First Rescuing Party. photog Putney.
First Rescuing Party.
First Rescuing Party.
First Rescuing Party.
First Rescuing Party.
First Rescuing Party.

First Rescuing Party.

Leavenworth, Kansas, 1901. Platinum print photograph, 19 x 24 cm plus mount. Early pencil notes on verso identifying individuals.

Pictured here are the men involved in crushing a mutiny carried out by 356 inmates at the Kansas State Penitentiary Coal Mine on 17 March 1901. They are shown proudly posing with their pistols, all but one in uniform, apparently standing in front of the prison, two of them African Americans. The men, identified on the verso, are as follows: Back row (l-r): Mr. Thompson (Deputy warden), William Duckett, George G. Hannon, Pearl Tipton, Lewis Bowers, John W. Newell. Front row (l-r): Henry Stauf (a store keeper), George W. Boner, and Dave Welch.

At the beginning of 1901, some 280 convicts who worked in the penitentiary’s coal mines went on strike. Using mining tools such as picks and shovels they effectively overcame their unarmed guards. In turn, the strikers stipulated three square meals a day, better quality of food, and shorter work days. The present strike, which erupted later in March, was quashed by warden Joseph Tomlinson and a band of guards who stormed the mine the night of March 17th. The mutineers, who were wielding only mining tools, were quickly subdued by the gun-toting guards. The raid resulted in the wounding of two prisoners. The Kansas press lionized Tomlinson for his success.

“Mutiny! Full three hundred and fifty-six convicts were involved in it. Three hundred and fifty-six coal mining convicts--the sturdiest and toughest cases at the prison, most of them assigned to their hard, sunless labor in the mines because of their fierceness and incorrigibility. On the morning of March 17th they had been led to the shaft house just outside the gate, and lowered, group by group, in the cage that rose and fell in the seven hundred-foot shaft. There were two of those cages, operating on the same cable, like twin baskets in a well. They were the only means of getting into the mine. At noon the midday meal was sent down, but the gong signal to lift the empty food boilers did not follow. Mystified, Tom Young, the shaft house engineer, threw in the throttle of his hoisting engines. They tugged and strained the cable grew taut, but that was all. The car at the bottom of the shaft would not come up.” (Lansing Kansas - A Timeline of Events Concerning the Lansing Area).

CONDITION: Good, photo a bit spotted and lightly scratched; corners of mount worn with moderate loss.

REFERENCES: Kansas Historical Society. Fake Pistol kshs.org; Lansing Kansas - A Timeline Study of Events Concerning the Lansing Area at lansinghistory.tripod.com

Item #4925

Price: $675.00

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