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The Commonwealth's Attorney testified he prosecuted Randolph and did all he could to have him convicted; that there was no collusion between the prosecution and defense in any way; that, he remembered, the deceased was shot in the side. In this statement the commonwealth's attorney seems to have forgotten the evidence. Dr. Martin, a reputable physician, says he examined the body of Chasteen on the evening he was killed, that he had been shot three times, all taking effect in the back. The commonwealth's attorney, in explaining what might seem lack of interest or activity in various prosecutions, said there was more work to do in his office than two or three men could do; that he had no assistant except the county attorney; and he did all he could to prosecute each and every offender brought into court and he assisted the grand jury to bring indictments against guilty persons.
Mr. Gross testified he was in Harland when the stink bombs were placed in the automobiles of Senator Robsion and Judge Golden; that deputy sheriff Blair was laughing about this incident and said they were lucky it was not dynamite. Gross says the sheriff cut down a bridge across Clover Fork over which many people, including children going to school, passed. This he thought was wrong. The sheriff claims he cut the bridge down for the owner at the direction of the county judge, because the owner and the county judge thought it was dangerous and liable to fall.
Finley Powers, (Vol. I., page 1) and Vincent Bilotta, (Vol. II., page 289), say they were indicted on charges of criminal syndicalism and banding together; that they had been arrested and put in jail sometime before the indictments were brought; that they remained in jail more than thirty days without an examining trial; that they did not know whether or not any warrants had been issued for their arrest; that when the circuit court convened they were indicted and brought into court; the indictments were read to them and they plead not guilty; the court fixed their bail at $5,000 and required them to execute a peace bond in the sum of $5,000; that they did not execute bonds because they were unable to do so; that later they were brought before Judge Jones and, after examining them, he discharged them without requiring any bonds. Powers says Judge Jones tried to make him promise to leave the country if he would let him go without bond, that he refused to do so, and was allowed to go. We obtained certified copies of all the orders of the circuit court in the prosecutions against Powers and Bilotta, which copies are in this record. We found nothing irregular on the face of these orders.
Thirty or more persons were indicted in the Harlan Circuit Court on the charge of criminal syndicalism or banding together. These persons were arrested and put in jail before the circuit court convened. Those that appeared before us did not seem to know whether or not the sheriffs making the arrests had warrants for them. They claimed the sheriff and his deputies, or the gun thugs, meaning the men under Captain Smith that had come into the county strangers armed as patrolmen assisting the sheriff and other officers to search homes, in some instances abused members of the family and then arrested the persons charged without warrants. These witnesses, in most instances, did not seem to know whether or not search warrants were in the hands of the officers at the time of the searches. They generally admitted that the searching party had found cards showing their membership in the National Miners Union or literature that was, in the minds of the officers, seditious. The sheriff filed some of this literature which we list as follows:
"New Pioneer, July, 1931”; “Another War Coming”, published by the Communist Party of the United "Why Every Worker Should Join the Communist Party”, Workers Library
Publishers, Inc., 39 East 125th Street, New York City; "Out of a Job”, by Earl Browder; "Labor Defender, July, 1931”; "War in the Coal Fields”, by William Z. Foster; “Scottsboro's Testimony", by John Don Passos; "Fight against Starvation”, ,-a circular; "Industrial Solidarity, June 23, 1931”, a newspaper published in Chicago,
Illinois; Cards showing membership in the Industrial Workers of the World; Membership Book No. 27888 issued by the Communist Party of the U.S. A.
to W. M. Gibbs; Charter of the National Miners Union; Charter of the Industrial Workers of the World.
These thirty or more persons who were arrested and in jail, who had joined the National Miners Union or the I. W. W.'s and were in possession of some of this literature, were striking miners and had joined one or both of these organizations. They were poor, without money or property, and could not obtain any employment in the coal fields.
