the cause and to the men who have left to fight; commenting on Alabama and South Carolina troops which have passed through Petersburg; and stating that President Jefferson Davis passed through Petersburg.

Papers also include an undated speech praising the men and women of the Confederacy and their continuing contributions. Betts, Luther. Papers of Luther Betts of the 9th Virginia Cavalry Regiment, including an order, 6 March , for cavalry detail, and parole, 2 May Beverley, Jane Eliza Carter.

Includes information on Civil War action in the surrounding area, and her personal recollections of General Robert E.

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Lee These reminiscences were transcribed by Robert Beverley Herbert b. Bevier, Isaac. Letter, 5 July Letter, 5 July , from Isaac Bevier b. He discusses the fighting and a flag that his regiment captured as well as news of camp life, including some souvenirs he and others have picked up. Letter, 15 September Letter, 15 September , from Isaac Bevier of Company E, 44th New York Infantry, to his parents detailing the second battle of Manassas Bull Run , his wounding, and his stay in the hospital including work as a nurse.

He also comments on the campaigning leading up to the battle of Antietam. Also includes a casualty list for the 44th New York. Beville, Ella. Notebook, Hardaway d. Bidgood, Joseph Virginius. Black concerning the War of military record of Obadiah Hawkins ca. Billingsly, Joseph. Letters, December Billingsly outlines his military duties, describes the condition of his winter quarters, and discusses the weather.

Billingsly also tells of washing clothes on Christmas Day and asks about his family. Bills, George. Letter, 27 April Letter, 27 April , from George Bills d. He states that the army is raising breastworks and that sharpshooters fire at anyone who shows his head. Bills writes that soldiers often talk about when they will be heading home and that he expects they will be paid soon. Bills also sends Calvin a power of attorney and some apple tree seeds. He asks Calvin to send a fine comb because of lice and ticks.

There is also a transcript. Binford, William F. Autograph collection, Autograph collection, , of William F. Binford, Jr. Collection contains signatures of prominent Confederate and Union military figures from letters, military records, legal documents, receipts, as well as clipped signatures. Also included is published biographical information for some of the individuals. Binns family. In part, photostats. Papers include birth and marriage information; a list of slaves owned by various family members; a letter from Charles H. Binns, Jr. Birdsong, James C. Reminiscences of Civil War service, no date.

Reminiscences of Civil War service by James C. Birdsong also mentions his being a prisoner of war. Blackford, Benjamin Lewis. Sketchbook, Accession c. In part photographs and negatives. Sketchbook, , of Benjamin Lewis Blackford of Lynchburg, Virginia, containing sketches of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the ruins of Chancellorsville, Virginia, soldiers, and other landscapes.

Blackford, William Willis. Memoirs: First and Last, or Battles in Virginia. Memoirs of William Willis Blackford entitled "First and Last, or Battles in Virginia," are a typed transcript that detail, chronologically by campaign, the exploits of Blackford while serving as a cavalry officer with the 1st Virginia Cavalry Regiment under Jeb Stuart and as an officer with the Engineer Corps. These memoirs are very anecdotal, and were published in as War Years With Jeb Stuart reprinted Blackington, R. Letter, 4 November Letter, 4 November , from R. Blackington of Company I, 20th Maine Infantry, in Culpeper County, Virginia, to his mother Louisa Blackington detailing how the regiment stripped homes for items to use in camp, providing other news, and asking for stockings that he can sell.

Blair, Luther R. Parole, 8 May Parole, 8 May , of Luther R. Fletcher, Danville, Virginia. Blair, William B. Accession x. Letter, 9 June , from William Barrett Blair b. Blaisdell, George. Letter, 26 October Blanchard, Henry T. Letter, 9 November , from Henry T. Blanchard writes about recent battles with the enemy, including those at Brandy Station and Rappahannock Station, as well as the taking of prisoners, the location of various troops, and the cold weather. Letter, 27 August Letter, 27 August , from Henry T. Blanchard also adds a postscript to his brother.

Bland County Va. Bland County, Virginia, Pleas, Board of Military Exemption Minutes and Board of Supervisors Minute Book, bulk , document specific types of records as noted related to county court orders such as the appointments of various Constitutional officers of the county and exemption board rulings, , related to permanent bodily infirmity during the Civil War years when paper was scarce.

Pages for these two sections are not numbered. There are loose papers in this section between pages and Blanvelt, William L. Letter, 28 December Letter, 28 December , from William L. Blanvelt, Lewinsville, Fairfax County, Virginia, to his brother. Topics include a recent battle at Dranesville Fairfax County , weather, Christmas, and views on the war. The letter was written on letterhead illustrated with a portrait of General McClellan. Bledsoe family. Papers, , of the Bledsoe family of Fentress County, Tennessee; the Hinds family of Barren County, Kentucky; and the Conlee family of Washington County, Illinois; as well as from members of the families who settled in other parts of Tennessee and Kentucky and settled in California and Iowa.

