In a House Divided, 1850-1890


ACCORDING to the testimony the railroads lost in property destroyed, hire of United States deputy marshals, and other incidental expenses, at least $685,308. The loss of earnings of these roads is estimated at $4,672,916. Some 3,100 employees at Pullman lost in wages, as estimated, at least $350,000. About 100,000 employees upon the 24 railroads centering at Chicago, all of which were more or less involved in the strike, lost in wages, as estimated, at least $1,389,143. Many of these employees are still adrift and losing wages.

The suspension of transportation at Chicago paralyzed a vast distributive center, and imposed many hardships and much loss upon the great number of people whose manufacturing and business operations, employment, travel, and necessary supplies depend upon and demand regular transportation service to, from, and through Chicago.

During the strike the fatalities, arrests, indictments, and dismissals of charges for strike offenses in Chicago and vicinity were as follows:
Number shot and fatally wounded 12
Number arrested by the police 515
Number arrested under United States statutes and against whom indictments were found 71
Number arrested against whom indictments were not found 119

The arrests made by the police were for murder, arson, burglary, assault, intimidation, riot, inciting to riot, and lesser crimes. The cases passed upon by the special United States grand jury, which convened on July 10, 1894, related to obstruction of the mail, forbidden by Section 3995 of the United States Revised Statutes; conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, forbidden by Section 5440 of the Revised Statutes; conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, forbidden by Chapter 647 of the United States, laws of 1890; conspiracy to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate citizens in the free exercise and enjoyment of their rights and privileges under the Constitution and Laws of the United States, forbidden by Section 5508 of the United States Revised Statutes.

Several indictments were found against Eugene V. Debs, George W. Howard, L. NV. Rogers, and Sylvester Keliher, officers of the American Railway Union, under these different statutes...

These great losses and many crimes; the vast numbers, strength, and resources of the labor that contended under the leadership of the American Railway Union upon the one side and Pullman's Palace Car Company and the General Managers' Association upon the other; the attitude of labor toward capital, disclosed in its readiness to strike sympathetically; the determination of capital to crush the strike rather than to accept any peaceable solution through conciliation arbitration, or otherwise; the certainty with which vast strikes let loose the disreputable to burn, plunder, and even murder; the conversion of industrious and law-abiding men into idlers, law breakers, or associates of criminals; the want brought to many innocent families the transformation of railroad yards tracks, and stations, as well as the busy marts of trade, into armed camps; the possibilities of future strikes on more extended lines of union against even greater combinations of capital-are all factors bearing upon the present industrial situation which need to be thoroughly understood by the people and to be wisely and prudently treated by the government.

Troops, Military, Etc.

For the protection of city, state, and federal property, for the suppression of crime and the preservation of order, the city, county, state, and federal forces were utilized...

United States Strike Commission, "Report on the Chicago Strike", June-July, 1894, Senate Executive Document No. 7,53d Congrers, 3d session, pp. ww-xix.

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© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96