The Coal Strike of 1902: Turning Point in U.S. Policy

The Federal Government, with the Commissioner of Labor in a fact finding role, acted as a 'neutral' for the first time in contributing to settlement of the bitter coal strike

By Jonathan Grossman

On Friday, October 3, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt called a precedent-shattering meeting at the temporary White House at 22 Lafayette Place, Washington, D.C. A great strike in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania threatened a coal famine. The President feared "untold misery . . . with the certainty of riots which might develop into social war."1 Although he had no legal right to intervene, he sent telegrams to both sides summoning them to Washington to discuss the problem.

Roosevelt, who had been injured a month earlier when his carriage was hit by a trolley car, sat in his wheelchair pleading with representatives of management and labor. "With all the earnestness there is in me . ..," the President urged, "I ask that there be an immediate resumption of operations in the coal mines in some such way as will . . . meet the crying needs of the people." He appealed to the patriotism of the contestants to make "individual sacrifices for the general good."2

This meeting marked the turn of the U.S. Government from strikebreaker to peacemaker in industrial disputes. In the 19th century, presidents, if they acted at all, tended to side with employers. Andrew Jackson became a strikebreaker in 1834 when he sent troops to the construction sites of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.3 War Department employees operated the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad during the Civil War .4 In the violent rail strikes of 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes sent troops to prevent obstruction of the mails.5 Grover Cleveland used soldiers to break the Pullman strike of 1894.6

Here and there a ray of neutrality broke through the anti labor atmosphere. Congress established a Bureau of Labor in 1884, which was the forerunner of the present Department of Labor, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1886, Cleveland asked Congress to "engraft" on the Bureau of Labor a commission to prevent major strikes. In 1888, Congress passed a law aimed at promoting industrial peace in the railroad industry. After the Pullman strike, U.S. Commissioner of Labor Carroll D. Wright headed a group which made a colorless but honest report of the dispute. One recommendation provided the basis for the Erdman Act of 1898, under which the Commissioner of Labor and the Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission tried to mediate railroad strikes. The law had not yet been applied when a new Federal policy erupted from the industrial warfare in the coalfields in 1900 and 1902.7

The groundwork for the 1900 anthracite coal strike was laid by the unexpected results of strikes in the bituminous or soft coalfields in 1897. A depression in 1893 forced down wages and, according to a Pennsylvania legislative committee, many miners lived "like sheep in shambles." A spontaneous uprising had forced many mine owners to sign a contract with the United Mine Workers. Both sides struck a bonanza as operators raised both wages and prices. Coal companies prospered, and union membership soared from 10,000 to 115,000.8

John Mitchell, who at the age of 28 became president of the United Mine Workers in 1898, hoped to achieve the same kind of success in the anthracite or hard coalfields of Pennsylvania. Anthracite coal at the turn of the century was an unusual business. Unlike soft coal, anthracite was a natural monopoly heavily concentrated in a few hundred square miles in five counties in Pennsylvania. Anthracite coal, because it burned cleaner than soft coal, had become the main heating fuel in many Eastern cities. Rivalry for control of the industry led to over expansion, violent business fluctuations, and eventually control by a few large independent mine owners, coal railroads, and bankers.

For miners the work was hard, intermittent, and hazardous. To keep wages low, operators flooded the coalfields with immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. The men were of 14 different nationalities, spoke different languages, and had different customs. Of 150,000 workers, only 8,000 belonged to the United Mine Workers. But Mitchell hoped that the anthracite industry would negotiate with the union in order to reduce competition.