Letters consist mainly of social and family news of the three families. Of particular interest are letters, , from William M. Bledsoe to his wife Sarah Hinds Bledsoe b. Hinds and James M. Bliss, Lyman B. Letter, 16 July Letter, 16 July , from Lyman B. Bliss b. Bliss comments that he was not at the fight because of his health, which he elaborates on. He also mentions his brother Samuel ca. Board, Francis Howard. Letter, 11 February Dearing, and troop movements. Bock, Linda Wilkinson. In part Photocopies. Bock ; Bock and Wilkinson families; William L.

Includes papers of William Fanning Wilkinson concerning the Civil War and his loyalty oath, and papers concerning the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Boggs family. Includes a biographical sketch of Francis Makemie ca. Compiled by Myra Boggs with assistance from Dorothy Bonniwell. Boggs, F. Letter, 31 March Letter, 31 March , from F. Hays Otey , Captain of Otey's Artillery Company, Danville, Virginia, regarding the placement of artillery for the defenses of Danville without Boggs' orders, and that the guns are not to be positioned anywhere until there is a necessity.

Includes a note, 1 April , from Colonel R. Withers , commanding at Danville, stating that he had ordered the guns placed and they could not be moved. Boisseau, Mary Leigh. Abstracts of the proceedings of the Board of Exemption for Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in , compiled by Mary Leigh Boisseau of Danville, Virginia, in , consisting abstracts of the minutes of the Pittsylvania County Board of Exemptions concerning the evaluation of applications of soldiers for discharge from military duty.

Abstracts list the name of the soldier, application disposition approved or rejected , and cause, if approved. There are handwritten corrections made by the compiler. Bolton, James. Medical daybook, Daybook, 24 October January , of James Bolton consisting of a daily record of patients seen, both private and military, often including rank, age, or address.

Other sections of the book include more detailed notes of surgery and other treatments, a record of stimulants administered, vaccination procedures and records, and some medicinal preparations. Bond, Herbert G. Bond and his sister-in-law Julia F. Pierce Bond of Dummerston, Windham County, Vermont, describing camp life, drilling, rations, and picket duty. Bond describes the Virginia countryside, including a description of the Fairfax County court house. He mentions Generals Ambrose Burnside and E. Stoughton , as well the Confederate army. He also mentions the troops playing baseball.

Booth, Cyrus Monroe. Letter, 12 January Letter, 12 January , from Cyrus Monroe Booth of Company E, 27th New York Regiment, to his sister Emma informing her that he is sending her a picture of him, and describing the return to the regiment of 35 men captured at the first battle of Manassas Bull Run. He details the reception for them and sketches how banners and wreaths were hung to celebrate their return. Boothe family. Papers, , of the Booth family of Suffolk, Virginia, consisting of a flyleaf from an undesignated book, ; an invoice, 7 April , for a coffin bought by Nathaniel Boothe, for his wife, in Suffolk, Virginia; and a receipt, 1 May , for items impressed from Boothe by Captain T.

Bosher, Judson S. Collection, Papers, , collected by Mrs. Judson S. Westmore to William D. Clarissa H. Robins for a fee for entering land transferred; a receipt, 8 February [? Gordon to William D. Robins; an agreement, 19 March , Alexander R. Bell, John S. Byers, and Richard H. Dudley with David B. Bell with Harrison T. Bolen, ; a letter, 26 March , from E. Galt of Lynchburg to "Arthur", commenting on military affairs and discussing local and family news. Bosworth family. Papers, , of the Bosworth family of Randolph County, West Virginia, consisting of letters written to and from Squire Newton Bosworth while he was serving in the 31st Virginia Infantry during the Civil War.

There are also letters written to and from his father Dr. Squire Bosworth Subjects of the letters written by Squire Newton Bosworth include his opinions of deserters, news of fellow soldiers and residents of Randolph County, troop movements, and the activities of his father. Also included in this collection is a forage receipt, as well as poetry written by Squire Bosworth while being held in prison. Papers, , of the Bosworth family of Randolph County, West Virginia, consisting of receipts, , , for J.

Barrett of Christian County, Illinois, attacking Bosworth for his Confederate sympathies, this being the letter mentioned by Joshua and Squire Bosworth. Bosworth, James. Botetourt County Va. Minutes of the Provisional Committee, Most petitions were made on the grounds of permanent bodily infirmity or having furnished a substitute. Most all statements about applications for exemption state the regiment to which the requestor was drafted to serve. Two of the meetings give names of free male negroes who were drafted into the Confederate States Quartermaster department to work on defenses in the New River District or with the Army of South Westerly Virginia.

The final pages of the volume contain information more likely to be found in a court minute or order book and dates from and Barger vs. Polly Barger etc.


Botts, John Minor. Cist of Cincinnati, Ohio, containing correspondence stating that James Patton Preston is still alive and living in Montgomery County, Virginia, but that Thomas Mann Randolph is deceased. There are four newspaper clippings on the inside of the letter concerning Botts during the Civil War, when he under suspicion for his Unionist sentiments.

