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happy? - July 14 (Coal Creek Rebellion)

Abby Sale 14 Jul 05 - 07:31 AM
open mike 15 Jul 05 - 09:29 PM
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Subject: happy? - July 14
From: Abby Sale
Date: 14 Jul 05 - 07:31 AM

Coal mines cut pay to 2½¢ per bushel, miners strike, mines lease convicts as slave labor and, on Bastille Day, 7/14/1891, the miners storm the stockade and free the convicts. The Coal Creek Rebellion (or "Coal Wars") begin. [and/or after imposing company store, company housing, company-paid checkweighman & payment in scrip instead of money; the Tennessee Coal Co. tries to impose a "yellow Dog" (no rights/no strike) contract. The imported convicts are used to tear down the miners' homes & fence off the mine.]

10,000 troops are brought in & fight a pitched battles county-wide throughout the year. Convict leasing ends in Tennessee 1/1/1896. The system remained elsewhere in the south, however, through WW II.

        See Pete Seeger's biography, How Can I Keep from Singing, by
        David King Dunaway and Korson, Coal Dust on the Fiddle

        Way back yonder in Tennessee, they lease the convicts out,
        They work them in the coal mines, against free labor south.
        Free labor rebelled against it...

                "Buddy Won't You Roll Down The Line," Uncle Dave Macon

Pete Steele's "Coal Creek March" is about this but "Payday ay Coal Creek" is different and may be about a Coal Creek mine explosion in 1911.

Quoting Seeger: Conventional school histories ignore the events as they ignore the rent wars of New York State, the Dorr Rebellion of Rhode Island, slave revolts and early labor struggles. But as always happens, many topical folk songs were composed by local balladeers. The best of these have survived and been collected into archives by serious-minded professors who don't always know what the words are all about.

(We understand the Irish were also having fun on 7/14. Perhaps somebody will note that one.)
Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky

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Subject: RE: happy? - July 14
From: open mike
Date: 15 Jul 05 - 09:29 PM

the middle day of the middle month of the year..

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