Monday, July 4, 2016


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, August 26, 1892.



The Appeals to Heads of Other Orders Failed—No Grievance of Their Own.
   BUFFALO, Aug. 24.—At midnight to-night Mr. Sweeney, the head of the Switchmen's order, officially recognized the fact that the strike movement of  Switchmen, which was inaugurated 12 days ago in this city, had failed. In the official terms of the order the strike was "declared off." The men who were formerly employed as switchmen in the railway yards here will before dawn be notified by their local officials that the purpose for which they quit their employment has not been accomplished and that they are now at liberty to get back their places if they can.
   The beginning of the end of what was until last Sunday an almost general strike of switchmen in the Buffalo railroad yards was marked by Mr. Sweeney's appeal to the heads of other orders of railway workers to meet him in conference in this city. Mr. Sweeney was brought face to face with the fact that as stated in these dispatches Sunday night, there was no longer any strike of switchmen in the Buffalo yards. The evident fact that the companies had resumed the natural conduct of their business without the men who had left their employ with Mr. Sweeney's sanction, pressed home to the Grand Master Workman the conviction that his local followers had become no longer striking switchmen, but only idle men whose work is the throwing of switches, but whose position had been forfeited without profit to themselves. Their leader was brought to see by daily development in the yards that if his men were saved at all, some power beyond his resources or theirs must be invoked. At this point the fact should be stated which has not before been made public, as one of the hampering conditions which entered into the problem Mr. Sweeney had set himself to solve. The finances of his order are exceedingly limited. The organization is without a revenue, and without money the leader who has been trying here to win against the railroads has found how necessary is a bank account in an organized effort of labor for the establishment of new conditions which are not acceptable to railroads with a large money reserve.
   This, at the close of last week, with the physical fact of renewed traffic movement by the railroads confronting him and without an official bank account at his command, Mr. Sweeney knew that his cause was lost. He turned, as a last resort, toward the other organizations of railway workmen, and his invitations to Messrs. Sargent, Clark, Arthur, Wilkinson and Thurston, were the visible indications that the switchmen must confess defeat without fraternal aid.
   Before noontime today each of those labor leaders, save Messrs. Arthur and Thurston, were in the city. Already Mr. Sargent had informed Mr. Sweeney that his men would not come out unless the men of all other railway orders also co-operated. Mr. Wilkinson, the trainmen's chief, had not met Mr. Sweeney since their memorable meeting at Terre Haute, and his aid could scarcely be reckoned upon other than grounds of absolute justice to his own men, while Mr. Clark of the Conductors, had already stated that the men of his order had no grievance of their own. Such was the situation, when at 4 o'clock this afternoon, three men ascended the stairs of the Hotel Broczel and proceeded towards Room 18, which is at the end of a quiet hallway on the first floor, and overlooking the depot and passenger yards of the New York Central.
   There was little formality in the procedure of the conference. Mr. Sweeney was asked at once to set forth the position in which he and his men were placed. He did so at length and in detail.
   At the conclusion of Mr. Sweeney's statements, Mr. Sargent reiterated what he had already stated, that his men should not go out on a sympathetic strike, unless all railway organizations did so. If this was a case which demanded that a general issue should be made by all organized railway labor, then he would be in the line with his firemen; otherwise the firemen would be kept in boiling water.
   Mr. Clark stated that the conductors had no grievances, and that while they believed the demands of the switchmen were just, there would be no strike of conductors, save it was to redress wrongs to the conductors.
   Mr. Wilkerson of the trainmen informed the switchmen's leader that he felt the original demands of the switchmen were fair if ever any demands were just, but his order could not consent to co-operation by a sympathetic strike.
   These statements having been made, Mr. Sweeney had received his ultimatum. The conference broke up about 7 o'clock, and all save Mr. Sweeney strolled together down the broad staircase to the lobby. Nearly a mile mile up Main street, in one of the big hotels, four men lounged upon a big feather sofa. Finally a slight, wiry figure hurried in and beckoning to the four proceeded with them to room 163, on the fourth floor of the hotel. It was Mr. Sweeney's room, and the slight, wiry man was Mr. Sweeney. The men who were awaiting him were Master Workman Moriarity of the Switchmen's Lodge in this city, and the three others were also local representatives of the men who had gone on a strike. Then began a confab which was continued until after 1 o'clock. During its progress messengers came and were dispatched frequently.
   To representatives of the press Mr. Sweeney said: "A conclusion has been reached by the duly authorized representatives of the switchmen, and it is that this trouble is ended at midnight tonight. That is all I have got to say and I don't propose to answer any questions, so you need not ask any." Then he added: "Four hundred and fifteen switchmen can't fight 8,000 troops and four or five railroad companies."
   "There are more switchmen out than 415," shot in one of the correspondents.
   "Yes, about 515 are out now," corrected Mr. Sweeney. "And if any men had a grievance these men did."
   "We are a little disfigured, but still in the ring," interjected Officer Barrett of the Switchmen's Order. ''Sh!'' commanded Mr. Sweeney, and then he added as the newspaper men withdrew and in answer to an inquiry, "I have nothing to say as to whether there will be a federation of railway orders or not. You will probably give us credit for making a stiff fight if we are beaten."
   "Will any of your men be taken back by the roads?" asked a retiring correspondent.
   "They need trainmen and skilful help and they certainly cannot get any better men than these," was Mr. Sweeney's response. The word was carried out towards the East Buffalo yards at once by messengers, and before dawn the idle switchmen knew they were at liberty to again seek work where they could. It is estimated by Arbitration Commissioner Donovan, who has called upon the railway officials in behalf of the men, that nearly 50 per cent of the now idle switchmen will be reemployed. It is probable that the troops from the east will be speedily withdrawn, the local militia being left to furnish such protection as may be necessary.

