"Mother" Jones Arrested in City

Was Taken Along In a Taxi To Officers' Headquarters At Ruffner Hotel

And Later Taken On Train To Pratt

Where She Will Be Given A Trial Before Commission For Alleged Rioting

Charleston Gazette
February 14, 1913

Mrs. Mary Jones, better known throughout the coal fields of West Virginia and other mining states as "Mother" Jones, the angel of the miners, was arrested in this city yesterday afternoon a short time after she alighted from a Kanawha & Michigan passenger train from the south shortly after 3 o'clock.

The arrest was made by Special Officers Dan W. Cunningham, Howard C. Smith and Rufus Clendennin, who had been informed that the aged agitator would arrive in Charleston yesterday afternoon.

She boarded the train at Smithers, about 30 miles east of here, and was accompained [sic] to the c[it]y by a committee of miners from that section, whom it is believed intended to call upon the governor relative to the strike trouble in the Kanawha Valley.

The party was not interfered with when they alighted from the train, but while they were walking toward the business section of the city, near the corner of Washington and Broad streets, the officers, who had been waiting there for some time accosted the party, and exhibiting a warrant informed Mother Jones that she was under arrest. The other members of the party were permitted to go along their way.

Mrs. Jones failed to show the slightest tendency of resistance, and a taxicab which was being driven from the depot toward town was hailed, and she was taken to the Hotel Ruffner in company with the officers of the law.

The party remained at the hotel until nearly time for the arrival of C. & O. train No. 8, which was a few minutes late yesterday, when she was escorted to the depot on the South Side. It required two taxicabs to convey the party which was composed of the three officers, Mother Jones and Paul Paulson, to the depot. The latter is a member of a labor organization in Wyoming, and was arrested about the same time as Mother Jones in connection with the strike trouble. It is said that he has taken a part in the speeches that have been made at many places in the county during the past few days in which it is declared by many that riot was incited on the part of the miners.

Mother Jones and Mr. Paulson were taken to Pratt, near the junction of Paint Creek, on train No. 8, where they were placed in charge of the military authorities. They are now confined in the station house at Pratt with the crowd of strikers who have been arrested this week for alleged rioting, and will later be arraigned before the military commission appointed by Governor Glasscock, which is now sitting as a martial court.

The arrest of Mother Jones, despite the fact that the officers made an effort to keep it quiet, caused great excitement in Charleston, and was the source of much comment.

She was escorted from the parlor of the Ruffner Hotel through a side-door into a waiting taxicab, in which she and the officers remained at the C. & O. station awaiting the arrival of the train.

Mother Jones returned to West Virginia Sunday from the East, where she has spent several weeks. She has been making her headquarters in Charleston since her return, having engaged a room at the Fleetwood Hotel.

During the early part of the week, previous to the recent riot, it is said, she delivered speeches in the strike zone. She also addressed a mass meeting of the miners at Smithers, Wednesday and made another speech in that section yesterday, before leaving for Charleston where her arrest was made.

Because of the deep respect which the miners have for the advocate of their cause, it is the opinion of many that the arrest of Mother Jones and her consequent confinement may be the instigation of another outbreak of violence among the striking miners.

There was no sign of a demonstration at Pratt upon the arrival of the train there last night, however.


West Virginia Archives and History