Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood

By William D. Haywood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
IN THE CRUCIBLES OF COLORADO

THE Colorado militia was made up of clerks, business men and lawyers who in peace time were using the organization for dances, boxing matches and other amusements. Most of the clerks were members of Max Morris' union. Max was a member of the executive board of the American Federation of Labor, and the international union of which he was secretary was an artificial organization which existed for the purpose of allowing Max to hold his official position. He was a personal friend of Sam Gompers, who was frequently criticized for allowing a few hundred clerks to be represented on the executive board. Many of these so-called union men were at this time in Cripple Creek, Telluride and Trinidad doing the dirty work of the Citizens' Alliance.

The long campaign in Cripple Creek compelled the militia to offer bounty for substitutes, as they were being kept away from their businesses too long. The militia was then filled up with thugs from the slums of Denver, Chicago and other cities.

General Sherman Bell had three leaders of our women's auxiliaries arrested, Margaret Hooten of Anaconda, Estelle Nicholls of Cripple Creek, and Mrs. Morrison of Victor. They were brought before the generals and told that they would have to "behave themselves" or they would be put in the bull-pen. The women wanted to know just what was meant by "behaving themselves," but they got no answer to this question, and were turned loose.

Then Bell issued orders that all guns in the district must be registered. This order was not complied with to any extent, as most of the miners had no intention of turning over their arms, or even registering them with the military authorities. General Engley, the Civil War veteran and attorney for the Federation, deliberately strolled through the streets with his shotgun over his arm. John Glover, another lawyer, wrote a letter which he published, saying that he had two unregistered guns and if the militia wanted them

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