Also includes a portrait of Botts and a brief biographical sketch. Bouldin, William D. Papers, Accession Includes letters written by and to Bouldin while he was being held prisoner at Point Lookout, Maryland, during the Civil War. Majority of the collection is correspondence between him, after he settled in Kentucky, and his sisters, who either remained in Virginia or also moved to Kentucky. Also contained in the collection is information on the 18th Virginia Infantry, including battles fought, numbers of troops involved, killed in action, and wounded, and a list of officers.

Boulware, James Richmond. There are also transcripts of two letters written by Boulware to his brother-in-law William Stokes who had married Eliza Boulware discussing Confederate military activities around Franklin, Virginia, in March , and around Knoxville, Tennessee, in December Bouton, George. Letters, , of George Bouton ca.

Collection includes typescript copies. Letters, , from George Bouton ca. Bowden, Henry M. Papers, , of Henry M. Bowden of James City County and Norfolk, Virginia, including accounts, appointments, correspondence, election results, oath of allegiance, and passes. Most of the letters written by Bowden relate to the hardships he endured by staying loyal to the United States government and his efforts to obtain employment and monetary reparations for lost property.

Includes a letter, 31 April , from his daughter, Alice Bowden, regarding life in Williamsburg and attitudes of neighbors towards the family and a statement from Thomas Kemper, , about rental property in Norfolk; a letter, 3 March , from W. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, asking for a government appointment; and appointments and letters, , to and from Union general Benjamin F. Butler in which he obtained a post of financial clerk for the Provost Marshal.

Also of note is a letter, 11 October , to General Howard from Bowden, asking for reparations for his home and property lost. Bowden, L. Telegram, 8[? United States military telegram, 8[? Telegraph states that Mrs. Piggot[t], her family, and her slaves have been escorted to Richmond, Virginia. Two or three slaves have escaped to Union lines. Captain Faith may have been Anderson Faith of the 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry, which was stationed in the area. Bowles, John R.

Letter, 6 January Letter, 6 January , from John R. Bowles of Company F, 6th Virginia Cavalry, to his mother and sisters living in Baltimore, Maryland, stating that he had been given a furlough to acquire horses for the company and regiment, that he had been able to visit relatives in Botetourt County, Virginia, and sending news of them home. Bowles comments on the battle of Gettysburg. He also asks how his family and friends in Baltimore are doing and describes some aspects of life as a soldier.

Bowling, William H. Letters, , Inkjet and Xerox copies. Letters, and , from Private William H. Letter, 2 August , from Culpeper Court House, Virginia, discusses military rations, a possible furlough, and the progress of the war. Bowling also directs his wife, Lucretia, on what type of crop to plant. Letter, 19 March , from a camp near Petersburg, Virginia, comments again on a lack of rations for the men and a plan by the military to take food stores from civilians to provide for soldiers.

Bowling also discusses the lack of feed for his horse and the need for another mount. Bowling anticipates the upcoming battle of Petersburg and notes troop desertions are a problem. He also mentions news of General William T. Bowman, Henry. Letter, 20 November Burnside of the command of the Army of the Potomac and offering opinions on the leadership skills of McClelland and Burnside.

Bowman also relates stories of his own encounters with Burnside. Other topics include the recent election of John Albion Andrew as governor of Massachusetts, camp life, and health. Boyd, A. Letter, 10 October He also expresses his thoughts about possibly leaving Virginia. Boyer, John. Letter, 7 February Boyer, regarding family, health of friends and family in New Market, Virginia, and Union raids on the mail service.

Boyes, Harrison H. Letter, 22 July Letter, 22 July , from Harrison H. Boyes adds that the 2nd Iowa and 2nd Michigan are the best cavalry units in the western Union army. Boyes also asks for news and states that Union prospects are gloomy, mainly due to the defeat of George B. Boyle, Cornelius. Military pass, 30 August For decades following World War II, most unionized workers could expect a wage increase with every new contract, and a steadily rising standard of living. Some workers forgot the lessons of the massacre of March 7, during the good times after World War II.

We need to remind ourselves of those lessons, because this year finds workers out in the cold again. The 76th anniversary of the Ford Hunger March finds workers shivering on the picket lines at American Axle Manufacturing. Especially now — at a time of concession contracts, plant shut-downs, growing poverty, and turmoil in the stock market -- we would do well to remember both the defiance displayed by the members of the Unemployed Councils during the s and their imaginative tactics. Labor needs to bring both qualities back again.

Striking copper miners continue the struggle at the site of historic battle for labor rights. January Cananea , Mexico :. What does U. Congressman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin have to do with a copper strike in Mexico? The chief financial officer of Grupo Mexico is J.

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Eduardo Gonzalez. Gonzalez was once an executive of the Mexican subsidiary of Kimberly Clark, the paper company founded by the Sensenbrenner family. So, the sponsor of anti-immigrant legislation in the U. Congress has ties to people running a huge Mexican mining corporation which treats its workers so badly that many of them are forced to head north to look for a better life!

