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Alexander Howat

Alexander Howat
Creator: Literary Digest
Date: December 31, 1921
A photograph of Alexander Howat, "czar of the Kansas coal fields" copied from Literary Digest. Howat was chiefly responsible for the organization of a powerful and aggressive union for coal workers in southeast Kansas. In 1919, during a general coal strike, Howat and District 14 stood firm in spite of pressure from Governor Henry Allen. This is probably one of the big reasons why Allen introduced the Kansas Industrial Court Law. Howat was bitterly opposed to the law and immediately set out to discredit it. District 14 pledged full support to their president. When he called a strike in defiance of the law, he was sent to jail in Girard, then in Columbus, and finally in Ottawa. The officers of the International United Mine Workers of America ordered him to call off his strike. He refused and thus in 1921 was expelled from the Union.


Amazon army, near Pittsburg, Kansas

Amazon army, near Pittsburg, Kansas
Creator: New York Times
Date: December 25, 1921
This newspaper clipping, from the New York Times, features a group of women marching in protest during a coal mine strike in southeast Kansas. Dubbed the" Amazon Army," the women marched through the coal fields carrying large American flags to show their support for better wages and improved working conditions for their family members who worked in the camps.


Amazon army, near Pittsburg, Kansas

Amazon army, near Pittsburg, Kansas
Creator: New York Times
Date: December 25, 1921
This newspaper clipping, from the New York Times, features a group of women gathered during a coal mine strike near Pittsburg, Kansas. Dubbed the "Amazon Army," the women marched through the coal fields carrying large American flags to show their support for better wages and improved working conditions for their family members who worked in the camps. The caption reads: "Women Raiders Invading a Mine. Near Pittsburg, Kan., forcing the workmen to drop their tools and kiss the American flag."


Amazon army, near Pittsburg, Kansas

Amazon army, near Pittsburg, Kansas
Creator: New York Times
Date: December 25, 1921
This newspaper clipping, from the New York Times, features a group of women marching in protest during a coal mine strike in southeast Kansas. Dubbed the "Amazon Army," the women marched through the coal fields carrying infants and or American flags to show their support for better wages and improved working conditions for their family members who worked in the camps. The caption reads: "Section of the Army Amazons. In the Kansas coal fields, captained by a woman with a three month-old baby in arms."


Court of Industrial Relations annual reports

Court of Industrial Relations annual reports
Creator: Kansas. Court of Industrial Relations
Date: 1920-1924
These annual reports of the Kansas Court of Industrial Relations include legal cases and opinions, overviews of industrial conditions, financial statements, factory inspections, accidents, laws, employment services, and state mine inspections. The Kansas legislature created the Court of Industrial Relations by special legislation in January 1920 following a series of coal strikes in Southeast Kansas. The court's purpose was to resolve labor disputes between labor organizations and employers and it caused considerable debate throughout the United States. The United States Supreme Court declared the court unconstitutional in 1923. The Kansas Public Service Commission succeeded the court in 1925. Volumes 1(1920), 2(1921), 3(1922), 4(1923), and 5(1924) are included. The Court had 3 judges each session and the following served as judges at various times: W. L. Huggins, Clyde M. Reed, George H. Wark, Jas. A. McDermott, John H. Crawford, Henderson S. Martin, and Joseph Taggart.


Ethel Franklin to Governor Henry Allen

Ethel Franklin to Governor Henry Allen
Creator: Franklin, Ethel
Date: June 18, 1919
Ethel Franklin of the Telephone Operators Union at Horton, Kansas, writes to Kansas Governor Henry Allen of Topeka informing him of the telephone operators plan to strike if certain matters are not settled including wages, disruptive and irregular work schedules, and lack of overtime pay. She asked the governor his advice on seeking overtime pay for Sundays and holidays.


First Session of the Kansas Industrial Court

First Session of the Kansas Industrial Court
Creator: Topeka Daily Capital
Date: February 03, 1920
This newspaper clipping, from the Topeka Daily Capital, features Kansas Governor Henry J. Allen and members of the newly established Industrial Court in Topeka, Kansas. The three member board was created by a special session of the legislature in response to the coal miners strike in southeast Kansas. In this court collective bargaining was discussed between management and labor but strikes were prohibited. The members of the court were Clyde M. Reed, Parsons; Senator George H. Wark, Caney; and W. L. Huggins, Emporia.