Mitchell underestimated the opposition of the mine operators, and the operators underestimated the militancy of their workers. In August 1900, the union drew up demands and asked for a conference. The operators refused to deal with the union. Mitchell offered to have the dispute arbitrated. The operators rejected the offer. Mitchell reluctantly called a strike on September 17, 1900. He was apprehensive about the miners' response. But "poetic justice has been meted out," he exultantly recalled. The non-English speaking miners, introduced to break labor organizations, had become staunch supporters of the United Mine Workers.9

The White House was caught off guard by this major strike on the eve of a Presidential campaign. President William McKinley was running for reelection against William Jennings Bryan under the slogan of "Four Years More of the Full Dinner Pail." Some newspapers charged that the strike was fostered by "conspirators working in the interests of Bryan." Mitchell repeatedly denied that politics motivated the strike, but he admitted that the forthcoming election "proved of incalculable assistance to the mineworkers." 10

Senator Marcus A. Hanna, political "kingmaker," led the campaign for conciliation. "Uncle Mark" had become a champion of industrial peace and argued that responsible trade unions would wean workers away from Democrats and radicals. Hanna worked with banker J. P. Morgan to persuade coal railroad presidents of "the dangers that would accrue from the election of Mr. Bryan to the Presidency."11 George Baer, president of a coal railroad, claimed that both McKinley and Hanna had warned him that the coal strike could seriously hurt their party at the polls.12

Under political pressure, coal operators posted a pay increase and agreed to a grievance procedure but refused to recognize the union. John Mitchell, though boasting that the workers were victorious, accepted half a loaf as better than none and dropped the fight for union recognition. He called off the 6-week strike on October 29, a week before the Presidential election of 1900. McKinley won by a wide margin. Although its motives may have been partisan, the Administration was setting the stage for a new role for the Federal Government as a peacemaker rather than a strikebreaker in industrial conflicts.13

The coal strike of 1902

The strike of 1900 was the prelude to a larger drama--the great anthracite coal strike of 1902. Restless miners demanded more pay and shorter hours, while the mine operators complained that profits were low, and that the union destroyed discipline. When the owners refused to negotiate with the union, miners appealed to President Roosevelt to call a special session of Congress. The operators, on the other hand, resented the Federal mediation which had brought about the shotgun agreement of 1900, and they bristled at the idea of renewed Federal interference.14

John Mitchell was frustrated by the refusal of employers to deal with the union. He proposed mediation through the National Civic Federation and if that were not acceptable then a committee of eminent clergymen should report on conditions in the coalfields. George Baer expressed the sentiment of many coal operators when he replied, "Anthracite mining is a business, and not a religious, sentimental, or academic proposition.... I could not if I would delegate this business management to even so highly a respectable body as the Civic Federation, nor can I call to my aid . . . the eminent prelates you have named." 15

The miners struck on May 12, 1902. There was hope for a settlement as long as firemen, engineers, and pumpmen remained at work. But when these maintenance crews walked out on June 2, both sides settled down for a long and bitter fight. Commissioner of Labor Carroll D. Wright wrote that of 147,000 strikers, 30,000 soon left the region, and of these 8,000 to 10,000 returned to Europe.16 Although Mitchell exhorted the miners to strike peaceably, strikers attacked scabs, terrorized their families, and lashed out at private police forces and armed guards hired by mine owners .17

The political climate had changed between the coal strikes of 1900 and 1902. McKinley had been assassinated, and Hanna had lost much of his influence. Theodore Roosevelt, who stepped into the breach, believed that both capital and labor had responsibilities to the public.

Carroll Wright's mission

President Roosevelt was an activist who itched to enter the fray. On June 8, 1902, he asked his Commissioner of Labor, Carroll D. Wright, to investigate the strike and report back to him. Wright avoided going to the coalfields because he felt that as the President's representative his "presence there would do more harm than good." Instead, he headed for New York City, where he interviewed presidents of coal roads, independent mine operators, financiers, mine foremen, and superintendents. He also heard the miners' side from John Mitchell, whom he summoned to New York. Wright worked assiduously, and within 12 days, he sent by special courier to the President a substantial report accompanied by tables and statistics's.18

Wright reported that both parties cooperated with his investigation and that sharply different opinions arose out of different positions and not out of misrepresentation. Then Wright proceeded to reduce the highly emotional claims to a factual account. The strike, he observed, had more varying conditions, conflicting views, and irritating complaints than any he had encountered. He then explained the origins of the strike, the demands of the workers, the claims and complaints of the employers, a dispute over weighing coal, wages, and the cost of production, profits, and the question of freights.