On January 16, more than 25, miners across Mexico staged a one-day work stoppage to protest the attack by 1, police officers on the Cananea picket lines in early January. It was on another January 16 — January 16, — that workers at the Cananea mine banded together to form a secret organization. The group helped lead a famous strike — and the crushing of that strike helped light the fuse of the Mexican Revolution of Headed by an American named William C. Greene, the company maintained its own schools, stores, railway, and police force. Discrimination against Mexican workers was rampant. The group played an important leadership role in a strike which broke out on June 1, , after the company announced that it would pay wages on the basis of piecework rather than by the hour.

The strike was crushed by the Mexican police who were aided by a detachment of Arizona territorial police officers. Thirty Mexicans and six Americans were killed. Outrage at the violent suppression of the Cananea strike helped to deepen the growing public rejection of Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. In , the mine was nationalized.

Under Salinas , the Mexican government sold Larrea the Cananea mine and other copper mines, as well as railroads and other enterprises, often at a fraction of their book value. Thirteen Mexican financiers became billionaires during the Salinas administration; Jorge Larrea was one of them. Conditions at Cananea led to strikes in ; in and in ; and in The current strike is taking place chiefly over health and safety conditions. The miners who breathe this rock dust year after year suffer a variety of lung diseases, including silicosis.

Safety equipment has been disconnected or is inoperable. Safety personnel have been eliminated. As the board was announcing its decision, the Mexican government was dispatching hundreds of police officers to break up the picket lines.


Twenty people were injured, several seriously. Dozens of people were beaten; police helicopters dropped tear gas bombs on strikers. If the Mexican courts declare the Cananea strike illegal and allow the company to bring in strikebreakers, that step would represent a drastic departure from precedent, a move to make labor law in Mexico much less sympathetic to unions and much closer to the way such laws operate in the United States.

When previous strikes in the mine were crushed, many strikers had no choice but to head north to the United States to look for work, often as undocumented workers. For all these reasons — and because no human being should have to work in rock dust up to the top of their boots — workers in the United States should speak out now in support of the miners of Cananea. The fire began over Los Gatos Canyon. It started in the left engine-driven fuel pump. The plane crashed 20 miles west of Coalinga, California, on January 29, The newspaper articles about the crash describe an accident involving a Douglas DC-3 carrying immigrant workers from Oakland, California to the El Centro, California Deportation Center.

They mention the name of the stewardess Bobbi Atkinson and the guard Frank E. However, the newspaper stories do not include the names of any of the 27 men or of the one woman who were passengers on that flight, victims who were buried in a mass grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno, California. My father, older sister, and I viewed the crash and even though I was about six years old at the time, I can remember it as if it happened yesterday.

It was a cold and damp day and even though the reports were that the site had been cleaned up, this was not the case. The sadness of seeing the meager possessions of the passengers and the total lack of respect by those who had the task of removing the bodies will be something I will never forget or forgive. The song, as Woody Guthrie wrote it, was without music; Guthrie chanted the words. January marks 60 years since the plane wreck near Los Gatos Canyon.

The great labor leader Mother Jones once said that we should mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living. Today the labor movement can honor the dead of January 29, best by speaking up in defense of the living immigrant workers of today — regardless of documentation status -- and by demanding that the rulers of this country cease their cowardly attempts to use the immigration issue as a wedge to divide the workers of this country. Those headlines reported a momentous development: Slavery was now illegal throughout the whole of the United States.

Secretary of State William Seward had signed a proclamation the previous day announcing the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Constitution, it had to be passed by a two-thirds majority of each house of Congress and then ratified by three-quarters of the states. The Thirteenth Amendment was passed by a two-thirds majority in the U.

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Senate in and then by a two-thirds majority of the House in early When Georgia became the 27th state to ratify the amendment in early December , the conditions were met for Seward to announce that the measure had become the law of the land. December marks years since the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. The Emancipation Proclamation of granted freedom only to slaves in territory controlled by those in rebellion against the federal government.

However, the sad truth is that while the Thirteenth Amendment made slavery and involuntary servitude illegal in the United States, it did not end slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States, nor did it bring about equality for the former slaves or their descendants.

Anyone who works in a factory where there is mandatory overtime knows that involuntary servitude still exists in parts of this country. So does slavery. Many undocumented immigrant workers, for instance, work in sweatshops in conditions which amount to outright slavery. For millions of workers around the world, the growth of free trade for employers has meant an increase in slavery for workers.

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  8. Today, those of us working in the United States find ourselves in a situation somewhat similar to the textile workers of Fall River, Massachusetts in Before the Civil War, the most farsighted leaders of the U. Immigrant workers comprised 24 percent of the Union Army, and played an important role in the war. The De Kalb regiment was made up entirely of German clerks.

    The Garibaldi Guard was composed of Italian workers. The Polish Legion was organized by Polish workers. Entire local unions enlisted in response to the attack on Fort Sumter. All this is part of labor history, and of our common heritage. We should never forget that hundreds of thousands of workers had to spill their blood to place the Thirteenth Amendment into the Constitution of the United States. Today, our challenge is to figure out how to make this country implement that amendment in fact, not just in words -- in the midst of a new economy where there is slavery all around us.

