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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Great Railroad Strike of 1877

 
 
Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 23, 2013
1. Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Marker
Inscription. The first national strike began July 16, 1877, with Baltimore and Ohio Railroad workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Baltimore Maryland. It spread across the nation halting rail traffic and closing factories in reaction to widespread worker discontent over wage cuts and conditions during a national depression. Broken by Federal troops in early August, the strike energized the labor movement and was precursor to labor unrest in the 1880s and 1890s.
 
Erected 2013 by Maryland Historical Trust & Maryland State Highway Administration.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) marker series.
 
Location. 39° 17.096′ N, 76° 37.168′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker can be reached from Howard Street just south of Camden Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is adjacent to Camden Station at the light rail stop. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Baltimore Riot Trail (a few steps from this marker); Baltimore Regional Trail (a few steps from this marker); On to Yorktown
Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Dedication image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 23, 2013
2. Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Dedication
William Barry, Director of Labor Studies at the Community College of Baltimore County was the force behind establishing this marker.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Wrestling in Maryland (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Babe’s Dream (about 400 feet away); Richard H. Trainor (about 500 feet away); Wilkens Building (about 600 feet away); Old Otterbein Church (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Martinsburg, WV marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Camden Station and the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 - YouTube. Produced by William Carroll (Submitted on March 23, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.) 

2. 1877: The Great Strike by Drew VandeCreek, Ph.D. (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
3. The Great Upheaval - US History. (Submitted on March 24, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Comments by William Barry
When I spoke at a gathering of the Occupy Movement at the McKeldin Fountain in 2011, I mentioned that we were on hallowed
Crowd at marker dedication March 23, 2013 image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 23, 2013
3. Crowd at marker dedication March 23, 2013
ground because the original “occupy” movement in Baltimore City occurred in 1877, as tens of thousands of railroad workers carried on the first national strike, shutting down all freight traffic and giving new meaning to the term “reconstruction.” The strike started on July 16, 1877, against the B & O Railroad and the first strike demonstrations were in front of the company’s main depot at Camden Yards.

One aspect of the strike was the military opposition to the strikers, first from state militia in Maryland and West Virginia, and then by federal troops ordered out by President Rutherford B. Hayes, who had been elected, in part, for his commitment to withdraw all federal troops from the states. In a devastating moment, eleven citizens were murdered by the militia near City Hall as the troops tried to march from the armory across from the Shot Tower to Camden Yards. Since this movement is virtually unknown—the Pratt Library catalogues its documents under “The Riots of 1877″—I decided to propose a historical marker in front of Camden Yards, honoring the strikers and their community.
    — Submitted March 23, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.

 
Categories. Labor UnionsRailroads & Streetcars
 
Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 23, 2013
4. Great Railroad Strike of 1877 Marker
Camden Station image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 23, 2013
5. Camden Station
Building is now a Sports Legends Museum
Camden Station image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, March 23, 2013
6. Camden Station
Marker is to the right side of the building.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 23, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 803 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 23, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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