It was at this time, when the first glimmerings of Socialism were beginning to penetrate, that Victor L. Berger--and I have loved him ever since--came to Woodstock, as if a providential instrument, and delivered the first impassioned message of Socialism I had ever heard --the very first to set the "wires humming in my system." As a souvenir of that visit there is in my library a volume of "Capital," by Karl Marx, inscribed with the compliments of Victor L. Berger, which I cherish as a token of priceless value.
The American Railway Union was defeated but not conquered --overwhelmed but not destroyed. It lives and pulsates in the Socialist movement, and its defeat but blazed the way to economic freedom and hastened the dawn of human brotherhood.
It was on a mixed train on one of the mountain roads in the western states. The conductor and both brakemen had already shown me their old A. R. U. cards, which they treasured with almost affectionate tenderness. The soiled, illegible scraps were souvenirs of the "war," and revived a whole freight train of stirring reminiscences. The three weather-beaten trainmen were strangers prior to '94; they were off three separate roads, and from three different states.
Each of the brakemen had told the story of his persecution after the strike. The companies had declared that no A. R. U. striker should ever have another job on a railroad, and they were doing their level best to make good their brutal avowal. These two brakemen bad to suffer long in the role of the "wandering Jew." Again and again they had secured jobs, under assumed names and otherwise, but as soon as they were found out they were dismissed with the highly edifying information that the company no longer needed their services.
They were on the railroad blacklist. Only they know what this means who have been there. Many times had these brakemen been hungry, many times ejected from trains, of ten foot-sore after a weary walk to the next division point. But they bore it all and made no complaint. Fortunately they were both single men and their privations were at least free from the harrowing thought that wife and child were being tortured by their merciless persecutors. They finally____________________