    The workers of the Civil War era were not afraid to envision a completely new world; we should not be afraid to do so either. The strike hit just as the commercial season began. The delivery of food and beverages ceased. Street cars stopped running. Street cleaning and fire-fighting ground to a halt.

    Electrical and gas workers walked out, plunging the city into darkness at night. Manufacturing stopped. This month marks the th anniversary of the New Orleans general strike, which began on November 8, The general strike was a response to the arrogant refusal of the New Orleans Board of Trade to negotiate seriously with three unions which had gone out on strike on Oct. The original strikers were members of the Teamsters, Scalesmen, and Packers. They comprised the Triple Alliance, and they had walked out because the Board of Trade refused to grant them a hour day, overtime pay, and a preferential union shop a situation in which the employer goes first to the union when seeking to hire new employees.

    The Scalesmen and Packers publicly declared that they would never return to work until the employers signed up with all three members of the Triple Alliance. The members of other unions in New Orleans began to call for a general strike in support of the Triple Alliance. On November 8, the general strike began. Each of the 49 unions on strike demanded union recognition and a closed shop. In many cases, individual unions added their own specific demands for shorter hours and higher wages. Several of the unions involved — including the street car drivers and the printers — violated their contracts in order to join the general strike.

    The general strike was led by five labor leaders known as the Committee of Five. Louisiana Governor Murphy Foster assumed control of the city on November He placed several battalions of the state militia on alert. Despite the fact that the strikers had been peaceful and orderly, Foster issued a proclamation ordering citizens not to congregate in crowds.

    The proclamation implied that the militia would be called out if the strike continued. Under the final agreement, both sides agreed that arbitration would settle the economic issues. The next day, an arbitration board granted the Triple Alliance small wage increases and a reduction of hours. However, the striking unions failed to win their most important demand — the closed shop. The failure of the strikers to secure the closed shop ultimately undermined their other gains.

    The solidarity across color lines displayed in was soon replaced by bitter hostility as wages plunged and many white dockworkers in New Orleans fought to deny African-American workers access to the few good jobs available. One month after the New Orleans general strike ended, a fiery labor editor named John Swinton spoke to the national convention of the American Federation of Labor. October 20 marks the anniversary of the day in when legendary labor leader and Socialist Party candidate for President Eugene V. Debs died. Debs spoke out courageously against U.

    He was reviled by many and ultimately jailed by the government for his opposition to that war. His brave stand set a standard that was more than equaled during the McCarthy era by labor champion and world-famous performing artist Paul Robeson, who spoke out vehemently against U. Because October is a good month to remember both these extraordinary figures, we reprint below excerpts from a speech which does precisely that. Certainly his father, as an articulate, highly principled religious leader compelled to make a living by hard labor, instilled in young Robeson an innate respect for the daily difficulties faced by workers.

    In later years, Paul continually cited his personal experiences at his earliest, most menial jobs, as the adhesive that bound him to workers wherever he encountered them. But Robeson did not depend on his personal experiences alone to shape his capacity to represent workers. There are very few leaders of the U.

    This enabled him simultaneously to feel totally comfortable with working people and their leaders and at the same time to have the capacity to establish the objective distance that is required when it comes time to make difficult decisions, to choose sides when sides must be chosen. Courage and the ability to be defiant are also important characteristics of those who lead workers and Robeson possessed these in abundance.

    Robeson constantly rose to the occasion when workers needed his assistance and when reactionary forces needed to be challenged. This required both physical courage as when Robeson traveled with the troops during the Spanish Civil War or when he performed his concerts at Peekskill, New York but also intellectual and moral courage as demonstrated most dramatically in his appearances before various government tribunals during the struggle to regain his passport and his freedom to travel.

    These expressly political acts of courage and defiance, when combined with his achievements in such a broad array of other endeavors, made Robeson a genuinely inspirational leader, one who explicitly made it possible for others also to become leaders as well. His humility and willingness to share his knowledge and talent with others has been thoroughly documented but the extent to which he utilized his skills as a cultural artist to bring the spirit of the struggle to workers and in particular to their unions is unprecedented.

    Robeson went to the center of the most vital labor struggles of his time and on each occasion brought to the workers an indispensable sense of the importance of their fight, of the political and cultural contexts within which it occurred, and often used his appearances to create public recognition of and public support for their cause. For Robeson and his audiences, a concert tour was a political act as important to the immediate struggle as an unwavering picket line.

    Whether it was auto workers in Detroit, agricultural workers in Hawaii or miners in Wales, Robeson inspired workers with songs and words to be strong and to act in militant solidarity with other workers around the world. Paul Robeson had the ability to express the transcendence of the human spirit above all attempts to confine and crush it. He demonstrated in his person and his actions that no matter the color or ethnic origin of workers, they shared a common destiny and a common enemy.

    He exhorted workers not to fall into the false divisions that so effectively undermine the unity necessary them to be victorious. By virtue of being an African American, he spoke and sang of the horrors of fascism with an inescapable sense of authority. His visceral understanding of the historical linkage of Southern slavery in the U. This also made him the biggest target for government persecution. It is more than ironic that the U. It also was an imposition upon an African American of one of the key terms and conditions of slavery, confinement.

