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business; railroads suffered in measure, and in the midst of all this a body of men is found foolish enough to rebel against comparative welfare, at the bidding of a horde of malcontents, whose god is Discord. A meeting was held at Jackson, July 23, to consider the action of the M. C. R. R. in proposing to reduce the pay of its employes. That meeting appointed a committee to wait upon the principal directors of the company, and report the result to a meeting, ordered to be held at Union Hall the following evening. The report of that gathering of discontented spirits is thus given:-
An immense throng of people assembled at Union Hall to learn the result of the conference between the committee appointed by the meeting Monday night and the officers of the Michigan Central Company. Disappointment was in store, however, for those who went thither out of mere curiosity, for none but those directly interested—railroad men--were admitted, a scrutinizing committee being posted at the door who required the production of a pass card or a personal identification. This proved a wise precaution, as a large element was excluded that might have produced mischievous results; but as it was, the end attained was purely the work of railroad men, and to them belong the credit of bringing about a course of action that has proven in the end the better for all concerned.
By half-past eight the body of the hall and the gallery was filled with an anxious assembly of men, when the meeting was called to order by "Dick” Van Horn, who suggested the nomination of a chairman and secretary, and Mr. Robert C. Stewart was called to the chair, and Mr. E. P. Hastings appointed secretary.
The chairman then called for the report of the committee appointed Monday night. The committee responded through its various members to the following effect: That the committee had waited upon Assistant Superintendent Brown with a request for passes
to Detroit and had been met by that gentleman with the tender of Mr. Ledyard's car and his own company, which was accepted by the committee. They had proceeded to Detroit and had an interview with Messrs Joy and Ledyard, to whom they stated their grievances. These gentleman, after hearing the committee, informed them that in the present condition of the business of the company it would be impossible for the company to entertain the demand of the men, either as regarded the 10 per cent. reduction, or the matter of double crews, but stated that the reduction was not intended to apply to men who had been reduced in May; and that those who had suffered such reduction exceeding five per cent. would be reimbursed, and that the company would at the earliest practical moment return to the former rates of wages.
The apprentice system was also discussed, but the officers could not see their way clear to its abolition, as that would involve the discharge of a large number of faithful employes. Messrs. Joy and Ledyard also expressed a desire and readiness to meet the employes of the company at any time and place appointed by such
employes, and place the matter fairly and squarely before them. It was also the wish of Mr. Brown that the men should be asked to vote on this question, and, if favorable, that a time and place be fixed at the present meeting. The various members of the committee were unanimous in counseling careful, cool and deliberate consideration of the important question before them, holding to the idea that the interest of the company was the men's interest, and that any precipitate action would result in disaster to both the company and employes.
The question of meeting the gentlemen above referred to was then discussed, and it was decided to entertain their proposition, and then the question arose as to the most suitable time and place. Messrs. Joy and Ledyard had expressed a preference for holding the meeting on the company's ground, where railroad men—their employes--should be their auditors, and it was finally decided that that evening, at 8 o'clock, at the passenger depot, be the time and place for the meeting. This was decided upon mainly from the fact that it was thought best whatever was done should be done quickly, as this community, like all others, is liable to feel the effects of disorderly elements dwelling in it, which, though not directly identified with the interests of the railroad men, would undoubtedly be found ready to foment and foster disorder. That the result of the meeting is a credit to the men engaged in it no one with any sense will deny.
But the demon of mischief was abroad, and his power conquered the better feelings of men, and large numbers persisted in their opposition to a peaceful solution of the difficulty. Another meeting was held at the depot on the night of the 25th, which was largely attended.
While this meeting was in progress, Mayor O'Donnell, seeing that the crisis was at hand, issued the following proclamation :
Mayor's OFFICE, CITY OF JAOKSON. July 25, 1877. WAEREAS, Certain derangements now exist in certain departments of industry in this municipality which impede business and are detrimental to the prosperity of our city, anů it is desirable that the views of the people be given voice; therefore I, James O'Donnell, Mayor of the city of Jackson, State of Michigan, do hereby issue this, my proclamation, requesting a meeting of the citizens and business men of the city of Jackson, for counsel and the adoption of such measures as the circumstances of the case may demand. Said meeting will be held at Union Hall, on Thursday morning, July 26, at half-past ten o'clock, and a full attendance is desired. Witness my hand, this 25th day of July, A. D. 1877.
JAMES O'DONNELL, Mayor of the City of Jackson, Mich.
In response to the call of the mayor about 200 of the best citizens assembled at Union Hall at 10:30 o'clock, July 26. The meeting was called by order of the mayor, who called C. W. Penny to the chair. Upon taking the chair Mr. Penny said, that whatever the circumstances of the case, it was apparent that this people must say that trains must be run, and must demand' that the men who have quit work on the railroads must be made to understand that while their individual rights are recognized entirely and thoroughly, they must not interfere with the movement of the necessary
business of the railroads centering here, so important for the best interests of all our business men. He left the meeting open to any suggestion.
Thomas A. Wilson was chosen secretary, and Mr. R. H. Emerson moved that a committee of five be appointed by the chair to draw up resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.
Mr. John D. Conelly advocated the resolution in an earnest and eloquent speech. He said: : “ It is the duty of the hour for every citizen to express himself decidedly and firmly on the situation. What has occurred elsewhere admonishes us that we should be ready to do whatever may be necessary to be done. A few men are undertaking to say that while they will not destroy property the owners shall not use it as they see fit. It is our duty as citizens to enroll and say that all shall be protected in their rights. If a man interferes with one of our draymen who is driving through the streets he will be arrested and punished.
" The same protection should be afforded our railroad companies, and it is now the duty of every citizen to stand up and see to it that the railaoad company is protected in its rights. For one I think I am wanting in my duty as a citizen if I neglect to volunteer in defense of the rights of the humblest as well as the wealthiest class of citizens. We should say to this railroad company and these railroad men, your rights shall be protected and no man shall be prevented from working if he shall deem it his duty to do
We as citizens can protect ourselves, and it is the duty of every community to protect the rights of both property and labor. We don't want any trifling. We had better sink our whole town than permit these disorganizers to put us at defiance. These are my sentiments, and I want them carried out with a firm hand. If need be, let us arm ourselves and see to it that the rights of all are protected."
Mr. Connelly was followed by Messrs. Pringle, Emerson, Stewart, Penny, Rev. Moses Smith and others. Resolutions were then offered fully indorsing the action of the mayor in issuing his proclamation, and asking all good citizens to enroll themselves as special police.
July 26, as train No. 4, of the M. C. R. R., carrying the mail, started out of Jackson, a crowd, composed of a few dissatisfied railroad employes and a large number of outsiders, jumped upon the train and stopped it, by setting the brakes and uncoupling the train. They threatened to prevent the running of all trains through Jackson, Mr. Ledyard, General Manager of the road, telegraphed this fact to Gov. Croswell, at Lansing, who then telegraphed orders to Gen. Withington to co-operate with the citizens and civil authorities in keeping order. The citizens commenced enrolling for service in behalf of law and order, and the Governor encouraged a vigorous prosecution of this work, to “maintain the good name and faune" of this city. Mayor O'Donnell stood ready at the telegraph key to assist. "All remained quiet until 8 P. M.,