The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Document 5A: Proclamation by the Governor (NY)

Albany Argus masthead

scanned newspaper article

Transcription of
The Albany Argus:
Tuesday, July 24, 1877, Vol. LI, No. 18.987
Editorial Page: A PROCLAMATION
(original spellings & punctuation maintained)

A Proclamation.

By the Governor.
ELMIRA, N.Y., July 23.

In the name of the State of New York:

Whereas, The receiver appointed by the Supreme Court of this State to take all care of the management of the Erie railway and its properties has made known to me that a conspiracy has been formed to prevent his discharging his duty as such receiver under the orders of said court; that the business of the said road and the running of trains has been interrupted by violence which the civil authorities are unable to suppress; and

Whereas, This honor and good faith of the State require that it should protect the said court and its officers in the execution of its order;

Now, therefore, I, Lucius Robinson, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority imposed upon me by the Constitution and the laws, command all persons engaged in such unlawful acts to desist therefrom, and I call upon all good citizens and upon all the authorities, civil and military, to aid in suppressing the same and in preventing breaches of the peace.

The law recognizes and protects the right of all men to refuse to work except upon terms satisfactory to themselves, but it does not permit them to prevent other men from working who desire to do so. Unless the State is to be given up to anarchy, and its courts and laws are to be defied with impunity, its whole power must be exerted to suppress violence, maintain order, and protect its citizens in their right to work, and the business of the country from lawless interruption within our borders. It is no longer a question of wages, but of supremacy of the law, which protects alike the lives, the liberty, the property, and the rights of all classes of citizens. To the maintenance of that supremacy the whole power of the State will be invoked if necessary.

Given under my hand at the city of Elmira, in the State of New York, this twenty second day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven.

By the Governor: D.D. Robinson, Private Secretary

Last Updated: January 17, 2012