The Great Railroad Strike of 1877
Document 6B: Disbanding the Mobs

Albany Argus masthead
scanned newspaper article
scanned newspaper article, part 2

Transcription of
The Albany Argus:
Wednesday, July 25, 1877, Vol. LI., No. 18.988
(original spellings & punctuation maintained)

Editorial: DISBANDING THE MOBS

Arrest of Ringleaders on the Erie Road
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The Erie Blockade Raised and Trains Running

The mob blockade at Hornellsville has been raised by Major General Woodward, and the trains are now running throughout the line. This has been accomplished by steady and patient work, and without firing a gun on the part of the State authorities.

The troops at Hornellsville will be used at various points along the railroad where their services may be needed to restore order and protect property.

The result is very gratifying, and is a beginning of the end of the strike over the Erie thoroughfare.

An important element in connection with this triumph on the part of General Woodward and the troops under his command, was the arrest of the principal ringleader of the strike, and several of his accomplices.

The name of this person of incendiary tendencies is B.J. Donohue. He is not in the employ of the Railroad Company, neither has he been in their employ for a long time. But he has been acting in the capacity of organizer of strikes, and has assumed to dictate to the employes [sic] what they should do and how they should act. He sent dispatches to various points along the line directing the men to resist the public authorities, and to organize for the worst imitation of the proceedings at Pittsburgh. He had his lieutenants who were carrying out his orders and inciting to riot. These supposed secret movements were observable to the authorities, and were carefully watched. This whole conspiracy was detected and exposed.

This B.J. Donohue was arrested Monday night by the Sheriff of Steuben county. The arrest was more than an ordinary affair. It was based on an attachment issued by the Supreme Court of the First Judicial District, ordering him to show cause at New York on the 27th inst.(instant - a date in the near future) why he should not be punished for contempt of court in interfering with trains on the Erie railroad. That road is in the hands of the court, and is being managed by a receiver appointed by the court, and hence the people are responsible for the property of the road. The offense of Donohue and his accomplices is a very grave one, and their punishment doubtless will be very severe.

Orders of arrest for other ringleaders have been issued and are in the hands of the proper officers. It is reported that many of the leading rioters here have fled to escape arrest.

This prompt action in making arrests should be followed up wherever the cause exists. No man has a right to interfere with a railroad train, and any person who does so interfere is open to arrest by any civil officer. The civil power should be invoked and used in all cases until it is useless to trust it further. And when force comes, if come it must, it should be "sharp, quick and decisive."

Last Updated: January 17, 2012