To the Bitter End : The 1899 Cleveland Streetcar Strike
Terror in the Forest City. Bombs blowing up streetcars crowded with passengers. Trolley crews stoned and beaten. Thousands of Clevelanders-men, women and children--rioting day and night in the streets. Policemen and soldiers desperately battling lynch mobs all over the East, West and South Sides. Gut-toting strikebreakers shooting it out in the streets with equally armed strike sympathizers. Welcome to Cleveland in the summer of 1899. Cleveland history is like an enormous North Atlantic iceberg: what its citizens choose to remember is probably less than a tenth of what has been forgotten or suppressed. And so it is with the story of the Great Streetcar Strike of 1899, Cleveland's most terrible episode of outright class warfare. Although long lost in a fog of civic amnesia, the Great Streetcar Strike was the greatest civic upheaval in the city's history, both in terms of its duration and for the proportion of its citizens involved in mass-participation law-breaking. Never before or since has the city witnessed so prolonged and desperate a labor conflict, or been so divided in its loyalties to the warring parties. On one side: the Cleveland Electric Railway Company ("The Big Con"), led by tough traction magnate Henry Everett and backed up by a force of half a thousand armed strikebreakers, hired detectives, the Cleveland police and the state militia. On the other: the Big Con's 800 newly unionized conductors and motorman and the tens of thousands of Forest City citizens sympathetic to the strikers and willing to commit violence on their behalf. To the Bitter End is the story of their epic combat as it was fought out in the city streets, newspapers and pulpits throughout the summer and fall of 1899. A tale of sacrifice and mayhem, ruthlessness and loss, The Great Streetcar Strike was, truly, a working-class insurrection that touched the life of every Clevelander at the turn of the 20th century and continues to reverberate today.
- Paperback | 576 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 33.02mm | 952.54g
- 27 Mar 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations
About MR John Stark Bellamy II
John Stark Bellamy II is the author of numerous books about Cleveland crime and disaster, including They Died Crawling, The Maniac in the Bushes, Death Ride at Euclid Beach, Women Behaving Badly and The Last Days of Cleveland. His other titles include Vintage Vermont Villainies, A Woman Scorned: The Murder of George Saxton, and One Man's Mirror, an anthology of the writings of legendary Cleveland journalist S. J. Kelly.