Page:Historical Catechism of American Unionism.pdf/8

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years. Later there were organized the Franklin Typographical Society (1799-1804) and the New York Typographical Society (1809-1818). The shoemakers and printers were unquestionably the pioneers in developing unionism among the wage workers in the United States.

The Baltimore tailors struck successfully in 1795, 1805 and 1807. There were sailors' strikes and shipbuilders' strikes in Massachusetts in 1817, and a sailors' strike in New York in March 1800.
The first twenty-five years of the 19th century mark a period during which the wage working elements in the U. S. were striving to develop some means for protecting themselves as workers. This may be regarded as the dawn of American unionism.
24. Upon what were the conspiracy charges, referred to in the preceding question, based?
Upon the grounds that the Federal Society of Cordwainers was an illegal and criminal combination for the purpose of raising wages.
25. What was the result?
In the Philadelphia case (1806) the jury returned a verdict of "guilty of a combination to raise wages." The New York case went against the shoemakers. In one of the Baltimore cases the jury found for the journeymen. The Pittsburgh case (1814) was compromised, the shoemakers paying the costs of the case and going back to work at the old rate of wages, practically, if not legally, a defeat. In the Pittsburgh case (1815) fines were imposed without imprisonment.
26. Were the courts biased in these trials?
Professor Commons' History of Labor in the United States says: "On the whole, the judges, especially in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh cases, sided against the journeymen."
27. Were these trials of local importance only?
Commons' history is here quoted: "That other employers of labor were much interested is evident from the dedication of the Pittsburgh case of 1815, penned by the reporter, 'To the Manufacturers and Mechanics... This Trial Involving Principles essential to their interest, is humbly dedicated by their Obedient Servant . . .
"Similarly, in his preface the reporter remarks that: