The great railroad strike of 1877Presentation Transcript
A Streetcar Named Despair
“ The Sixth Maryland Regiment Fighting Its Way Through Baltimore,” 1877. Harper’s Weekly , August 11, 1877. http://www.catskillarchive.com/ rrextra/sk771101.Html (June 28, 2010).
“ Maryland.-The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Strike-The Sixth Regiment, N.G.S.M., Firing Upon the Mob, on the Corner of Frederick and Baltimore Streets, July 20 th ,” 1877. Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly , August 4, 1877. http://www1.assumption.edu/users/mcclymer/us%20survey/default2.html (June 28, 2010).
FIRING ON THE CROWD. It was not the purpose of the officers to fire on the crowd, but after the first recoil, when Company I again moved to the door and were received with another terrific stone assault, the soldiers seemed to lose control of themselves so far as to think only of their own defense. The firing began at the door, and the officers claim that it was without orders from them. Company I, with fixed bayonets, moved on Front street toward Baltimore street and were followed at an interval of about thirty feet by Company F, who were also received with showers of missiles and responded with occasional volleys of musketry. A volley was fired along Fayette street towards the bridge, driving the crowd in that direction. Theses two companies marched by Front street to Baltimore street, and up Baltimore street to Gay, fighting their way at every step and doing sad execution with the Minnie balls from their rifles. By the time they had passed the corner of Baltimore and Harrison streets, one man [was] dead with a ball through the breast and three others dangerously wounded, had been carried into Laroque's drug store at that point. The two companies continued up Baltimore street toward the Camden Station. Company B Captain [unclear], by order of Colonel Peters, being the last to leave the armory, marched by way of Front street to Gay street and up Gay to Baltimore street, and thence towards the depot. This route was taken to avoid the hostile crowd. While moving out of the armory Col. Peters directed the companies from the head of the stairs, going with the less experienced officers to the door, and once saying to a youth in one of the companies, who seemed on the point of giving way to his terror, "go forward and fight like a man," pushing him on. “ Firing on the Crowd,” Baltimore Sun , July 21, 1877.
Sixth Regiment Fifth Regiment
Approximate location of where the Maryland Sixth Regiment fired upon residents of Baltimore. This is what it looks like today.
That’s strange…why would Maryland National Guard troops fire on their own citizens? And why would citizens be chucking rocks right back at them?
It all has to do with the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, a major event in U.S. labor relations. Much of the event occurred in Baltimore.
You (yes You!) the student will answer the following question:
How did the perception of labor change after the Great Railroad Strike of 1877?
You will be creating a newspaper that reflects the answer to that question, while informing others about the events of the strike.
Compromise of 1877
Shady deal to make Rutherford B. Hayes President
Increased animosity and skepticism toward government
Election of a Republican president
End of war makes investment in railroads possible
Peace is profitable
Expansion west means more markets, means more money
Railroads become the second largest employer in the country (behind agriculture)
Robber barons get rich while workers are not
Panic of 1873
Stock market crashes following the failure of an investment bank
Bank was heavily invested in railroads
Other markets and banks quickly collapse
Finance for railroads dries up
Railroad firms cut costs by cutting salaries
“ Baltimore and Ohio Memo Concerning Wages,” 1877. Maryland State Archives. http://teachingamericanhistorymd.net/000001/000000/000070/images/notice-copyright.jpg (June 28, 2010)
“ Destruction of the Union Depot and Hotel at Pittsburgh,” 1877. Harper’s Weekly , August 11, 1877. http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/sk771104.Html (June 28, 2010).
“ Pittsburgh in the Hands of the Mob,” 1877. Harper’s Weekly , August 11, 1877. http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/sk771109.Html (June 28, 2010).
“ Pittsburgh Riots,” 1877. ExplorePA History Digital Archive. http://explorepahistory.com/displayimage.php?imgId=899 (June 28, 2010).
“ Steeple-View of the Pittsburgh Conflagration,” 1877. Harper’s Weekly , August 11, 1877. http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/sk771105.Html (June 28, 2010).
Thomas Scott, Pennsylvania Railroad Magnate “ [Give the strikers] a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread." “ Railroad Strike Reaches Chicago, Illinois,” unknown date. Baltimore Independent Media Center. http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/7571/index.php
“ Proclamation issued by Sheriff William W. Jennings, Harrisburg, PA,” 1877. http://explorepahistory.com/displayimage.php?imgId=1729 (June 28, 2010).