The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Document 2C: The Pennsylvannia and Other Roads

Albany Argus masthead


scanned newspaper article

scanned newspaper article, part 2

Transcription of
The Albany Argus:
Saturday, July 21, 1877, Vol. LI., No. 18.985
(original spellings & punctuation maintained)

Excerpts from Page One
The Pennsylvania and Other Roads

Pittsburgh, July 20.- The cause of the railroad strike here is alleged to be the new order requiring a double train to be taken out with one crew of men. The employers say the strike arose because business has been dull and some of the men expected an early discharge. The sheriff telegraphed to Governor Hartranft to call out the militia to suppress the railroad strikers.

Pittsburgh, July 20.- The Governor has issued a proclamation admonishing against abetting unlawful proceedings, and commanding the rioters to disperse.

One freight train has been allowed to go out since yesterday, and the moving of that is due to the strategy of railway officials. At the East Liberty stockyards there are 130 car loads of cattle, and 100 are expected to-day. It is believed that if the Pennsylvania railroad men hold out till noon, the Pan Handle and Fort Wayne will join in the strike. The strikers say that in case these roads join them, the Michigan Southern and Lake Shore will do likewise. A strong effort will be made to stop all freight traffic between the East and West. The 18th regiment will be taken to the depot at eleven o'clock.

Pittsburgh, July 20.- The Adjutant-General has ordered Gen. Pearson to send a regiment to the aid of Sheriff Fife in preserving order. Gen. Pearson has ordered the Eighteenth Regiment militia to report at 7 this morning. Last night the sheriff demanded the dispersal of the strikers. They replied defiantly, saying they feared no troops.

Pittsburgh, July 20.- This morning 68 cars of stock from the West were permitted to discharge their loads. Thirty-eight more arrived this morning, and were unloaded. The strikers accompanied each engine to see that the crews did not oppose the strike. As the trains come in they are met and the crews are taken to the yard to join the strikers. Fifteen hundred loaded cars are on the track.

The strikers held a meeting at noon. One mounted a box and read a dispatch announcing a strike on the line at Hornellsville. Cheers followed, and the arrival of military increased the crowd. On the engine were Gen. Pearson, the sheriff, and the superintendent read the governorÆs proclamation amid hoots. He counseled peace and assured them the law would be enforced.

The crowd jeered him and when he descended, General Pearson got on a tender and addressing the crowd said there appeared to be a disposition to treat the matter lightly. He warned them that the affair was very serious. He assured them it was useless to attempt to further stop the working of the road.

He was interrupted with cries "Who are you?" "Give us bread, &c (etc.)." When speaking of the trains, one man yelled out, "What trains? Passenger trains? Certainly, we allow them to go through." "Yes," said Pearson, "and all other trains, even if they have nothing but pig metal." Another said he did not see why the military are there. The men intend no violence.

"Will you allow the trains to go through?"asked the General.

"No," shouted a dozen voices. One said they "might get through to Torrens (city limits) but God help the men on the trains after passing that point."

The track was cleared and the engineers returned to the city. The military stationed at the outside of the depot and along the road are inadequate to stop a riot. Serious trouble is anticipated if the military try to open the blockade.

Last Updated: January 17, 2012