Newspaper Page Text
$1.00 A TEAR. TOPEKA, KANSAS, AMUL 18, 1894. OFFICIAL STATE PAPEB. OUR CONGRESSMAN IN THE CAPACITY OP A GOOD SA-MAEITAN Bravely Defends the Aimy of Unemployed in a Washington City Polics Court. Washington Correspondence. Let me tell you a story and oh I my reader bow down your head in sorrow and shame, and pray for patience, for this story is a true one, and it all came about in this year of our Lord, 1894, in this time of republics and of sovereign voters, and not in that old dead time of despotism and of serfs. On the 9th day of this April at the little station of Eckington, on the Balti more & .Ohio road, just outsida the limits of this capital city, there were strange things going on. Late in the afternoon a procession of uniformed patrolman filed into the town and drew op at the railway station. Under com mand of Captain Austin, one inspector, two lieutenants, and sevet sergeants, theoe, forty men, with four police wagons and several mounted police ranged them selves to wait for what? For a two hour's distant freight train to which was attached a box car laden with human freight. Forty men, worn out with travel and faint with hunger, were met by the very flower and pick of the dis trict police, fifty-eight of them. As soon as the train stopped the forty unarmed, halfjamished travelers were arrested by theJ-Ay-eight armed force, placed in the four patrol wagons and taken to the city police stations. Lest one may think that humanity is dead let me hasten to tell that the po licemen in charge made all possible haste after the arrival of the strangers at ' the station houses to supply them with food. But what was the meaning of all this? Why were these travelers arrested at the suburban sta tion before they reached the city whioh was their place of destination? It was in response to a telegram received by Major Moore, chief of the district police, from a Baltimore & Ohio detective, who had shadowed the forty men in the box car from the time of their leaving Cincin nati. It was without any doubt the carrying out of a plan which would be called a conspiracy had it been prac ticed by the poor upon the rich or powerful The plan was to arrest this company of men, who were coming east in search of work, put them through the form of trial in the police court, sentence them to the work-house and make an example of them which would strike terror to the souls of Coxey's oommonwealers and turn them from their purpose to oome to Washington. On Sunday morning the city papers told the story of the arrest, and members of the labor organizations bestirred them selves to secure legal counsel for the strangers whose trial was to oome on the following morning. I went early to the court room, and may I never again find it my duty to endure such an ordeal. There were criminals black and whit?, old and young, male and female, all stages and degrees of vice and de pravity, and rarged along with them be hind the iron grating were the forty strangers in a strange land. They had been trapped into the situation and were there to answer to the foul crime of poverty. I have many times in my life been proud of being a Kansan, but never so much so, never so thankful, as when a Kansas cocgreesman, Mr. J IT. Hudson, came to the rescue of these helpless men and announced himself as their counsel. And what a splendid defense he made! How it changed the whole course of the plot. I indulged in some pointed re flections as to the usefulness of lawyers. It came over me that a lawyer of abil ity, of integrity and humanity might serve a farmer constituency in congrees with as great fidelity as the farmer fresh from the plow. The quality of the man and not the circumstance of occu pation is the essential thing. At all events I was glad to have at least one lawyer representative from Kansas. But to go back to the forty prisoners. It was brought out by questioning the captain of the men and another witness that they were in no way connected with the Coxey movement. They were all men of sober habits; not a whisky bottle or a card was found in the car in which they came. Their behavior had been orderly all the way from Cincinnati, so the railway detective was obliged to testify, though he evidently desired to prejudice the court against the men. He stated that the conductor had been afraid to demand fare of the men, whereas the truth was the car was ten dered the men at Cincinnati, and the conductor understood the case and had no thought of asking the men to pay. These men are nearly all American born, one of them a graduate of a college, some are church members, all are anx ious to work, and those who went upon the witness stand bore themselves with exceptional dignity. Most of them had lived in the East at some time in their lives, but had gone West to seek em ployment. They said the times got hard there and they hoped to find work in the East, so they had banded together and agreed to stand by and help each other. Several of their number had Continued on page 