Wright expanded his original assignment by including in the report "suggestions that seem reasonable and just." He proposed an experimental reduction from 10 to 9 hours a day, protection of nonunion men, a joint committee on conciliation, and wherever practicable, collective bargaining. These suggestions, he concluded, might not lead "to the millennium" but they would "help reach the day when the anthracite coal regions shall be governed ... with greater justice and higher moral principles than now generally prevail on either side."19

Wright's report had aroused hopes of early settlement, and the strikers eagerly awaited its publication .20 On June 28, Roosevelt sent the report to Attorney General Philander Knox with the comment, "This is an important report by Carroll D. Wright. Will you read it over and then at cabinet we can discuss whether it shall be made public. I like its tone greatly . . . ." But after discussion Roosevelt questioned whether publication might be construed as Presidential approval of Wright's recommendation before he was prepared to make commitments. He therefore held in abeyance his decision on publication.21

Newspapers reported that the President had "pigeonholed" the report because it was favorable to the miners. Wright angrily denied the charge. But Roosevelt was troubled by the accusation, and he made the report public in August of 1902.22

Roosevelt's quandary

As the strike dragged on, Roosevelt became more and more restless. His attorney general, Philander Knox, told him that the strike was not his concern. Roosevelt repeatedly raised the issue, but Knox continued to advise the President that he had no right to intervene.23

The coal operators were determined to break the strike and rejected all union offers to conciliate on the grounds that there was nothing to talk about. When George Baer, spokesman for the operators, received a letter appealing to him as a good Christian to make concessions, he replied that the "rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for--not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom has given the control of the property interests of the country." Union supporters brilliantly exploited this "divine right" letter of "George the Last'' and public opinion turned against the operators.24 Perhaps for the first time in American history, a distinguished scholar wrote, a union tied up a basic industry "without being condemned as a revolutionary menace."25

President Roosevelt was in a quandary. "There is literally nothing . . . the national government has any power to do," he complained to Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts. "I am at wit's end how to proceed."26 Lodge too was worried. He did not understand the folly of the operators which would cause great suffering and probably defeat the Republican party.27As winter neared and coal prices soared, Roosevelt feared "the untold misery . . . with the certainty of riots which might develop into social war." Although the President agreed with his advisers that he had no legal right, he determined to bring both sides together and see whether he could bring about an agreement. 28

A historic confrontation

At a historic meeting, Roosevelt called in representatives of government, labor, and management. "The ten men met in my room on October 3,” Roosevelt wrote, "I being still unable to leave my wheelchair." Attorney General Knox, Labor Commissioner Carroll D. Wright, and Secretary Cortelyou were present.29 Roosevelt "disclaimed any right to intervene" but the "terrible nature of the catastrophe impending" impelled him to use his influence "to bring to an end a situation which has become literally intolerable."30

For Mitchell, the calling of the conference implied union recognition. Breathing the sweet smell of success, he was at his conciliatory best. Mitchell, Roosevelt wrote, "behaved with great dignity and moderation. The operators, on the contrary, showed extraordinary stupidity and bad temper."31 The operators were "insolent" to the President, and they savagely berated Mitchell as a leader of agitators and extremists who killed 21 people and deterred thousands from working by intimidation and violence. 32

The operators told the President that instead of wasting time negotiating with the "fomentors of this anarchy," he should use the power of government "to protect the man who wants to work, and his wife and children when at work." With proper protection they would produce enough coal to end the fuel shortage. The operators angrily rejected the President's efforts to mediate and refused to deal with Mitchell."33

"Well, I have tried and failed," Roosevelt wrote that evening to Marcus Hanna. "I feel downhearted over the result."34 The President did not hold the strikers blameless, but he disagreed with the operators' position that there was nothing to discuss. "Commissioner Carroll D. Wright, in whom I have the utmost confidence," Roosevelt wrote, "has reported to me that . . . there is certainly right and wrong on both sides." The operators, Roosevelt declared, had no reason to reject conciliation .35

At first, the operators seemed to have won a victory by their recalcitrance. The Governor of Pennsylvania ordered the entire State National Guard to the coalfields. But soldiers don't dig coal. The miners remained on strike, and the operators failed to make good their promise to mine enough coal to meet public needs.36

