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Strike at Homestead Mill: The Homestead Letters


m_run.html m_partner.html mh_horror.html mf_flames.html Soon after the bloody battle on July 6, Carnegie told the New York Herald that the news of the disaster "grieved me more than I can tell you. It came on me like a thunderbolt in a clear sky." In fact, Carnegie had supported Frick's preparations for battle and closely monitored the lockout, as demonstrated by his correspondence that year:


May 4
Letter to Frick
"One thing we are all sure of: No contest will be entered in that will fail. It will be harder this time at Homestead.... On the other hand, your reputation will shorten it, so that I really do not believe it will be much of a struggle. We all approve of anything you do, not stopping short of approval of a contest. We are with you to the end."

June 10
Telegram to Frick
"Of course, you will be asked to confer, and I know you will decline all conferences, as you have taken your stand and have nothing more to say.... Of course you will win, and win easier than you suppose, owing to the present condition of the market."

July 6
The battle at Homestead

July 7
Telegram to Frick
"Cable received. All anxiety gone since you stand firm. Never employ one of these rioters. Let grass grow over works. Must not fail now. You will win easily next trial."

July 17
Letter to cousin
"Matters at home bad -- such a fiasco trying to send guards by Boat and then leaving space between River & fences for the men to get opposite landing and fire. Still we must keep quiet & do all we can to support Frick & those at Seat of War. I have been besieged by interviewing Cables from N York but have not said a word. Silence is best. We shall win, of course, but may have to shut down for months."

November 18
Telegram from Frick at end of lockout
"Victory!"

November 21
Telegram from Frick
"Strike officially declared off yesterday. Our victory is now complete and most gratifying. Do not think we will ever have any serious labor trouble again.... Let the Amalgamated still exist and hold full sway at other people's mills. That is no concern of ours."

Late November
Telegram to Frick from Italy
"Life is worth living again -- Cables received -- first happy morning since July -- surprising how pretty Italia -- congratulate all around -- improve works -- go ahead -- clear track -- tariff not in it -- shake."

Late December
Letter to Frick from Rome
"I am well and able to take an interest in the wonders we see.… Shall see you all early after the New Year. Think I'm about ten years older than when with you last. Europe has rung with Homestead, Homestead, until we are sick of the name, but it is all over now-So once again Happy New Year to all. I wish someone would write me about your good self. I cannot believe you can be well. Ever your Pard, A.C."


Next: The Hated Men in Blue


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