5. STILL MABOHIHG ON. The Oommonwealers Meet With Various Kinds of Exceptions. Cumberland, Md., April 16. The army of the commonweal will leave Tuesday morning early in canal boats for Hftncock, the next stop. It may be that this route ill be continued to Ha gerstown. Tonight camp will be breken and the boats loaded. The men are be ing fed extravagantly and are enjoying the feast after the prolonged fare of hardtack. . For breakfast oyster soup, coffee, bread and jam, pork and beef were sup plied in abundance. Dinner and supper will be Berved as abundantly. This ac tion has in a great measure allayed the feeling of discontent among the great number who favor following the leader ship of the "Unknown" and Coxey, Jr., who were ignominiously discharged at Frostburg. " ' ' It is rumored that several score of un employed from various points and camninff beyond the coke works, are being organized for an oppo sition march to Washington. A publio meeting will be held at the Academy of Music this evening at which General Coxey and Marshal Browne will speak. FROM CALIFORNIA. Colton. Cal., April 1G. The second Los Angeles regiment of the unemployed is meeting with anything but encour agement in San Bernardino. First the fire department was called out hers and the commanders were drenched with cold water and driven from the freight train they had captured. Then the army was placed under guard by fifty depu ties, armed with shot-guns, and its lead ers were thrown into the county jail. Then a boycott was declared on the army. The commander raised a fund of $7 and purchased bread, but the baker who sold it was waited on by the citizen's committee of safety, and made to prom ise that he would sell no more supplies to the army or its leaders. The merchants here have resolved not to sell to the army and many citizens have agreed not to give any food or other supplies to them. The sheriff and hi deputies promised to arrest the men for seizing a (rain, and declares they must walk out It appears to be a case of freeze out. List night about 200 of the commonwesiers marched in a body to the First Baptist church, where Rev. Spurgeon Medhurst took up a small collection for the army and preached a sermon exprecsing sym pathy for the wanderers. TUB KJXLT CROWD. . Omaha, April 16. General KelleyV industrial army will walk out of Council Bluffs at 3 o'clock this afternoon. Kelly was notified by the sheriff that the sol diers must "march on." Two compa nies of militia will escort them to the county line. Although Governor Jack son refused to furnish transportation, the army does not intend to foot it acroea Iowa. Arrangements have been made to go as far as the Parks, six miles east of the Bluffs on the Rock Island, where it is said a train of empty box cars will be found on a siding with a crew ready to be overpowered. No trouble was ex perienced here with the men and none deserted from the ranks. pkpfkr's resolution. Washington, April 16. Senator Pef fer has introduced a resolution provid ing for the creation of a new cemmittee of the senate to receive the petitions and hear the statements of bodies of men, like Coxey's army, who visit the capital for the purpose of making presentations to congrees. The committee is required to give such organizations full and re spectful hearings, and report to the senate. . . .'.'..... Senator Hoar gave notice that when the resolution should be taken up for consideration he would move to amend by imposing this duty on the committee on finance. OKLAHOMA DIVISION. Guthrie, Okla., April 10. The Okla homa division of Coxey's army has just closed arrangements with the railroad company to take JOO of them to Wash ington in box cars. Not a Kansas Hecenslonlst. Lincoln, Ned., April 10. The text of a remarkable letter which will be handed to Governor Waite, addressed to that executive and the legislature of Colo rado, to-day, was given to the publio by the press of this city on Sunday. The author is a resident of Oklahoma, but formerly of Lincoln. It is a call for the secession of all states west of the Miisls- sippi, and its author claims it will be signed by prominent men in Texas, Kan sas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and other states. What action Governor Waits will take is merely conjecture. The letter reviews the history of the United States for the past twenty-five years, and suggests that the country la too unwieldy to be governed by one ex ecutive. The interests of the western states are antagonistic to thosa of the East, and the silver of the former haa been legislated into a valueless com modity. The country surges with com munistic doctrine and the poor are crying for bread. Before the Ws slaves en riched their owners by their labors, but to-day the white slaves of the West are struggling to fill the capacious maws of eastern plutocracy. It states that the remedy lies in the dissolution of the Union and the organi zation cf a separate government cf the. west n J'-- Galveston the Ihyt York of , CcntffMMa on page 13.