Judge Jones stated he had, in all these cases after the defendants had been indicted and found unable to execute bond, allowed them to go without bond; that he did not intend to try them if they did not resume relations with these disloyal organizations.
Ruby Shadrick, (Vol. III., page 333), testified she lived in Black Mountain Camp until her father and husband were discharged for joining the United Mine Workers and forced to move out; that they moved to Evarts; that she went to Harlan and was there 34 days; that George Lee and George Haywood, the law at Black Mountain, took her there and told her she was under bond and had to stay at Black Mountain until they turned her loose; that they served no warrant or court summons on her,-and she stayed there six weeks; they told her Sheriff Blair said it was best to keep her up there, but gave her no reason for that; that she had done nothing; they then told her they wanted her for a witness in some trials, in all the cases, but did not specify any certain case; that she was afraid to leave after they told her not to go; that she had the freedom of the camp but some one went with her, and she slept at the home of George Haywood; that she was treated very nicely. She was asked but did not state whether or not she stayed at Black Mountain and at Haywood's of her consent. She said she saw the shooting at Evarts when the deputies were killed; that she helped take care of Percival after he was shot; that she was afraid her brother might be killed and started up town just running around; that after she went home from Black Mountain, George Lee, Eck Cox, Bill Randolph and E. B. Childers came on two or three different occasions and talked to her; that they didn't want her to go before this Commission; that they came to her on the street a few days ago, Friday of last week; that “Mr Childers came yesterday and asked if she was going before the Commission”; that she said, “Certainly”; that Childers said, “There is not much use, they are just getting material for a book, a newspaper.' That is all that was said. That during the time she stayed at Black Mountain they offered her, if she would testify against these men in their trials, to put her through school, training in a hospital for nurses. She says they bought her $60 worth of clothes while she was at Black Mountain. She did not tell them she would testify and no arrangements were made. “They offered by brother the same thing, would give him as fine furniture as they could get in the Black Mountain store and a good job in the mine to testify against two men, Bill Green and Williams"; that she was not present, but her brother told her; that her brother had three charges of murder against him; that he is charged with killing three men over here; that her mother's house was searched when she was present; that she had gone to bed; that about 12:00 o'clock in the night the officers came and knocked on the door, and her brother let them in; that there were two of them, “Earl Brock” and she could not recall the other name; that they were searching for her brother who was in Virginia; that they had put him in jail for hoboing a train at Black Mountain; that while she was at Black Mountain she was offered no indignity or insult, but was treated respectfully.
In April or May two or three stores about Evarts were robbed by mobs of men, striking miners and sympathizers. They broke open the glass windows and walked in; they took everything away from the store, the entire stock, valued at about $1,000. Other robberies of less importance took place. No one says who did this, but some of the guilty persons must be known. About this time some buildings near Evarts were burned.
The miners on Wallins Creek at the Creech Coal Company struck, walked out. They held meetings with Basil Rice, Bill Gibbs, Dan Brooks, Caroline Drew, W. T. Tabor, Myerscough and others. Plans were made to bring guns and ammunition from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and from New York to arm the members of the National Miners Union. It was planned that 150 men should meet at Sunshine, near Harlan, to give an alarm so the officers would come out and they could ambush them and take charge of the court house. The sheriff sent his deputies to Wallins Creek armed with high powered rifles and machine guns. The deputies trained them on the home of a Mrs. Grace and others where the sheriff had information meetings were being held by the National Miners Union.
These things and many others transpired in April and May, 1931. There were gun battles in which officers and striking miners and their sympathizers were
killed and wounded. The people were armed and divided into two camps. Soup houses were established and blown up; many of the miners out of employment were starving; thirty or forty were arrested charged with criminal syndicalism and banding together, put in jail and afterwards indicted. The officers were busy searching houses for radical literature. John B. Gross was taken a ride by deputy sheriffs, but was not killed.
