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State v. Edgar Combs


Filed in open Court

Oct. 15, 1923


The American Sociological Society

Dartmouth College

Hanover, N.H.

August 1, 1923

As a teacher in Dartmouth College I have been called on to make several investigations into conditions in coal mining regions in Colorado and Pennsylvania. One of my studies was published by the Macmillan Company and another by Industrial Management. I have never been connected in any way with a labor union and believe that my testimony is impartial.

I have recently been to West Virginia for the purpose of studying conditions in the coal industry there. I was in the state for a total of about a month during June and July of this year. For the major part of this time I was in Logan County or in the surrounding counties.

I found it extremely difficult to secure affidavits from coal miners and others because they stated they were afraid of Don Chaffin and his Deputy Sheriffs. It seemed to be the general consensus of opinion that any person connected with the United Mine Workers of America would not knowingly be permitted to remain in the county and might be subjected to violence. I counted the names of over two hundred deputy sheriffs in the court records of the county and Don Chaffin informed me that the unions had so far been successfully kept out of the district.

Whether justified or not, operators and officials with whom I talked in Logan seemed to feel especial bitterness against H.W. Houston, Attorney of the United Mine Workers of America. It seems to me probable that necessary witnesses for the defense would be reluctant to testify fully and freely, and that they might actually be afraid to attend court for any considerable time. I know that there are a large number of responsible citizens of Logan County who share this belief, although they may not be willing to testify publicly for the reasons given above.

Jerome Davis

Taken, subscribed and sworn to before me this first day of July, 1923.

My commission expires on the 17th day of Feb 1928.

Edward F. Moore, Notary Public


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