Although Roosevelt blamed the operators for spurning mediation, he again appealed to the strikers. On October 6, he asked Wright to propose to John Mitchell that if the miners returned to work, he, the President, would appoint a new commission to investigate all matters and would do all within his power to enforce the commission's findings.37 Roosevelt recognized that the operators' position was "exquisitely calculated" to prevent compromise.38 But both he and Wright tried to persuade Mitchell. For a time Mitchell wavered. Then he wrote the President that, in view of his experience with the coal operators in the past, he did not trust them. The miners had gone more than half way and objected to further sacrifice, he believed. Mitchell felt that compliance with the President's request "would mean surrender of the cause for which the miners had so heroically fought." By a near unanimous vote, miners determined not to go back to the pits until the operators made real concessions.39

Since no end of the strike was in sight, the President prepared to send Carroll Wright on another investigation. Former President Grover Cleveland wrote Roosevelt that the miners should first go back to work and then negotiate a settlement. Roosevelt welcomed Cleveland's support and proposed to expand Wright's investigation in an extraordinary way. He wanted Cleveland and other eminent men to "join" Wright. "I earnestly beg you to say that you will accept," the President wrote Cleveland. The latter reluctantly agreed and sold at a loss his stock in coal railroads to avoid a conflict of interest. Roosevelt then searched for other prominent men to add to Wright's commission .40

President Roosevelt also was ready as a last resort to order the U.S. Army to take over the coalfields. He would do whatever was necessary to prevent interference with the resumption of work and would run the mines. In the meantime, his commission of eminent men would decide the rights and wrongs of the case41.

The rising crescendo of public rage was setting the stage for drastic measures. Roosevelt feared that the "attitude of the operators" would "double the burden" of those who stood against "Socialistic action." Carroll Wright noted that public men and industrialists were "rapidly becoming State socialists insofar as the coal industry was concerned," and that even Congressmen advocated revolutionary change.42

J. P. Morgan makes a deal

Roosevelt's Secretary of War, Elihu Root, was worried about the course of events. He had been a distinguished corporate lawyer and was a friend of banker J. P. Morgan. Root told Roosevelt that he would like to mediate in a way which would not commit the President. On October 9, he enlisted Morgan's influence in a proposal whereby the miners would go back to work while a commission considered the issues. Although this was an oft-made proposal, Root added a face-saving wrinkle. Each company and its own employees would present their differences to the commission. This would spare the operators from dealing directly with the miners' union and show the public that the coal industry would arbitrate with its workers.43

Morgan asked Root to come to New York. On October 11, 1902, the two men met for 5 hours on Morgan's yacht, the Corsair, allegedly because newspaper reporters could not bother them there. They drafted an arbitration proposal. The mine operators, fearful of rising public hostility and under pressure from Morgan, accepted the Root-Morgan recommendation provided that they could set ground rules. On October 13, Root and Morgan brought their arbitration proposal to Roosevelt, who then made it public.44

The 'eminent sociologist'

Though the operators had at last agreed to arbitrate they would not negotiate with Mitchell in his capacity as president of the United Mine Workers Union, but merely as a spokesman for mineworkers. In addition they limited the makeup of the commission to five men — a military engineer, a mining engineer, a judge, an expert in the coal business, and an "eminent sociologist."

Mitchell agreed that he would not force the issue of union recognition but he balked at the effort to "pack" the commission. He wanted the President to add to the commission a labor man who was likely to understand the workers' point of view and a Roman Catholic prelate because most miners were Catholics. Roosevelt thought Mitchell's request reasonable and told him he would try to appoint two additional men to the commission.

