This is a letter from William Ward’s cousin, William Waterman, who was living in Chicago at the time of the great Building and Trades Conflict.
653 Turner Ave.
Chicago, May 1/1900
Dear CousinI received your very welcome letter Today with the
20$ enclosed for which I can assure you I feel truly thankful it is more than enough to put me on my feet again I am feeling like my old self again and shall leave Chicago Tomorrow. So do not write me till you hear from me again I was more than astounded when you told me about Fred Ausore being alive and working up their I suppose Will and Ernest would think he had risen from the dead it would be a pleasant surprise and you surprised me when you gave me the
Yours Very TrulyW Waterfield
The Chicago Building Trades Conflict of 1900The historical Building Trades Conflict was a battle between contractors and employees of the building industries of Chicago in 1900. It began in the fall of 1899 but came to a head on 5 February 1900, when the contractors posted a statement on new buildings under construction. The posting outlined new restrictive rules to govern the workmen, and was effective immediately.
In response, the workmen, twenty to twenty-five thousand, and representing twenty-five to thirty trades, ceased work. They maintained that existing agreements regulating the conditions of labor and having still two or three months, and in some cases more than a year to run, had been violated by the employers, and that their employers had therefore declared a lockout against their men.
More resources on topic:
The Quarterly Journal of Economics. “The Chicago Building TradesConflict of 1900,” by J.E. George, Page  of 348-370
Journal of PoliticalEconomy. “Analysis of the Building-Trades Conflict in Chicago, from theTrades-Union Stand-Point,” by S. V. Lindholm, Page 327 of 327-346
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