UA Library

LOS ANGELES TIMES

July 13, 1917

SHERIFF CALLS AMERICANS TO HELP OUST DISTURBERS.

[BY DIRECT WIRE-EXCLUSIVE DISPATCH.]

      PHOENIX (Ariz.) July 12. – The following proclamation was posted today by the Sheriff:

      I have formed a sheriff’s posse of 1200 men in Bisbee and 1000 men in Douglas, all loyal Americans, for the purpose of arresting on the charges of vagrancy and treason, and of being disturbers of the peace of Cochise county, all those strange men who have congregated here from other parts and sections for the purpose of harassing and intimidating all men who desire to pursue their daily toil.

      I am continually told of threats and insults heaped up on the working men of this district by so-called strikers who are strange to these parts, yet who presume to dictate the manner of life of the people of this district.  Appeals to patriotism do not move them nor do appeals to reason.  At a time when our country needs her every resource, these strangers, these strangers persist in keeping from her the precious metal production of this entire district.

      Today I heard threats to the effect that homes would be destroyed because the heads of families insisted upon their rights as Americans to work for themselves, their families and their country.

      Other threats have and are being daily made.  Men have been assaulted and brutally beaten and, only today I heard the Mayor of Bisbee threatened and his request ignored.

      We cannot longer stand nor tolerate such conditions.  This is no labor trouble.  We are sure of that, but it is a direct attempt to embarrass the government of the United States.

      I therefore call upon all lowal Americans to aid me in peaceably arresting these disturbers of national and local peace.  Let no shot be fired throughout this day unless in necessary self-defense, and I hereby give warning that each and every leader of so-called strikers will be held personally responsible for any injury inflicted upon any of the deputies while in the performance of their duty as deputies of my office, for whose acts I, in turn, assume full responsibility as Sheriff of this county.

      All arrested persons will be treated humanely and their cases examined with justice and care.

      I hope no resistance will be made for I desire no bloodshed.  However, I am determined if resistance is made it shall be effectively overcome.

      [Signed]

      HARRY C. WHEELER.