George Jacobs to Governor Henry  Allen

George Jacobs to Governor Henry Allen
Creator: Jacobs, George W.
Date: November 11, 1919
George Jacobs sends Governor Allen a copy of a letter he had sent to President Wilson suggesting the development of a court system for the purpose of resolving labor and capital disputes. In 1920, Kansas passed legislation creating the Kansas Court of Industrial Relations, which would have a tribunal decide on labor problems between employers and their employees.


Governor Henry J. Allen, correspondence files, box 6

Governor Henry J. Allen, correspondence files, box 6
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1919-1923 : Allen)
Date: 1919-1923
These folders contain correspondence compiled by Governor Allen relating to the coal mine strike from 1919-1920. Some companies included are Armour Company, Coalvale Coal Company, Dean Coal Mining Company, Menghini Coal Company, Nash Sales Company, Pittsburg Machinery, Standard Oil Company, Southern Kansas Coal Company, and Superior Coal Company, among others.


Governor Henry J. Allen, correspondence files, box 7

Governor Henry J. Allen, correspondence files, box 7
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1919-1923 : Allen)
Date: 1919-1923
These folders contain correspondence subject files with Governor Allen. The major subject is the coal mine strike from 1919-1920.


J.B. Van Dyne to H.M. Hoxie

J.B. Van Dyne to H.M. Hoxie
Creator: Van Dyne J.B.
Date: May 18, 1885
J.B. Van Dyne of the Missouri Pacific Railway Company, Sedalia, Missouri, responds to of the Missouri Pacific Railway vice president H.M. Hoxie of St. Louis, Missouri, regarding the treatment of striking workers. Railway employees in Parsons were refusing to return to work following successful negotiation of the railroad strike. Kansas Governor Martin has asked railway Vice President Hoxie to determine the accuracy of complaints that negotiation agreements were violated.


J.S. Hobbs to Governor Henry Allen

J.S. Hobbs to Governor Henry Allen
Creator: Hobbs, J.S.
Date: January 22, 1920
J.S. Hobbs writes to Governor Allen with questions about the newly created Industrial Court. The Court of Industrial Relations was created by special legislation in January 1920 following a series of coal strikes in Southeast Kansas. The court lasted only a few years when it was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.


Joan of Arc of the coal fields, near Pittsburg, Kansas

Joan of Arc of the coal fields, near Pittsburg, Kansas
Creator: New York Times
Date: December 25, 1921
This newspaper clipping, from the New York Times, features a fourteen year old girl dubbed "The Joan of Arc of the Coal Fields." The daughter of a coal striker in southeast Kansas, she carried the American flag at the head of 6,000 marchers. The group of protesters marched through the coal fields showing their support for better wages and improved working conditions for their family members who worked in the camps.


Kansas National Guardsman in the southeast Kansas coal fields

Kansas National Guardsman in the southeast Kansas coal fields
Date: 1919
This photograph shows a Kansas National Guardsman in southeast Kansas during the coal strikes of 1919.


Missouri Pacific Railway and Texas Pacific Railway circular

Missouri Pacific Railway and Texas Pacific Railway circular
Creator: Hayes, R.S.
Date: March 15, 1885
This railway circular presents a list of suggestions for ending an ongoing railroad strike as written by a group including the governors of Kansas and Missouri. This solution was promoted by officers of the Missouri Pacific Railway and the Texas Pacific Railway including R.S. Hayes, First Vice President and H. M. Hoxie, third vice president of the Missouri Pacific Railway. The resolution asks railroad executives to restore all striking workers to wages prior to September 1884 when wages were cut and to return strikers to work without prejudice.


P.D. Scott  to Governor Henry Allen

P.D. Scott to Governor Henry Allen
Creator: Scott, P.D.
Date: December 18, 1919
Kansas Representative Scott writes to Kansas Governor Allen in response to the call for a special session of the Kansas legislature. "I recognize a call to perform one of the most important as well as the most serious and far reaching duties ever imposed upon a state legislature." The "duty" referred to in this letter is drafting Senate Bill One that created the Kansas Court of Industrial Relations.