    These exhibitions of global solidarity across all lines of color and race but consistently within the line of class were the end result of decades of performances by Robeson in support of and on behalf of workers everywhere. Robeson demonstrated concretely his respect for all nationalities of workers by learning their languages, appreciating their cultures, and singing songs in words they would understand. This multinational expression ultimately for Robeson became transnational in the sense that class transcended color and ethnicity by celebrating the cultural differences rather than denying or stultifying them.

    Ever the champion of African American rights and freedoms, Robeson again and again placed that specific fight within the general worldwide struggle for rights and dignity. No other figure of the twentieth century fought for that vision with the eloquence of Robeson. In the same way, Robeson brought the message of the necessity for global peace to the trade union and working class movements.

    Returning African American soldiers were denied the rights they had been willing to die for in Europe and Asia. The price of fighting for peace was the isolation and marginalization of Robeson and thousands of other Americans whom he represented and who saw him as one of their most articulate leaders.

    Robeson was a partisan. He had to be. In the trade union movement of his era, one sector favored the continuation of Jim Crow policies and collaboration with the agenda of corporate America. In every instance, Robeson sided with the unions and unionists who shared his vision of improving the world by improving the fate and future of the disenfranchised and the dispossessed. Robeson had to be suppressed by his enemies. For they too were partisans. Paul Robeson today. There is no better time and no better place to come to grips with the legacy of Paul Robeson than the United States of America of today.

    It is not simply a matter of justice for a minority: what is at stake is a necessity for all. Until their political power is broken, there can be no real social or economic progress for the common people anywhere, North or South. Indeed, it is clear that not only will there be no progress, but there will be further retrogression unless this political cancer is removed from public life. The so-called Patriot Act is the direct descendent of the legislation cited by Robeson above.

    And while the Dixiecrats no longer exist, the influence of Southern political leaders of both parties continues to hold back any progress for the working poor and the unemployed. Continually emphasize the common history of oppression of all workers: As a leading representative of African Americans, Robeson utilized his authority and responsibility to illuminate the bridges between workers of diverse backgrounds and histories.

    Our government continues to impose a false and cruel gargoyle of pseudo democracy wherever it needs to exercise dominance; at the same the minimal rights of freedom of assembly and speech are under full assault here at home. Robeson and Debs. It is dangerous and uncomfortable to study the life of Paul Robeson. Together with Eugene V. Debs, Robeson transformed in a material way the content of the trade union struggle in the United States in the twentieth century. While very different men in some ways, Debs and Robeson share an unrivaled record of achievement in working for the common good, an unprecedented skill in infusing the vision of the American working class with the desirability of fighting capitalism and attempting to establish a system more fair and generous and just.

    They also share the unqualified hatred of the rich and powerful and both were harassed and imprisoned Debs literally and Robeson figuratively by the powers of a state determined to silence them. It is our shared responsibility to insure that the forces of repression do not triumph, that the words and deeds of our champions are enshrined and serve as precious examples to us of what is possible and necessary and ultimately essential if the promise of our great country finally is to be realized. We owe a huge debt to Paul Robeson that has been accumulating interest for too long.

    The crowd of thousands of men, women, and even children along the riverbank commandeered a raft. They loaded it with oil-soaked lumber, set fire to it, and sent it floating down the river toward the barges. The fire burned out before the raft collided with the two barges filled with private detectives hired by the company.

    The workers then sent a burning flatcar loaded with barrels of oil hurtling down the railroad track that ran from the steel mill to the wharf. Next, the workers tried to dynamite the barges. Then they poured oil in the water and tried to set the oil on fire, in a move designed to surround the barges with a burning oil slick. Throughout all this, the workers kept up a steady barrage of gunfire directed at the detectives firing at them from the barges. Industrial workers on strike have often had to act like an army; this month is the anniversary of a bitter conflict in which workers had to develop their own small-scale navy.

    July marks the th anniversary of the Battle of Homestead in The Homestead strike was one of the first great efforts to stop a powerful employer who came to the bargaining table insisting that the workers make huge concessions. Six Lodges of the Amalgamated Association. In , Andrew Carnegie, one of the wealthiest men in the United States, had owned the Homestead Works near Pittsburgh for almost a decade.

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    8. Since , the skilled workers at the plant had been organized into six lodges of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. Its membership was restricted to skilled workers in the rolling mills and puddling furnaces. It was due to expire on June 30, While Carnegie tried to portray himself as a friend of his employees, he was, in fact, determined to break the union.

      Carnegie ordered the Homestead plant to manufacture large amounts of inventory so that the plant could survive a strike. In February , Frick and leaders of the Amalgamated Association began negotiations. He also proposed to remove a number of positions from the bargaining unit. On April 30, , Frick announced that he would bargain for 29 more days and if no contract was reached by then, Carnegie Steel would cease to recognize the union. Locked Out at Homestead. On the evening of June 29 and the morning of June 30, the mill at Homestead was shut down, hours before the contract expired.