"Nothing you have ever written can begin to approach in screaming comedy" the appointing of the coal commission, Roosevelt wrote to political satirist Finley Peter Dunne. "If you or anyone else produced it and ascribed it to a fictitious character all people would unite in saying it was too gross a caricature to possess literary value."45 Although the operators' representatives feared class warfare, they refused to accept a labor man on the commission. Finally, Roosevelt recounted, they "happened to mention that they would not object at all to my exercising any latitude I chose in appointments under the headings they had given. I instantly said I should appoint my labor man as the 'eminent sociologist.'" Roosevelt never forgot "the mixture of relief and amusement" he felt, when he "thoroughly grasped the fact" that the operators "would rather have anarchy than Tweedledum," but "if I called it Tweedledee they would accept it with rapture." Roosevelt then appointed E. E. Clark, head of the railway conductors' union, as the "eminent sociologist," a term that Roosevelt doubted Clark "had ever previously heard." With the consent of the operators, Roosevelt also added a Catholic bishop to the commission.46

Lost in the shuffle were ex-President Grover Cleveland and Commissioner of Labor Carroll Wright, who only a few days earlier were to have been the cornerstones of the President's strike settling commission. Roosevelt apologized to Cleveland for dropping him. However, he utilized the services of Wright, who had "been a real strength and help" to him. He first made him recorder of the new commission and shortly thereafter he appointed Wright as the seventh commissioner.47

More important than the incredible maneuvering in the selection of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission was the overriding fact that finally miners and operators alike agreed that all disputed issues should be submitted to arbitration. Both sides also agreed to abide by the findings of the commission. "The child is born," wrote Carroll Wright, "and I trust will prove a vigorous ... member of society."48

The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission

On October 23, 1902, the 163-day anthracite coal strike ended. The following morning President Roosevelt met briefly with the commissioners and asked them to try to establish good relations between the employers and the workers in the anthracite fields. The commissioners refused to comment to reporters, and then met for almost 2 hours at Wright's office, one block from the White House. There photographers took pictures, and the room became so saturated with smoke from their flash powder it had to be aired out. After organizing and scheduling future sessions, the commissioners lunched with the President, and then began their arduous task of settling the strike.49

Before listening to testimony, the commissioners spent a week touring the coal regions. They rejected the offer of the coal operators for a special train and visited mines selected jointly by the opposing parties. They saw first hand the conditions under which miners lived and labored.

Carroll Wright was overwhelmed with work and deferred as far as possible other duties he had as Commissioner of Labor. He used a large part of the meager resources of the Department of Labor, which then had a total annual budget of $183,000, to support the work of the Commission. Wright ordered special agents, experts, and clerks to drop current assignments and go to the coalfields to obtain prices of items commonly used by employees of anthracite mines. He repeatedly reminded these agents of the "extreme and urgent need" for data, and when they ran into language barriers, he authorized them to hire interpreters.50

The commissioners, after their inspection tour, met for nearly 3 months. Five-hundred fifty-eight witnesses appeared, including 240 for the striking miners, 153 for nonunion mineworkers, and 154 for the operators. The Commission itself requested the appearance of 11 witnesses. The testimony ran to 10,047 legal-sized pages in addition to other exhibits. John Mitchell played a prominent role in presenting the case for the miners. George Baer made the closing arguments for the coal operators, while Clarence Darrow closed for the workers.

Although the commissioners heard some evidence of terrible conditions, they concluded that the "moving spectacle of horrors" represented only a small number of cases. By and large, social conditions in mine communities were found to be good, and miners were judged as only partly justified in their claim that annual earnings were not sufficient "to maintain an American standard of living."51

The Commission's findings seemed to split the differences between mineworkers and mine owners. The miners asked for 20-percent wage increases, and most were given a 10-percent increase. The miners had asked for an 8-hour day and were awarded a 9-hour day instead of the standard 10 hours then prevailing.52 The operators refused to recognize the United Mine Workers union. But Mitchell believed that he had won de facto recognition and wrote that the "most important feature of the award" was the creation of a six-man arbitration board to settle disputes that could not be worked out with mine officials. The employees selected three members and the employers three members.

