Recruitment of Immigrants

Charleston Gazette
September 20, 1907

Did Presence of Mitchell Cause Frost?

Wide Heralded Immigration Meeting Postponed - Governor Was Sick

Was the presence of President John Mitchell, of the United Mine Workers of America, responsible for the fact that the widely heralded immigration meeting held at the state house yesterday, was a frost? There is no doubt that the affair was a frost and there be these who declare that the labor leader's presence was the cause of its being such. The reason given by the participants is the illness of Governor Dawson, but while his illness is unquestioned it is declared that the meeting could have proceeded without him.

Invitations had been sent by the governor to all of the leading coal operators of the state and the majority of them had signified their intention of being here. However, when the meeting was called to order by Frank Lively yesterday afternoon many of them were conspicious [sic] by their absence.

Another feature of the occasion which caused much comment was the fact that Sam Dixon, the Fayette operator and political boss, who made the only speech of the afternoon, did not refer to Mitchell at all, much less invite him to take the floor. Dixon only talked for a few minutes and closed by moving that the meeting adjourn and await the call of the governor.

There is much speculation as to the reason for the operators course. Some declare that Mitchell was purposely snubbed and others that the operators simply did not wish to discuss the labor problem in his presence.

Among those who attended the meeting were: Hon. Joseph H. Gaines, Hon. Clark W. May, Col. I. V. Barton, labor commissioner; Hon. Hugh Maxwell, of the Forrestry [sic] division of the department of agriculture; Mr. J. B. Flemming, of Fairmont; Mr. E. T. Weir, general manager of the West Virginia Tin Plate Factory of Clarksburg; J. E. Jones, general manager of the Pocahontas Collieries Co.; Mr. J. M. Craig, district president of the United Mine Workers of America; Hon. John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers of America; J. W. Biglow, J. C. R. Taylor, Enoch Carver, Wm. Stone, Sam Dixon, W. C. Mitchell, E. O. Toble, J. T. Smith, C. W. Kilbourne, C. C. Beury, Eli T. Coner, P. P. Flanigan, Jas. M. Paris, Hon. G. W. Atkinson, Hon. Adam Littlepage, Hon Frank Lively and others who were interested in this all important matter.

Government and Politics

West Virginia Archives and History