      Before the shutdown, the union contacted the day laborers. They assured the union that they would not work unless the union was recognized. On June 30, a mass meeting of the mechanics and the transportation departments voted to stand by the Amalgamated Association. The entire Homestead work force of 3, fought together — skilled and unskilled, union and non-union, native and foreign-born. Picket lines were thrown around the mill and the town 24 hours a day. The striking workers were divided into shifts. Ferries were watched. Strangers were challenged and anyone without a satisfactory reason for being in town was ushered out.

      A steam launch — the Edna — and a number of skiffs were obtained to patrol the Monongahela River. The Advisory Committee had complete control of Homestead during the strike and went to great lengths to preserve order. Calm prevailed during the first week of the lock-out — but it was a calm before the storm. At precisely p. In the late s, the officials of the Pinkerton agency liked to portray the company as simply a private security firm, a supplier of well-trained and well-groomed guards and private detectives.

      In fact, the Pinkerton Agency was a brutal union-busting operation. The Pinkerton agents were greeted by Joseph H. Gray and Potter escorted the Pinkertons inside two especially equipped barges purchased by Carnegie Steel for the mission to Homestead. One -- the Iron Mountain -- had been outfitted as a dormitory. The other — the Monongahela — included a fully equipped kitchen and a dining room that required 20 waiters. On board each barge were dozens of cases of provisions and of ammunition and armaments, including pistols and high-powered Winchester rifles.

      Two river tug boats — the Little Bill and the Tide — pulled alongside to begin the journey upriver to Homestead. The Tide soon became disabled, and the Little Bill had to tow both barges. Most of the Pinkerton agents did not even know where they were going. They had answered general advertisements for work at offices of the agency in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Almost as soon as the barges got underway, their journey had been detected by the steel workers.

      The Homestead workers had established a sophisticated warning system to detect company moves on either land or water, and the system worked on July When the Pinkerton flotilla passed the Smithfield Street bridge near downtown Pittsburgh, a union scout immediately telegraphed union headquarters in Homestead. That telegraph arrived at a. Ten minutes later, the workers sounded a preliminary warning signal.

      The Battle Against the Barges. In response, the steel workers dispatched the Edna. Her crew fired a few stray shots, then signaled back to shore by blowing the whistle. A lookout at the Homestead light works then yanked the giant whistle there. Soon, every engine in town sounded the alarm. A messenger also rode through the streets on a horse letting everyone know that an attack was imminent.

      Thousands of men, women and children raced to the steel works and the river bank. By the time the crowd reached the riverbank, it was 4 a. The crowd was keeping pace as the barges moved past the town and began the approach to the wharf of the Carnegie Steel Company. The charging throng of town folk — including hundreds of girls and women, some carrying babies as well as guns — came to an abrupt stop at a barbed wire fence separating company property from Homestead proper. The fence had been deliberately extended to the low water mark of the Monongahela River in order to deny land access to the wharf.

      When the crowd saw that the Little Bill was preparing to run the two barges aground at the company landing place, the strongest men stepped forward and tore down the fence. The crowd swarmed across the mill yard and onto the wharf. As a tall Pinkerton agent paced the deck of the Monongahela, high above him on shore, hundreds of women, many of them the wives of Eastern European steel workers, hurled insults, shook their fists, and threw stones down at the Pinkertons.

      Full-scale firefight Hundreds of armed men and women guarded the steep embankment overlooking the landing site. Hundreds more were on their way. Despite this, Captain Frederick H. Heinde of the Pinkertons decided to try to seize control of the Homestead Works. After several Pinkertons lowered a gangplank, gun fire broke out.

      While it has never been established who fired first, the Pinkertons interpreted the first shots as a general signal to open fire. They fired volley after volley into the crowd of workers. The Homestead workers responded. For about 10 minutes, a full-scale firefight took place. Three steel workers died as a result of that first engagement. At least nine more were wounded. One Pinkerton detective was mortally wounded, and a dozen others were badly hurt. At about 8 a. In that firefight, four more workers died.

      One of the workers who gave his life was a native-born American who had served in the Union Army in the Civil War and been wounded at Gettysburg. The others were immigrants from England, Germany, Wales, and Slovakia. This left the two barges stranded. Many of the Pinkerton recruits hid under bunks and tables, donned life jackets, and generally gave way to despair. The battle did not end until 5 p. Then they were sent to Pittsburgh, where the officials broke their promise to hold the Pinkertons for trial on murder charges and instead simply released them.

      Within days of repulsing the Pinkertons, the workers of Homestead were attacked by a different force. On July 10, Gov. Robert E.

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      Pattison changed his position and ordered Major General George R. Snowden to assemble the National Guard of Pennsylvania — 8, men — and move to Homestead. Carnegie Steel contacted employment agencies all over the country and offered special bonuses and railroad tickets to Pittsburgh to skilled workers from the eastern United States.

      The Pennsylvania National Guard began escorting these replacement workers into the Homestead works. Court System Used Against Workers. While the use of replacement labor hurt the strike, the company understood that it could not operate with inexperienced replacements for long.