The Commission dealt with many other subjects, such as private police forces, child labor, and blacklisting. But the panel observed that what was really needed was a spirit of good will. "A more conciliatory disposition in the operators and their employees in their relations toward one another," the Commission commented, "would do a better and a more lasting work than any which mere rulings, however wise or just, may accomplish."53

Strikes and the public interest

The history of the coal strike of 1902 is an oft-told tale. Samuel Gompers, near the end of his long career, wrote:

Several times I have been asked what in my opinion was the most important single incident in the labor movement in the United States and I have invariably replied: the strike of the anthracite miners in Pennsylvania ... from then on the miners became not merely human machines to produce coal but men and citizens.... The strike was evidence of the effectiveness of trade unions ....54

The victory in the anthracite coalfields breathed new life into the American labor movement.55 It strengthened moderate labor leaders and progressive businessmen who championed negotiations as a way to labor peace. It enhanced the reputation of President Theodore Roosevelt. Sometimes overlooked, however, is the change the conflict made in the role of the Federal Government in important national strikes.

The Anthracite Coal Commission, toward the end of its report, summarized in a cautious way the responsibility of the National Government in "cases where great public interests are at stake." The people had "the right . . . to know the facts, and so be able to fix the responsibility. In order to do this, power must be given the authorized representatives of the people to act for them by conducting a thorough investigation."56

Roosevelt stated the matter more vigorously. His letters are sprinkled with sentences such as "no wise man would controvert that in this anthracite situation the public has an interest." The "National Government represents . . . the interests of the public as a whole." "I fear there will be fuel riots of as bad as a type as any bread riots we have ever seen."57

The draft of his statement to the coal operators and union leaders at the temporary White House on October 3, 1902, stated that "no precedent of interference in strikes will be created." But Roosevelt knew he was breaking new ground, and he deleted this sentence from his final speech. He recognized that under ordinary conditions he had no right to interfere in the strike. But Roosevelt was not the kind of man to "sit by idly" while "misery and death come to the great masses of people in our large cities." He told his Attorney General and Secretary of War that strong action might be an "evil precedent," but he would run the risk of impeachment rather than expose the Nation to chaos."58

Roosevelt's efforts to end the strike were successful. Both sides finally agreed to the findings of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission, and peace was restored in the coalfields. More important in the long run, a new role was established for the Federal Government in labor disputes. During the dramatic confrontation with the mine operators and workers on October 3, 1902, Roosevelt had said, " I speak for neither the operators nor the miners but for the general public." He made labor and industry accept the fact "that the third party, the great public, had vital interests and overshadowing rights" and so set a precedent for the Federal Government to intervene in labor disputes, not as strikebreaker but as a representative of the public interest.59

Jonathan Grossman was the Chief Historian for the U.S. Department of Labor. This article originally appeared in the Monthly Labor Review of June 1974.


1. Letter, Theodore Roosevelt to Winthrop Murray Crane (Governor of Massachusetts), Oct. 22, 1902, in Elting E. Morrison, ed. The Letters of Theodore Roosevelt, Vol. III (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1951) (to be referred to as Roosevelt Letters), p. 360.

2. Theodore Roosevelt, opening address to Oct. 3, 1902, Conference, Washington, D.C., in Theodore Roosevelt Papers, Library of Congress (to be referred to as TRP).

3. Richard B. Morris, "Andrew Jackson, Strikebreaker," American Historical Review, October 1949, pp. 54-63.

4. John L. Blackman, Jr., Presidential Seizures in Labor Disputes (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 7-8.

5. J. A. Dacus, Annals of the Great Strikes (Chicago, L. T. Palmer and Co., 1877).

6. Philip Taft, Organized Labor in American History (New York, Harper & Row, 1959), pp. 152-58.

7. John Lombardi, Labor's Voice in the Cabinet (New York, Columbia University Press, 1942), p. 47; "Report of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission," Bulletin of the Department of Labor, 46 (May 1903), pp. 437-683; Letter, Carroll D. Wright to Dr. Stephen Bauer, Nov. 8, 1902, in Department of Labor, Letters Sent, National Archives Record Group 257, Washington, D.C. (to be referred to as NARG 257); The New York Times, Apr. 23, 1886.

8. Robert H. Weibe, "The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902: A Record of Confusion," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, September 1961, pp. 229-51; Arthur E. Suffern, Conciliation and Arbitration in the Coal Industry of America (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1915), pp. 41-44.

