American Civil Liberties Union, Appalachia, Battle of Blair Mountain, Frank Keeney, history, J.T. Morris, Kiwanis Club, Logan, Logan Banner, Macbeth, Morgan County, Raleigh Register, Rotary Club, United Mine Workers of America, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this bit of history regarding the Armed March, or the Battle of Blair Mountain, dated March 30, 1923:
Morris Tells of Logan’s Invasion
Speaking before the Kiwanis club at its luncheon last Friday noon, J.T. Morris, who is now located at MacBeth, Logan county, told in some detail of the visit to Logan county on Sunday, March 4th, of the emissaries of the American Civil Liberties Union, characterizing the “invasion” as a “fizzle,” and stating that free speech was as free in Logan county as anywhere else in the country, but that both the mine workers and mine operators of the county were unalterably opposed to the United Mine Workers of America, and were in solid compact against it.
Mr. Morris stated that every mine worker in the Logan field was bound by his contract of employment to resist encroachment of the U.M.W.A., and that the employers in turn were bound in the same way and would resist to the last ditch. It was under these contracts, approved by a decision of the United States supreme court, the speaker said, that the recent injunctions against the United Mine Workers of America had been secured, and that these injunctions covered every means of attack except that brought about through the American Civil Liberties Union; which has also been busy with propaganda in the interest of C. Frank Keeney in Morgan county.
Their method of approach, widely advertised by inflammatory statements, Mr. Morris described as an insult to the people of Logan county. What was actually said at the meeting was very tame in comparison, he said. They merely generalized on the subject of free speech, and that didn’t worry Loganites, for any man can come into Logan and speak without hindrance so long as he stays within the limits of the law, of common decency and of the public interest.
Mr. Morris read extracts from the addresses of what he dubbed the “wise men of the east.”
Logan county is a unit in its resentment against its defamers. The bar association, the clergy, the chamber of commerce, the Rotary club–all have passed stirring resolutions condemning the insults heaped on the community.
Reprinted from the Raleigh Register