Sergeant Gray Returns from Buffalo.

   Sergeant Harry P. Gray of the 45th Separate company arrived home from Buffalo last Sunday evening on the milk train. He seemed to be ill and almost unable to walk when he got off the train, and a friend assisted him to his home, corner of South Main and Union-sts. His wife and her mother were in the upper part of the town and the house was locked. Mrs. Gray soon returned and found her husband lying on the grass in an almost unconscious state. He was taken in the house and Dr. Dana summoned, who found him suffering from bowel trouble. 
   Mr. Gray says he was hit on the head by a stone thrown by one of the women strikers at Buffalo. He has no recollection of starting for home or of getting off the train here. Mr. Gray is much better and hopes to be able to be at his store to-day.

Carpenters Get Together.
   The carpenters and joiners of this village have organized a carpenter's union with about 40 members. The following temporary organization was effected: President, Walter B. Stevenson; Secretary, Edward Toomey; Treasurer, Chas. W. Brown. They expect to add about 15 more names to the roll when permanent officers will be elected.

Drowned at Tully Lake.
   At about 10:30 o'clock last Saturday evening, while Patrick Gleason of Tully, and three other men were crossing Tully lake in a row boat, the boat was capsized and the occupants were thrown into the water. The party had started to cross the lake, their objective point being Hobart's hotel located on the west shore. The accident happened within 50 feet of the landing and Frank Russell, one of the occupants of the boat, swam ashore and procuring another boat succeeded in getting two of the men on board, but Gleason could not be found. After two hours search the body was found in about 20 feet of water and was taken to the rooms of undertaker Earle in Tully and coroner Roberts of Syracuse was notified.
   Gleason was 38 years old and was coachman for Frederick Hanes of Tully and had previously served in the same capacity for H. J. Mowry of Syracuse. The boat was loaded too heavily and those who saw them start out say that the water came nearly to the top of the rail on both sides and it would require only a slight movement to turn it over. It is thought that one of the oars must have struck Gleason on the head when the boat capsized, partially stunning him, as he was not seen after the boat went over until his body was taken from the water.
   Relatives from Syracuse and Pompey seemed anxious to secure the body and undertakers were there from both places demanding the remains. It is reported that the wrangle between the undertakers was most unseemly and disgraceful and that it was only ended by the tardy directions of the coroner. The body was finally taken by the undertaker from Pompey.
   Gleason had saved up something over $2,000 and is said to have been quite an industrious and frugal citizen. The coroner decided that an inquest was not necessary.

Fishing on Sunday.

   The general term decided that fishing in a private pond on Sunday is a crime. A wealthy New Yorker named Robert H. Moses was charged in July, 1891, with fishing in Wickham pond, a private pond in the town of Warwick, Orange county, on Sunday, July 5. He was tried before Squire Wisner, found guilty and fined $5. He refused to pay this fine and appealed to the County Court. Judge Beattie affirmed the decision. Moses then appealed to the general term and the case was argued at Poughkeepsie last May by Matthew Daly of New York for Moses, and District Attorney Hirschberg for the people. The General Term, Judge [Cullen], writing the opinion, affirms the conviction of Moses. In the opinion Judge [Cullen] says: "But one question is presented to us on this appeal. That the defendant was fishing on Sunday is conceded, that the lake where he fished was private property, and that he had the privilege of fishing in it was also conceded.
   "It is not shown that he created any commotion or disorder, or that his acts attracted or were witnessed by any person other than the complainant, or disturbed the peace. On these facts the defendant contends that he was guilty of no offense that under the authority of People vs. Denin, 35 Hun. 327, to constitute the crime the act must disturb the repose of the community. Section 265, penal code, prohibits 'shooting, playing, horse racing, gambling, [pastimes] or shows.' It will thus be seen that while only public sports are forbidden, all shooting, hunting and fishing, etc., are forbidden. The decision in People vs. Denin proceeds on this distinction. In fact, it might be very difficult to draw any distinction between ''a public'' fishing or hunting and private fishing or hunting, The validity of such legislation cannot be questioned in this state. Nuendorf vs. Duryea, 69 N. Y., 557, Lindmiller vs. People, 33 [Barb.,] 548. The question of how far these restrictions should be carried is for the legislature, not for the courts. Judgment appealed from affirmed."

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