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company taking money from his wages for this purpose and dictating what physician he must employ.
While conditions have thus been changing the relation of the miners to the company in the small villages, the system of regulating those relations has remained the same. Neither the operators nor the miners have realized sufficiently that with changing relations there must be new methods of dealing with the problems of communal life if the best interests of both are to be preserved. The company store and the company doctor were for the good of all under old conditions ; they are to the injury of both when compulsion becomes necessary to their continuance, as it now undoubtedly is in nearly every mining town.
The companies in all the large cities where miners live have, without an exception of note, abolished these systems. The company store and the company doctor no doubt in many cases prove a source of profit to the company. The operators certainly would not long continue them at a loss. Nearly every one of these stores in the anthracite region at the present time is conducted by individual operators. None of the large companies, such as the Delaware and Hudson, Coxe Brothers & Company, the Lehigh & Wilkesbarre, the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company, the Lehigh Valley, and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, now conduct company stores nor collect for any stores whatever. They pay their employees in cash between the first and the twentieth of the month for the preceding month. Nor do all the operators have a company doctor. Where these systems are still in use the miners have moved for their abolition. And along with this change they ask for semimonthly pay as another aid to rendering them independent.
All the demands of the United Mine Workers of America were not granted by the operators. The striking miners went back to work after notices had been posted at all the important collieries promising the employees an increase of 10
per cent in their wages. In the Wyoming and Lackawanna and the Lehigh districts this 10 per cent increase was to include a reduction in the price of powder from $2.75 to $1.50 a keg. In the Lehigh and Schuylkill districts the sliding scale was abolished. The operators, in their posted notices, stated that they would take up with their men any further grievances they might have.
Throughout the struggle the miners retained to an unusual degree the sympathy of the public. This was no doubt due to the confidence the public reposed in the leaders of the strike and the control these leaders exerted over the strikers. There were only two cases of bloodshed during the whole forty-two days of tension, one at Shenandoah, where a spectator, a foreigner, was shot and killed, and the other at Oneida, where a special guard of Coxe Brothers & Company was shot and killed. Both the shootings took place in Schuylkill county. Nevertheless there was much more rioting than the public was led to believe. Hardly a day passed that disturbances did not occur over large areas. It so happened, however, that these did not result in bloodshed, and they did not therefore receive from the newspaper correspondents the attention that was given to the Shenandoah and Oneida shootings.
The operators tried in more ways than one to break the strength of the United Mine Workers during the progress of the strike. When the conflict was inaugurated by the Union the agreement between G. B. Markle & Company and its employees, the company being one of the “independent " operators controlling four collieries in the Lehigh district, was brought up to show the public that the strikers were not sincere in their demands. In this agreement the employees had promised to submit any difficulties they might have with their employers to arbitration, "by our choosing a competent man and their choosing one, and if these two men cannot agree, these two must choose the third, and their decision, or the decision of a majority of them, to be binding."
The men had also promised under the agreement that under no consideration would they enter into a strike, and that they would not be governed by any labor association in settling any difficulties while in the employment of G. B. Markle & Company. Violation of this agreement seemed to lay the miners open to the charge of a breach of faith. It was largely owing to the lucid explanation of President Mitchell that the public was brought to see that the grievances complained of could not be settled by concessions made by a single operator, and that the only course for the men was to stand together as a unit till the railroad coal operating companies should unite in a settlement.
Another way in which the operators attempted to break the strength of the strikers was through the Philadelphia & Reading Coal and Iron Company. This company employs about 27,000 men and is by far the most influential company operating in the Schuylkill field. A great majority of its men went out on strike out of sympathy for the miners in the other districts, having themselves no particular grievances. To induce these men to return to work this company posted notices offering them an advance of 10 per cent in their wages. Fear was expressed, even by some of the Union leaders, that many of these employees, of whom a large proportion were of foreign birth, would accept the offer and thus lessen the United Mine Workers' chances of success. But the strike leaders were able to keep these men from returning to work.
The success of the United Mine Workers of America in this strike will result to the advantage of both operators and miners. If there is any one thing certain as to the future of the anthracite coal industry it is that the cost of mining must be reduced more and more. Heretofore the easiest way to reduce this cost has been to reduce the wages of the mine employees, either directly or indirectly. Now that the miners are strongly organized they can successfully resist efforts at reduction along this line. The operators will be compelled therefore to turn their energies to reducing the cost of mining, where it should be reduced, by improving the management and superintendence of their properties, partly through a closer consolidation of their interests, but even more through invention, the introduction of improved machinery, the employment of skilled labor and the better direction of labor. The strike has thus, it is believed, put a stop to a development in the anthracite region which was of permanent benefit to none and started development along lines full of promise for the future,
THE ELECTION OF 1900.
In 1896, Mr. McKinley was elected President of the United States, receiving 61 per cent of the electoral and 51 per cent of the popular votes. In 1900 he received 65 per cent of the electoral and 52 per cent of the popular votes. He thus joins the group of seven Presidents who have been honored with two consecutive terms, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant. He enjoys the further distinction of being the only majority President since Grant, all of the others, as well as the two Adamses, Polk, Taylor, Buchanan and Lincoln (in 1860), having received a minority of the popular votes cast. With only one other President, Jackson, McKinley shares the honor of having been returned in the face of a serious challenge of his economic policy. Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe antedated the national convention and the party discipline which has grown up with it; they belonged to a period when the man, not the party, filled the nation's highest office. Moreover, the three Democrats profited by a public sentiment favorable to a second term. Neither Grant nor Lincoln was re-elected on economic issues nor by a free vote of the entire nation. Thus only two Presidents in 112 years have been able to find justification in the popular vote for the belief that the sovereign people, after deliberate thought, had emphatically and unqualifiedly endorsed their administrations.
The result of the election seems to have impressed the public both at home and abroad, not so much because of its meaning, as because of its magnitude. The Democratic party received only thirteen electoral votes outside of the Solid South-and these from states whose fidelity to silver was purely mercenary. Even the sub-arid West, the progenitor of Populism, repudiated its offspring, and gave its entire