The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Document 5B: Proclamation by the Mayor

Albany Argus masthead

scanned newspaper article

Transcription of
The Albany Argus:
Friday, July 27, 1877, Vol. LI., No. 18.990
(original spellings & punctuation maintained)

Proclamation by the Mayor

It is represented to me upon unquestionable authority, that workingmen of the city, particularly employes of the railroad companies, are greatly pressed by evil-disposed and designing persons against their will and disposition to lawless and riotous conduct. I have entire confidence in the the good citizenship and intelligence of the workingmen of the city. They cannot desire the destruction of property, for which they themselves, as taxpayers, under the statutes of the State, must in part reimburse the owners. They certainly do not desire to do violence to the persons of their fellow-citizens.

An attempt to incite them at such time as this to deeds of violence or disorderly conduct is a crime of the most despicable nature.

I deem it proper, therefore, by virtue of the representative authority committed to my hands, to caution them, for the common good of the city at large and themselves:
That in all measures for their own advantage and in reference to their rights with their employers, they shall take counsel of their own judgment, listening to the advice of those who are experienced and disinterested among themselves, and who advise obedience to the laws and regard to their own interests, and that they exclude entirely from their counsels all those who are not strictly of their own number.

That they abstain as far as practicable from collecting in crowds, and from exciting and heated discussions, and from exposing themselves to the interference of outsiders.

That they abstain from the use of all intoxicating liquors, that in those important moments for calm their judgment may be at least clear and unclouded.

I would request them, also, for the common good of the city and themselves, to aid in the prevention of all acts of lawlessness and disorder.

I should be recreant to my duty if I did not, in this connection, make known my firm intention to maintain the peace of the city with all the power at my disposal, and to arrest and punish all acts of lawlessness. And to that end, with a view of increasing the police force of the city, I do hereby invite all able-bodied male citizens, who are so disposed, to come forward and enroll themselves as special policemen, at the City Hall, Mayor's office.

A. BLEECKER BANKS, Mayor

Mayor's Office, Albany, July 24th, 1877

Last Updated: January 17, 2012