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Newspaper Page Text
and the sweet gospel of Christ was preached hy preachers who wore the
deputy sheriff stars doled out by the operators.
When the Western Federation came to Calumet they came to free the
oopper miners from slavery.
And the masters of the slaves hated them for it. They stirred up hatred
among the business men. They told them the coming of theunion would
ruin the copper country.
They controlled the newspapers. They .owned the ground on which
-o churches were built. They had subsidized, the preachers by their money
Finding no consolation, no comfort, no help, no hope, no encourage
ment in their churches the miners and their ,wives and children found a new
religion in their union.
They found there brothers from other states who wanted to help them
1 their daily problems their bread-and-butter problems.
The churches lost business and men of various creeds got together as
members of the common human brotherhood in the halls of their unions.
And if I know anything about God, He was with them there at least quite
as much as He had been interpreted to them through various creeds in
numerous churches before they saw the new light
These overworked, underpaid slaves were eking out a beggarly ex
istence; and the owners of the 'principal mine had taken out since 1870,
121,000,000 in dividends on an original investment of $1,250,000.
The mine operators controlled the government; they controlled the
')oard of county supervisors; they controlled the sheriff and all of the
machinery of government.
They controlled the militia, whose officers wined and dined at the
club owned by the mine operators, and. made headquarters in an armory
o ned by the same operators.
They brought into the county of Houghton a private army of hired
thugs and gunmen desperadoes recruited from the toughest sections of
the big cities; and with this imported private army of mercenaries, they
bullied the miners and their wives and. children.
The operators also owned business and the business men those abject
slaves of selfishness and greed, who think more of a metal dollar than they
do of a human being created in the image of God.
The Citizens' Alliance was formed made up of "business men" God
save the mark!
And these "business" men, with a subsidized pulpit and press, com
bined with capitalism to enslave the miners and their loved ones.
There was only one chance to free those slaves,' and that was by organ
izing them into a union. The laws of their state and country were no good
to them; for their enemies and persecutors owned the minions who admin
istered the law.
Imported gunmen jn the pay of the mine operators fired into a mmer's
cottage and killed two miners. They shot off part of the head of a little
girl daughter of a miner. They beat up miners and insulted their wives.
And if the miners rebelled they were beaten up again and thrown into a
And then came that Christmas-eve celebration, with its Christmas
tree, its Christmas gifts that didn't come from the operators or the busi
ness men, but from friends who were trying to help the enslaved miners to
With a room packed with men, women and children, gathered together