A state of excitement, division, contention and hostility was rampant among the citizens of the county. Many things were done by those engaged that seem impossible in Kentucky. Apparantly no one in that community was safe in his life, liberty or property. The officers, citizens and miners petitioned the Governor to send troops. Troops were sent. The evidence in this record shows the troops took charge of the situation. Their officers were firm, courageous and diplomatic 80 that almost immediately, without injuring any one, they restored peace and order. Too much praise cannot be given the soldiers for their splendid work.
In the midst of the trouble on account of the strike, when probably 1,000 men were out of work, could find no employment, were without money or property and their families without food, Dan C. Slinger, alias Dan Brooks, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an organizer for the National Miners Union, appeard among the miners and organized locals. Basil Rice and many others joined, and Rice was made a leader, W. T. Tabor was made secretary; Bill Gibbs was active with Rice; Dan Brooks was recalled and Myerscough was put in his place. From the evidence before us, these persons were agitators for the destruction of our Government and the establishment of a Soviet Union by the workers.
The speech of George Maurer made on November 8, 1931, when addressing the Dreiser meeting at Wallins Creek is filed in this record. Among other things as offensive he used this language:
"The International Labor Defense Committee day before yesterday issued a statement and said, 'It is not the workers and the miners that should be accused of crime by the bosses and their henchmen, but it is the coal operators and the gun thugs of the companies and deputy sheriffs and the judges of the courts and the prosecutors and the state and county government, these people who must be mad when they see starvation and want to continue it and make it worse.' They are the guilty ones. We point our finger at them and ask the working class of the United States and the world to accuse these murderers, these terrorists, these people who apparently are not human, who starve workers, we accuse them of crime and we say, 'Workers of the world, let's try to call a halt, let's try to stop this. Let's get the writers and the business men that sympathize with the Workers to rouse the country and the world to put a stop to this terror.'.
"This International Labor Defense is a class organization.
"When it comes to the work in organizations fighting shoulder to shoulder, the National Miners Union will help feed the miners while on strike.
We are the International Labor Defense for miners who face prison, etc. This is the struggle and we will stand for our rights, we must stand for our rights and we will tell Mr. Brock and the Government and the sheriff and Judge Baby-face Jones that we have constitutional rights. United States and Kentucky, that we are not afraid and when we see a judge sitting behind a nice fancy chair that we won't bow down and worhsip him. He is just a human being and not the right sort if he is with the coal operators and against the miners. We will speak up in court and say, “You are guilty, you are trying to starve us to death, you are working with the coal operators, you are murdering us, throwing us in prison and beating us up.' That is the working class organization and our kin extends around the world.
"To end. We want a sort of society and government that won't be controlled by the bosses for billions and millions of profit. We finally look for a working class government where workers, who are in the majority, rule. We will try to have, I hope, something in America like they have in the Soviet Union, where workers decide who is guilty and who is not guilty, where the common people say 'you are guilty, no, you have a right to no considerationyou have a right to have a job. We have got to have something like this. We cannot go on any longer like we are. We are for working class justice, which means nothing more than real justice-no coal operators' justice and no gun thug justice, no Morgan millionaire justice, the common people's workers' justice, and I want to ask all those here, who are not workers, I judge some business men and newspaper men, which side are you on”?
The evidence of Basil Rice, (Vol. IV., page 509), and W. T. Tabor, (Vol. IV., page 602), give in detail the activities of the National Miners Union and its devotees. These witnesses were particeps criminis in the activities they describe, but when you read the speech of Maurer and examine the pamphlets and writings filed by Sheriff Blair, there is no room to doubt that their stories are measurably true. The activities of the National Miners Union are at the bottom of much of the trouble. The officers of the county very naturally felt it their duty to suppress such organizations trying to interfere with regular government, law and order. The scheme of these disloyal people was foolish in the extreme, for no one could reasonably think it would succeed.
Harlan County has about 65,000 inhabitants, according to the census of 1930, about 85% of that number being miners and their families. The county is very largely one great mining camp.