9. John Mitchell, Organized Labor, Its Problems, Purposes and Ideals (Philadelphia, American Book and Bible House, 1903), p. 357; Robert J. Cornell, The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902 (Washington, The Catholic University of America Press, 1957), pp. 44-48; Suffern, Conciliation in the Coal Industry, pp. 240-44.

10. Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 53-54; Mitchell, Organized Labor, p. 366.

11. John Martell, "The Operators' Side of the Great Coal Strike," Collier's Weekly, Oct. 25, 1902, as quoted in Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, p. 55.

12. Carroll D. Wright, "Report to the President on Anthracite Coal Strike," Bulletin of the Department of Labor, 43 (November 1902), p. 1204.

13. Weibe, "Anthracite Coal Strike," pp. 234-37; Mitchell, Organized Labor, pp. 366-67; Herbert Croly, Marcus Alonzo Hanna (New York, The Macmillan Co., 1919), p. 328; Elsie Gluck, John Mitchell (New York, John Day Co., 1929), pp. 76-78; The Harrisburg Patriot, Sept. 25, 28, Oct. 1, 6, 23, 26, 1900.

14. Wright, "Report to the President," pp. 1143-55; The Harrisburg Patriot, Aug. 25, 1902; Elsie Glueck, John Mitchell, p. 93; Samuel Gompers, Seventy Years of Life and Labor, An Autobiography (New York, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1925), Vol. II, p. 116.

15. Letter, George F. Baer to John Mitchell, May 9, 1902, Wright, "Report to the President," pp. 1186-87.

16. Letter, Wright to R. W. Powell, June 14, 1902, NARG 257.

17. "Anthracite Commission Report." p. 499.

18. Letters, Wright to George Baer, June 16, 1902; Wright to W. H. Truesdale, June 18, 1902; Wright to J. F. O'Keefe, June 19, 1902; Wright to Rev. B. F. Hammond, June 19, 1902; Wright to President Theodore Roosevelt, June 20, 1902; Wright to Herman Justi, June 30, 1902; all in NARG 257; The Independent, June 12, 19, 1903.

19. Wright, "Report to the President," pp. 1147-87.

20. The Harrisburg Patriot, June 10, 28, 1902.

21. Letter, Roosevelt to Philander Knox, June 28, 1902, TRP; Letter, Roosevelt to Crane, Oct. 22, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 359.

22. Unidentified page preceding letter, Wright to Roosevelt, June 20, 1902, TRP; Letter, Roosevelt to Nelson W. Aldrich, Aug. 26, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 323; Wright to C. M. Walker, Sept. 15, 1902, NARG 257; "Report to the President."

23. Letter, Roosevelt to Crane, Oct. 22, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 360.

24. Quoted from Mitchell Papers in Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 169-70.

25. Selig Perlman quoted in Weibe, "Anthracite Coal Strike," p. 240.

26. Letter, Roosevelt to Henry Cabot Lodge, Sept. 27, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 331-32.

27. Letter, Lodge to Roosevelt, Oct. 6, 1902, quoted in Philip S. Foner, History of the Labor Movement in the United States, Vol. III (New York, International Publishers, 1947), pp. 95-98.

28. Letter, Roosevelt to Crane, Oct. 22, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 360.

29. Ibid.

30. Roosevelt's opening address to the Oct. 3, 1902, White House Conference, TRP

31. Letter, Roosevelt to Robert Bacon, Oct. 5, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 339-40.

32. Letter, Wright to George F. Baer, Oct. 13, 1902, NARG 257.

33. Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 184-87.

34. Letter, Roosevelt to Marcus A. Hanna, Oct. 3, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 337.

35. Letter, Roosevelt to Bacon, Oct. 5, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 341; Letter, Roosevelt to Seth Low (Mayor of New York City), Oct. 4, 1902, TRP.

36. Mitchell, Organized Labor, pp. 389-90.

37. Letter, Wright to Roosevelt, Oct. 6, 1902; Telegram, Wright to G. B. Cortelyou, Oct. 6, 1902; Telegram, Cortelyou to Wright, Oct. 7, 1902; all in TRP; Letter to Crane, 06t. 22, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 361.