President Harry S. Truman's radio address to the nation on the railroad strike

President Harry S. Truman's radio address to the nation on the railroad strike
Creator: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: 1946
This is a copy of President Truman's May 24, 1946, radio address on the current railroad strike. Truman states that "The railroads must resume operation. In view of the extraordinary emergency which exists, as President of the United States I call upon the men who are now out on strike to return to their jobs and to operate our railroads." Accompanying the speech is a letter from F.G. Gurley, President of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company. Gurley's letter addresses the need for negotiations but also reminds employees that strikes damage the nations needs and jeopardize the public welfare.


Proclamation for strike cessation

Proclamation for strike cessation
Creator: Marmaduke, John S.
Date: March 15, 1885
In this proclamation, Missouri Governor John Marmaduke asks union leaders and railroad officials to accept the demands of the workers and restore wages without prejudice. The Missouri Pacific Railway workers had been on strike for several months disrupting businesses and family life. Both the Missouri and Kansas governors were instrumental in ending the strike.


So the public may know

So the public may know
Creator: Snowden, Bert J.
Date: Around 1921
This bulletin was issued by the Publicity Committee of the Printing Crafts and Bert J. Snowden, president of the Printing Pressmen's Union. It is part of a series of bulletins published by the committee informing the public of the reason for the local pressmans strike, and explaining differences between the local pressmans union demands and the local typographical union demands. The bulletin was likely produced and distributed in Topeka, Kansas.


Strikes don't stop me

Strikes don't stop me
Creator: Arcadia Journal
Date: December 09, 1921
This illustration of Santa Claus, from the Arcadia Journal, encouraged striking miners in the southeast Kansas coal fields to return to work to purchase presents for their families during the holiday season.


The Kansas Industrial Act as affected by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States

The Kansas Industrial Act as affected by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States
Creator: Huggins, William L.
Date: 1920s
In this pamphlet, William L. Huggins, author of the legislation and presiding judge of the Court of Industrial Relations provides an analysis of the supreme court decision in the case of the Charles Wolff Packing Co. vs the Court of Industrial Relations and its affect on the future of the court in Kansas.


The Topeka Proof Press

The Topeka Proof Press
Date: July 23, 1921
The Topeka Proof Press was published by the Joint Conference Council of the Allied Printing Trades in Topeka, Kansas. This publication alludes to problems between labor and management in the printing industry and seeks to provide information to the general public about concerns of the labor movement and the need for improved working conditions.


United Mine Workers of America resolution pardoning of Alex Howat

United Mine Workers of America resolution pardoning of Alex Howat
Creator: United Mine Workers of America
Date: January 5, 1923
John Morgan and James Hunter of Arma, Kansas, were leaders of the United Mine Workers of America Local Union 3962. In this resolution they ask Kansas governor Jonathon Davis to "right the wrong that was committed by the Industrial Court Law" by pardoning Alex Howat, August Dorchy, Willard Titus, John Fleming Sr, James McIlwrath and Hearl Maxwell from the county jail in Girard. All of these men protested the creation of the Court of Industrial Relations and refused to follow rules set forth by the court, and were subsequently jailed. During his run for governor, Davis opposed the Court of Industrial Relations and campaigned that if elected he would work to abolish the court. The Industrial Court was created in a special session of the Kansas legislature in 1920 to oversee labor disputes in the state.


W. J. Buchan to Governor George Anthony

W. J. Buchan to Governor George Anthony
Creator: Buchan, William Johnston
Date: July 25, 1877
W. J. Buchan of Wyandotte, Kansas, writes Governor George Anthony of Topeka, regarding a railroad strike in Wyandotte County. Buchan states that striking workers were not causing trouble, but a lawless mob was taking advantage of the situation. He notes that the mob had forced the Kansas Pacific shops to shut down against the will of the employees. He also notes that hundreds of state-owned Springfield muskets in the vicinity were not secure and could fall into the wrong hands. A general strike of railroad engineers and firemen began in mid July 1877 in Maryland and had spread to Kansas City later that month. Local authorities were able to maintain order in Wyandotte County, Kansas, but a larger strike would follow in 1878.


W.W. Fagan to Governor John Martin

W.W. Fagan to Governor John Martin
Creator: Fagan, W.W.
Date: March 9, 1885
In this telegram, W.W. Fagan, superintendent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad at Atchison, Kansas, asks Kansas Governor John Martin of Topeka for militia support. Missouri Pacific Railway workers had been on strike since February 1885. Organized by the Knights of Labor, the dispute started in October 1884 when workers received a 10% pay reduction causing them to be the lowest paid workers in the tri-state area.


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