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Several injured during 1901 riot

120 Years Ago, 1901

Taken directly from The Vindicator:

“A riot between linemen of Youngstown and Sharon Street Railway Company. Trouble about placing poles — several people sustain broken heads.”

A Sharon special to the Pittsburgh Times says: “Several people were injured this morning as the result of a clash between the linemen for the Youngstown-Sharon Street Railway and a number of Sharpsville property owners. A mob of 300 people gathered, making all kinds of threats. James Mack, Superintendent of Construction, was struck with an iron wrench. A number of arrests were made.

“The trouble started when the company began to replace its poles on Main Street yesterday. Squire T. O. Haze refused to allow another pole to be set in front of his property. The men, however, began to dig the hole. A stream of water was turned on them, but they stuck to their posts. Then an attempt was made to drive them off by force, and several persons sustained broken heads. Superintendent Mack and two of his men were arrested. They secured bail and retaliated by having the Squire, L. Warren, and a number of others arrested on charges of assault and battery. They were also released on bail. The pole was finally erected and wires strung, which prevented it from being removed.

“The men today began the work of raising another pole in front of the Warren block. It is alleged that A. L. Warren struck Superintendent Mack on the head with a wrench, and Lee Warren discharged his revolver into the crowd. Stones and bricks were hurled from all sides but the men succeeded in getting the pole up. Further trouble is imminent. At least a half dozen persons were slightly injured in the fight.”

45 Years Ago, 1976

Join us as we look back on the history, people, and events that led up to the celebration of American’s Bicentennial.

Thirty-nine years before the worldwide phenomenon “Hamilton” hit Broadway, The Vindicator began a series highlighting the contributions of Revolutionary War-era heroes. The nation was nearing its Bicentennial celebration and all eyes were fixed on the events that created the United States of America. This particular feature focused on a longtime fan favorite — legendary Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette.

By 1781, the war was not going well for the Continental Army, especially in Virginia. British soldiers were burning homes and public buildings, destroying other property, and capturing heaps of military supplies. Gen. George Washington ordered more than 1,000 troops to help the Virginia militia. Those troops were under the command of the young French nobleman who had volunteered in 1777. It was said that “the red-haired, excitable, enthusiastic Frenchman had quickly won the respect and affection of Washington.”

As the troops began their march southward, they stopped in Baltimore. Ever popular with the ladies, Lafayette was treated to a ball in his honor, where he persuaded them to begin work on new clothing for his soldiers. When they arrived in Richmond, word was received that British Gen. Cornwallis had moved 1,500 soldiers to join Benedict Arnold. The two opposing forces maneuvered for several months, moving around the Virginia coastline, while military engagements in the north and along the Atlantic coastline continued to play out.

Count Rochambeau, the commander of French troops, worked to bring in 3,000 French soldiers to aid the Continental effort against the British. Cornwallis was losing confidence in his position as the French fleet cut off connection with any naval reinforcements and they were quickly being surrounded by Washington, Rochambeau and Lafayette’s men. Hamilton fans know Lafayette’s line: “We can end this war at Yorktown, cut them off at sea.” And that is exactly what happened. Cornwallis’s Yorktown defenses were destroyed. A report noted, “by the force of the enemy’s cannonade, the British works were tumbling into ruin; not a gun could be fired from them.”

Washington demanded the complete surrender of Cornwallis, which he received. As Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote in the climactic song Yorktown: “And just like that it’s over. We tend to our wounded; we count our dead.”

• Compiled from the archives of The Vindicator by Traci Manning, MVHS Curator of Education

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