Friday, November 01, 2013

Chicago: "Sales of firearms and ammunition show an increase in this city over preceding years that is astonishing..."

Chicago's Fear Of Riot

The Large Sale of Firearms Con-
sidered Alarming

An Undercurrent of Unrest, Together
With the Purchase of Weapons
and Ammunition
Causes Many
People to Dread a Recurrence of
the Anarchist Troubles of 1886.

   CHICAGO, March 17.--Sales of firearms and ammunition show an increase in this city over preceding years that is astonishing dealers in that line. Many persons are beginning to foresee in these circumstances preparations for an outbreak such as succeeded the Anarchist riots of 1886. Recent rumors that Emma Goldman has been seen where clashes are likely to occur between strikers and their successors have given rise to the belief that persons with anarchistic tendencies are awaiting an opportunity to take advantage of the conditions produced by the pending deadlock between capital and labor.

   This belief is partly corroborated by the policy of the Machinists Union which has discouraged a strike at the Deering Harvester Works and the McCormick Reaper Works, almost to the extent of forbidding the employes to go out. A few employes in the tool rooms have gone out, but the union has compelled them to keep away from the establishments, and has by direct discouragement sought to keep the trouble from spreading, lest the blame of the consequences should fail upon that organization.

   The reason for this is found in the fear entertained by the leaders that the 10,000 employes of these companies form in themselves an element that might change the situation to one of rioting and bloodshed. Conservative labor leaders dread such a change far more than the bosses, fearing that it would ruin their cause, and they are exerting every influence to prevent the rank and file from getting beyond their control.

   This condition would follow, it is said, in case of violent disturbances. The "Black Road" riot of 1886 has not been forgotten and every effort will be made to prevent a repetition. Mail orders of arms have had a specially large business during the last two months, a volume of goods having been shipped to suburban points where they were delivered without any attention being paid to the recipient, as the goods were paid for in advance. It is said many shipments were sent to points near Chicago, and have afterward found their way back to the city. In this connection it is asserted thirty thousand cartridges have been shipped to Maywood.

   Metal working concerns aggregating $3,000,000 in wealth, and employing 40,000 men, are represented at a peace conference that opened at the Grand Pacific Hotel today. Hope is entertained that all differences between employers and employes in the machine shops in the United States will be amicably adjusted. An adjournment was taken tonight until Monday, when the conference will be resumed. Both sides seem confident peace will be restored.

   The Union Foundry Company has announced its determination to open its plant at Grand Crossing Monday with one hundred non-union men in anticipation of trouble an appeal has been made to the Grand Crossing police for protection. Labor leaders think the non-union men have been recruited from many points and are now hidden away awaiting the hour to go to work.

   An organization of grave diggers and coffinmakers is the latest movement in affiliated labor. Workmen are to place labels indicating that they belong to the union on the handles of their spades, and a union label is to be placed on every coffin made by union men.

   There are estimated to be 250 grave diggers in Chicago and more than 900 coffin makers. In a few places in the Last there are unions of men in this trade.

   The organization of the coffin makers was recommended at the convention of the wood workers, held last week at Detroit, and this suggested the affiliation of the grave diggers. The embalmers and under-takers are already organized and their affiliation with the American Federation of Labor is to be brought about if possible.

[The Times, Washington, [D.C.] Sunday, March 18, 1900. Number 2150. Pg. 1]

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