38. Letter, Roosevelt to Bacon, Oct. 7, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 343.-44.

39. Wright to Roosevelt, Oct. 6, 1902, TRP; Roosevelt to Hanna, Oct. 5, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. 111, pp. 332; Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 388-89; Letter, Mitchell to Roosevelt, Oct. 8, 1902, TRP; Mitchell, Organized Labor, p. 389.

40. Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 209-11; Letters, Grover Cleveland to Roosevelt, Oct. 4, 12, 1902; TRP; Letter, Roosevelt to Joseph Bishop, Oct. 5, 1902; TRP, Letter, Roosevelt to Bacon, Oct. 5, 1902; Letter, Roosevelt to Cleveland, Oct. 10, 1902; Letter, Roosevelt to Hanna, Oct. 12, 1902, Letter, Roosevelt to Crane, Oct. 22, 1902, All in Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 342-48, 361.

41. Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 210-11.

42. Letter, Roosevelt to Hanna, Oct. 3, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 337; Carroll D. Wright, "Memorandum for the President, Reasons for the Appointment of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission," Nov. 19, 1903, TRP.

43. Letter, Elihu Root to J. P. Morgan, Oct. 9, 1902, quoted in Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 215-16

44. Taft, Organized Labor, pp. 179-80; Glueck, Mitchell, p. 1 30; Letter, Roosevelt to Bacon, Oct. 22, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 363-65.

45. Letter, Roosevelt to Finley Peter Dunne, Oct. 20, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 357.

46. Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (New York, Charles Scribner Sons, 1921), pp. 467-69.

47. Letter, Roosevelt to Cleveland, Oct. 16, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 353-54; Cornell, Anthracite Coal Strike, pp. 230-34, 236-37.

48. Letter, Wright to Dr. Graham Brooks, Oct. 18, 1902, NARG 257.

49. Letter, Roosevelt to the Anthracite Coal Commission, Oct. 23, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, p. 367; The Washington Post, Oct. 25, 1902; The Washington Evening Star, Oct. 24, 1902.

50. Letters, Wright to William S. Waudby, Nov. 8, 15, 18, 1902; to Robert M. Durham, Nov. 8, 14, 15, 1902; to James Britton, Nov. 8, 29, Dec. 3, 1902; to John M. Foster, Nov. 5, 8, 15, 1902; to Frank W. Bird, Nov. 8, 15, 1902; all in NARG 257.

51. “Report to the President," pp. 437-683; Testimony before the Anthracite Coal Commission, 51 volumes in NARG 257; Glueck, Mitchell, p. 274.

52. “Report to the President," pp. 437-683.

53. Mitchell, Organized Labor, p. 394; Glueck, Mitchell, p. 154; "Anthracite Commission Report," pp. 464, ff.

54. Samuel Gompers, Seventy Years of Life and Labor, Vol. II, pp. 117, 126-27.

55. Following the strike, the United Mine Workers became for a time the largest and most powerful labor union in the United States. When a Cabinet-level Department of Labor was created a decade later, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to appoint Mitchell as the first Secretary of Labor. Mitchell did not push his candidacy, but another top official of the Mine Workers during the great strike of 1902, William B. Wilson, became the first Secretary to represent labor's voice in the Cabinet.

56. "Anthracite Commission Report," pp. 512-13.

57. Letter, Roosevelt to Low, Oct. 3, 1902, Roosevelt Papers, Vol. 111, p. 336; Letter, Roosevelt to Low, Oct. 5, 1902, TRP; Letter, Roosevelt to Bacon, Oct. 5, 1902, Roosevelt Papers, Vol. III, p. 340.

58. Draft and final copy of opening address to Oct. 3, 1902 Conference, TRP; Letter, Roosevelt to Mrs. W. S. Cowles, Oct. 16, 1902, TRP; Letter, Roosevelt to Crane, Oct. 22, 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 361-62.

59. Draft and final copy of opening address to Oct. 3, 1902 Conference, TRP; Letter, Roosevelt to H. H. Woodward, Oct. 19. 1902, Roosevelt Letters, Vol. III, pp. 356-57.