COAL STRIKE STATUS.
Armed Strikers Disband, and Lay
Down Their Rifles.BLUEFIELD. W. VA.. June I6.—(Special.)— According to the programme of the agitators, to-day was the crucial period of the strike in the Flat-Top field. On Sunday mass meetings were held at the various operations and speakers urged upon the miners the advisability of joining the ranks of the strikers. In several instances the agitators predicted dire results if the miners did not quit work.SUNDAY MEETING.One outgrowth of the Sunday meeting was a march on the part of the striking miners intended as a demonstration of their strength.
The march organized on Simmons Creek. One hundred and thirty men and boys, about half of whom carried Winchester rifles, were in line. They proceeded toward the Mill Creek operation, above Mill Creek and Coaldale, where they were met by officers of the law, accompanied by a labor leader. They were told they could go no further unless they discarded their guns, which they did. Up to this time it seems, firearms have been much in evidence, and intimidation methods were employed to frighten non-union men and make them quit work. At a few of the operations these methods were effective and a few men quit work. From Simmons Creek to Mill Creek the march had been led by Green Price, a negro miner.
A short time after leaving Mill Creek, Agitator Davis took charge of the party, and from this time neither firearms nor intimidation methods were employed. A policy of persuasion was followed by Mr. Davis, but it availed little.SOME UGLY FEATURES.From Norwood the small army, of strikers and strike sympathizers will start on a round march; to-morrow to Pocahontas. and every effort will be put forth to induce the miners to lay down their picks. The regrettable feature of the demonstration was the carrying of fire-arms to-day and the threats made against miners who refused to quit work. Such methods as these on the part of the strikers forfeit the public sympathy and will only serve to bring State or Federal troops here to protect life and property. The arrival of troops will mean the doom of tho strikers cause. There were more men at work to-day than on Saturday and the loading was heavier.
The total output, to-day was 273 cars, against 245 Saturday.[The Richmond Dispatch, Richmond, VA., Tuesday, June 17, 1902. Whole Number 15,968 Pg. 3]