William O. Douglas Betty Bowen Carl Maxey Chief Joseph Bertha Landes Buffalo Soldier Home
Search Encyclopedia
Advanced Search
Featured Essay
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
7099 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donation system not supported by Safari     Donate Subscribe


Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search


Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

African Americans used as strikebreakers at the Franklin coal mines starting May 17, 1891.

HistoryLink.org Essay 1941 : Printer-Friendly Format

On about May 17, 1891, African Americans arrive at Franklin, Washington, to start working in the Oregon Improvement Company coal mines. The Oregon Improvement Company has recruited them from Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee with offers of good paying jobs and free transportation. It is not until the train arrives at Franklin that the black workers realize they are being used as strikebreakers. The white strikers then do as management has planned: They make a racial issue out of an economic one. Franklin is located in southeast King County just north of Black Diamond.

The owners brought in more than 500 strikebreakers. T. B. Corey, the superintendent of mines at Franklin, stated that African American strikebreakers "made the issue one of race between the white and colored miners, and not one of wages or conditions of work between the coal companies and their employees." The white strikers expended more of their wrath on the black workers and less on the coal operators.

After the strike was over, the animosity lasted until 1904 when United Mine Workers Union established an integrated local union in Franklin.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer August 4, 1988, p B-2; Quintard Taylor, The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle's Central District From 1870 through the Civil Rights Era (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994), 27, 68.

Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Related Topics: Industry | Labor | Black Americans |

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You

Coal mines, Franklin (King County), 1898
Courtesy Black Diamond Historical Society

Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org