The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Document 4A: The Delaware and Hudson

Albany Argus masthead

scanned newspaper article

Transcription of
The Albany Argus:
Monday, July 23, 1877, Vol. LI, No. 18.986
(original spellings & punctuation maintained)

Editorial Page:


At a late hour last evening a reporter of The Argus called upon Robert C. Blackhall, superintendent of machinery of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's railroads, who stated that he believed the rumors of difficulty between the employes of that road and the company to be entirely groundless; he went so far as to discredit the report of a meeting of the men a few days ago. Mr. Blackhall said that there had been no reduction of the wages of the firemen during the last three years. The conductors had cheerfully submitted to a slight reduction a few months ago, admitting that it was demanded by the depression of business and the stringency of the times. The Delaware and Hudson, he said, had always treated its men well, and he believed that, as a class, his subordinates not only were worthy of good treatment but capable of appreciating it. The firemen were the last men from whom he would anticipate any trouble, for the reason that it had always been his policy to promote from their ranks to the grade of engineer, and every fireman knew that if he attended to his duties and qualified himself he would in turn be advanced in rank and wages.

The trouble threatened upon the N.Y.C & H. R., he understood, was precipitated by the assistance rendered to the Erie in carrying its passengers. The Delaware and Hudson, Mr. Blackhall said, had no entangling alliances, and he did not consider it probable that they would be drawn into any that would involve them in difficulty with their men. He supposed that all the engineers on their road belonged to the Brotherhood, but there had been no difficulty with them on that account. He had had occasion to discharge a number of engineers, but had never discharged any one because he belonged to the Brotherhood, and the justice of his action had never been questioned by the Brotherhood.

In answer to a question, whether the Brotherhood elevated the standard of engineers, Mr. Blackhall said that he knew little aside from the fact that he had heard of men being dismissed from the Brotherhood for intoxication. He said his company paid its employes regularly and allowed as good wages, all things considered, as any corporation in the country. As the Delaware and Hudson pays by the month, while the Central pays by the mile and the Erie by the trip, no comparison of the wages paid by the several companies can be made.

Last Updated: January 17, 2012