July 26, 1897
The following Associated Press telegram was received Saturday night, but was crowded out of the Sunday issue:
Washington, July 24. - President Gompers, of the American Federation of Labor, to-day sent telegrams to officers of thirty-eight national trade unions, calling for a conference to be held at Wheeling, W. Va., at noon Tuesday, July 27th. This was done in response to a telegram from president M. D. Ratchford, of the United Mine Workers of America, in which he says that peaceable assemblage and free speech have been forbidden and suppressed in West Virginia.
Following is the call sent out by President Gompers to the officers of national trade unions:
"President Ratchford, of the miners, just wires that peaceable assemblages and free speech have been forbidden and suppressed in West Virginia. In compliance with his request I invite you to a conference to be held at Wheeling, W. Va., July 27th. Similar invitation is extended to executive officers of all national trade unions. No duty is more important than attendance at this conference. The very presence of all to whom this is addressed will arouse the miners to their full duty and decide the contest in their favor. If your presence is impossib[l]e, send representatives."
President Gompers a[l]so sent a dispatch to Mr. Ratchford informing him that the call had been sent out, and expressing the hope that the miners will be victorious.
Officers of thirty-eight unions were invited to attend, it being impossible for representatives of all the unions to reach the place of meeting at the time decided upon.