Railway Strikers Cheer Leland Stanford's Wife

Jan 3, 2014

 In the summer of 1894, the Eugene Debs’ American Railway Union called on its workers to support striking Pullman Company workers by preventing any train with a Pullman car from running anywhere in America. 

 In Ashland, Ore., workers disabled engines and left them in the roundhouse and removed connectors from Pullman cars. About 60 Siskiyou section crewmen and work-train men quit. The strike stranded 40 passengers, but the American Railway Union gave them meal tickets. Railway workers burned 160 feet of an even longer trestle below Mott in Northern California, stranding passengers in Sisson, or Mt. Shasta as it is known today. Among them, was Jane Stanford, widow of Southern Pacific Associate Leland Stanford.  The workers so admired Stanford’s treatment of them in the past that they transported her by coach to Dunsmuir and personally escorted her to Oakland, cheering her at every depot, on a special train they decorated with bunting and flowers. In return she agreed the train would not be used to benefit the company during the strike.  The federal government sent in the Army to end the bitter strike a few days later. 

  Sources: "Gallant Strikers." Los Angeles Herald 3 July 1894, volume 42 ed. Print. "Courtesy Shown the Lady by the Strikers." Los Angeles Herald 4 July 1894, volume42 ed. Print. "How the Strikers Stall Trains at Ashland." San Francisco Call 2 July 1894, v. 76 no. 32 ed. Print.