There was no trouble at Cumberland, Benham or Lynch, three mine operations where 15 or 20,000 people live. These operations are on Poor Fork River.
The trouble on Straight Creek was insignificant and of recent occurrence. A strike at one mine continued for about 30 days, when it was settled by a written contract continuing the same wage scale, with no change in the operations, except the operators agreed that the miners might have a check weighman on the tipple.
On our visits to the Blac Mountain Coal Corporation operations, we observed mine camps that are of a high type, higher than usual in mine camps. The houses looked to be comfortable, well constructed, wooden buildings. The witnesses say they are lighted with electricity, and most of them contain running water. Quite a number of miners own washing machines, radios and automobiles. The store was a large building, containing several departments, full of everything one might desire in the way of merchandise. In connection with the grocery store and lunch room, a butcher shop with refrigerating plant is maintained, the refrigeration sufficient to take care of a great deal of fresh meat.
We visited, while there, the primary and high school buildings. These buildings were substantially built, containing modern improvements. The rooms were furnished with seats and blackboards, were well heated by steam, well ventilated, well lighted and equipped with electric lights and running water. The high school building contained an auditorium for church use, where people of any creed or sect might meet and worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. This building must have cost more than $30,000. One half of its cost was provided by the Black Mountain Corporation. The common school funds provided by the public are sufficient for a seven month term only. The Black Mountain Corporation supplements the teachers' salaries during the seven months and pays the entire salaries for two months of a nine month term. A generation or two ago no such school plant could have been found in the state east of Lexington.
Your Commissioners observed and a number of witnesses testified the need for charitable relief on account of the miners and their families who are out of employment is great. A number of persons before us were asked if they would be willing to contribute as much as they could to relieve the destitute conditions that we had seen, and each responded he would be willing to do all he could.
While we were in Harlan it was published in the newspapers that the Red Cross was making a survey of that section in order to take care of the destitute, but we are not informed as to the extent of the survey.
Witnesses testified before us the Red Cross had refused aid to the hungry miners and their families, and we heard from others, probably rumors, that the Red Cross would not aid persons in any way involved in labor troubles.
We were surprised to learn that an organization with the “Red Cross" on its banner, the emblem of the crucifixion and blood of Christ, could turn a deaf ear or refuse to aid needy men, women or children. To collect funds and distribute the necessary relief, the service of an organization like the Red Cross is needed.
We hope our information concerning its refusal to act in such emergency has been misleading, and that it will now, at the beg ning of winter, take up its work and lead in the relief so necessary for the guilty and the innocent in Harlan County. Many are in real need, are destitute.
Our citations in this report are not as copious as they would have been if we had received the record earlier. Respectfully submitted,
J. Smith Hays,
STATISTICAL DATA ON COAL COMPANIES AND COAL PRODUCTION
NOVEMBER 20, 1933.
Coal shipments from Harlan Field, 1920 to 1932, inclusive, compared with all shipments
east of Mississippi River
. 79 .88 1. 02
5.0 2, 614, 418 2,447, 582
3,629, 144 2,717,856
. 97 .92 1. 31 1. 40 1.57 1.89 2. 13 1.97 2.01 1. 96 1. 97
1.07 .80 . 56
Eavenson & Alford, mining engineers, Koppers Building, Pittsburgh, Pa.
BARDO Coal Co., KNOXVILLE, TENN.
(Harlan County Coal Operators Association)
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David C. Campbell, president and treasurer, Knoxville, Tenn.
J. H. Bowling, general superintendent, Bardo, Ky.
Chartered January, 1921, as Bowling Coal Mining Co. Upon acquiring controlling stock, Campbell in 1926 changed subject name to Bardo Coal Co. Campbell has lifelong coal interests and ownership in the D. C. Campbell Coal Co., selling agents. Real estate, $50,000; valuable mining lands and necessary equipo ment.