      Their work was not good enough. Carnegie needed its original work force back. So, the company moved on parallel tracks. At the same time that it advertised for replacement workers all over the country, it also used the courts to attack the strikers. On July 18, seven strike leaders were charged with the murder of a Pinkerton detective.

      On September 22, a grand jury returned true bills against the Homestead workers. There were six different indictments: three for murder; two for aggravated riots; and one for conspiracy. A charge of treason was even brought. Every leader of the strike was arrested for something. However, not a single worker was found guilty by a jury. Still, the ultimate legal victories were very costly to the strikers. The leadership of the strike was forced to devote a considerable amount of time to legal defense.

      The funds of the strikers were drained by legal expenses. Unable to come up with bail money, many of the strikers had to go into hiding. The Motion Passes. The Homestead lodges of the Amalgamated Association met for their weekly meeting on November 20, No more than one-third of the members were present. A motion was made to declare the strike off and the Homestead mill open. It passed Some of the strikers were given work at vastly reduced wages. Many were turned away.

      The eight-hour day disappeared in the steel industry after the Homestead strike. By the beginning of , the hour shift became the rule in the Carnegie mills, and others soon followed.

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      Up to the time of the Homestead strike, few of the mills represented by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers made their employees work on Sundays. After the Homestead strike, Sunday work became common. The defeat at Homestead spelled the end of unionism at Carnegie and — for 40 years — the end of unionism in the entire steel industry. From onward, not a single union man was ever employed in a Carnegie mill.

      It was not until the s that a union would organize steel workers again. Labor can be proud of how the Homestead workers and their families fought together so bravely. The craft union at the Homestead Works represented only a minority of the workers in the mill. It was woefully inadequate to accomplish what needed to be done. The Battle of Homestead showed how labor needs to change its forms of organization when the situation changes. For years before the Battle of Homestead, Andrew Carnegie had presented himself as a friend of the working man. On July 5, , as the Pinkerton agents were headed to Homestead, Carnegie was far away.

      He was being cheered in Aberdeen, Scotland. He had gone there to open the library that he was giving that city. Carnegie spent the night of July 5, in Aberdeen at the Haddo House hotel, where he received a telegram from Pittsburgh informing him of the confrontation at Homestead. The lake and nearby streams provided Carnegie with a beautiful setting to pursue one of his favorite hobbies: fishing. On July 8, an enterprising reporter finally tracked Carnegie down and asked his opinion of the confrontation at Homestead. He refused to talk. Never employ one of these rioters. Let grass over works. Must not fail now. We cannot expect the government to be a neutral third party in the battles between labor and the giant corporations. We cannot count on the courts to deliver justice of their own accord.

      If we always keep in mind those lessons from , we will be able to say what one publication said shortly after the Homestead workers returned to work. Every seat in the galleries of the U. Senate chamber was filled that afternoon, with hundreds of other people standing. Arthur H. Vandenberg of Michigan, president pro tempore of the Senate, warned the spectators that no demonstration would be tolerated. In the back of the Senate chamber, dozens of members of the House of Representatives stood watching.

      Everyone sensed that history was about to be made. Moments earlier, a written appeal from the president of the United States had been read; most senators would end up rejecting it. The majority of senators would also spurn a desperate plea from one of their own colleagues who was too ill to be present. Senator Robert Wagner had made every effort to attend the session, but had finally been forbidden to travel from New York by his two doctors and the Commissioner of Hospitals of New York.

      A statement issued through his office urged the Senate not to take the action it was contemplating. Because members of the U. House of Representatives — including Congressman Richard Nixon -- had already voted to override the veto, the bill automatically became a law at p. Hartley, Jr.

      The Taft-Hartley Act has done terrible damage to workers in this country. The 60th anniversary of its passage demands that we step back and look at how this law came into being, what effect it has had, and what we can do now about the difficult situation it helped create. Gutting the Wagner Act. There is a special irony in the fact that Senator Robert Wagner of New York was too ill to be on the Senate floor when the final vote was taken on the Taft-Hartley Act in Before the Wagner Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on July 5, , a right to join a union in the workplace without reprisal did not clearly exist in the United States.

      The Wagner Act changed that situation. The Wagner Act was the result of a political compromise between different forces among the wealthy which initially had diametrically opposed approaches to labor. After the Civil War, one wing of the capitalist class had been absolutely, vehemently opposed to unions.

      This section had vowed never to permit the unionizing of its workers and to crush the union movement by any means necessary, including violence. Another wing of the capitalists had been willing to allow unionization. By the middle of the s, most of the industrialists had given up their longstanding, fervent opposition to all unionization. This section of the capitalists decided to tolerate some unionization, unionization in the largest and most strategic industries in the United States. This stand was not taken out of kindness. Lincoln's Army, and at least six of these men were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

      Published on September 20, , the book is available for purchase through Amazon. Use the password greene to enter the e-store. Pages from the book may be previewed at the Kindle Store on Amazon. Posted by Kent Fonner at AM. No comments:. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.