Sunday, November 6, 2011

Davisville & the Pullman Strike of 1894 (20)

I am a member of a listserv focused on the life and works of Jack London. Recent events in Oakland have inspired London fans on that list to recall that 800 participants in Kelly’s Army (a western wing of Coxey’s Army) occupied an Oakland plaza in April, 1894.

Making Oakland’s current mayor look meek, the 1894 Oakland mayor called out the militia, deputized 1,200 new police deputies, and deployed a Gatling gun. The 800 protesters were rousted onto boxcars heading east.


This event is relevant to Jack London listserv people because, “JL,” at age 18, was a participant in Kelly’s Army and traveled across the country with it.

The train on which the 800 protesters were put was headed to Sacramento--and therefore going through Davisville. I wondered if some of them might have disembarked in our town and become an event of note (as a later Kelly’s army surge did in 1914, about which I will blog later).

I could not find evidence of such an event in 1894, but I did find that the great Pullman Rail Strike, a little later that same year, was eventful in Davis. 

I post here text I wrote about that strike and Davis for inclusion in Davis (2004). But, for want of space, it was not included.  So here it is.