Robotnik: Snooping as usual I see. Pingas!
A fanfiction taking place during the late 1800's
In Pittsburgh, lots of ponies working in the steel mills did not like working conditions, and often went on strike. This story takes place during the Homestead Strike of 1892.
One of the workers James, did not want anything to do with the strike, but two weeks before it began, some of his friends decided to make him change his mind.
Larry: *talking with Jack*
James: *sees Larry, but ignores them*
Larry: Jack, I'm telling you. Everyday we get here, things just seem to be getting worse.
Jack: What do you mean?
Larry: The working conditions. It seems like, working here just gets more dangerous. If only Andrew Carnegie got somepony else to take control of this plant.
Jack: Well, now that you mention it, he has been doing a poor job of getting the AA to leave us alone. It's been nearly three years since they've wanted to make some kind of a bargaining agreement with Frick.
Larry: They also had a strike during that all.
Jack: Yeah. I really hope things get better, otherwise we'll have to get everypony to join in with us, and go on strike.
James: (I can't stand it anymore. They're talking about something important, and I'm sure they want me to join in.) *walks to Larry*
Jack: James, nice of you to join us.
James: Uhm. Sure. What are you two talking about?
Larry: We're planning to go on strike.
James: Seriously, again? We've been going for nearly three years without a strike.
Jack: It ain't our fault. The AA won't leave us alone. If they're going to keep pestering us, we'll just pester them back. Don't tell anypony yet, but I've got some guns at my house. I'll bring them here, and we'll use 'em when the time's right.
James: I don't want to get involved.
Larry: Of course you do, just promise you won't tell anypony?
James: Yeah, whatever.
A whistle blew, and all the workers lined up to go home. The work day was over.
When James returned to his home, his family was waiting for him at the dinner table
Martha: James. How was your day?
James: About average. Nothing bad happened.
Martha: That's good. How are Larry, and Jack?
James: They're ok, but I'm a little worried.
Martha: Why? What's happening?
James: They're saying our boss isn't doing so good with getting the Union to leave us alone.
Martha: Which union is it?
James: It's the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. We just call them the AA.
Martha: Ok. Dinner is almost ready.
James: Alright, I'm starving. Kids, come downstairs.
Toby: *Comes downstairs*
Melissa: *Follows Toby*
Toby: Yes dad?
James: Your dinner is ready.
Martha: *Sets dinner on table* We've got vegetable soup.
Melissa: Aw, come on. Why do we always need soup?
James: I'm sorry Melissa. It's all we can afford. Your mom has no job, and my boss at the steel mill won't pay me much.
Toby: How much do they pay you dad?
Martha: Toby, that's not something you ask your father.
James: It's alright Martha. Toby, they only pay me five bits a week. My boss is a greedy, self centered stallion, that only cares about money.
Toby: How does he make the money?
James: By getting railroads to take the steel anywhere it need's to go. They make the prices cheap, and every railroad will want to deliver it for him.
Melissa: That sounds bad.
James: It is bad. You two promise me, no matter what, you won't be anything like my boss.
Toby & Melissa: I promise.
James: Good kids. Mother raised you just right. Now let's eat.
The four ponies start to have their soup.
Next day at the steel mill
Andrew: Henry, what's been happening?
Henry: The mills have never been able to turn out the product they should, owing to being held back by the Amalgamated men.
Andrew: Why are they holding us back?
Henry: They want some kind of a bargaining agreement, by June 30th.
Andrew: *Sighs* That's only three days away. Henry, I just want you to know that even though you're running this mill, I still own it. No steel mill is worth a single drop of blood. Close the mill tomorrow, and the workers will have to go home, and not get paid.
James woke up early next morning. He wanted to say hello to his little ponies before they left for school.
Toby: *eating soup*
Melissa: All we get to eat is soup. It's not fair. There has to be something else for us to eat around here.
James: *Arrives* Or at least something else for us to buy.
James: Hello Toby. I thought I'd get up a little earlier than usual, and see you two before you left for school.
Toby: Thanks dad.
Melissa: Thank you.
James: Where's your mom?
Toby: She's outside.
James: *Walks out of house*
Martha: *sees James* James, what are you doing up so early?
James: I just wanted to see the kids.
Martha: You're such a good parent.
James: I don't feel like one.
James: I don't get our family enough money for what they want.
Martha: That doesn't mean you're a bad parent James *Hugs James* It's just like you said yesterday. Your boss is greedy.
James: Yeah. I did say he was.
Martha: And you're a great parent. You always try your best for us, and that's good.
James: Thank you *Kisses Martha*
Martha: *Kisses James*
James: *Checks clock* Now, I gotta get going.
Martha: So much for seeing us.
James: Unfortunately. I'll see you when I get back *Leaves house*
Now, walking was the only way for James to get to the steel mills. They didn't have carts, or humans, or a railway line going from his house to the steel mill.
Five minutes later, lots of ponies were outside the steel mill, complaining.
Workers: Let us in!! We want to work!!
Henry: Well too bad! I want to get this bargaining agreement over with, but the AA keeps being a pain about it.
James: Jack, what's happening?
Jack: Henry won't let us in.
Larry: It's just like he said. It's all because of that stupid bargaining agreement.
Jack: Henry! Let us in, now!!
Henry: Go away, and come back tomorrow!!
James: I'm going home.
Larry: What are you talking about? You can't leave.
James: I can, and I will. Don't you understand that Frick won't let anypony in? We've got to face facts, and go home. *Walks home*
Jack: *Sighs* I swear Larry. If anything like having us locked out continues, we start the strike.
It was very annoying for James to walk back to his house shortly after going to the steel mill, but it would be worth it to spend more time with his family. He normally got back home from work at 7 PM, now he had the whole day off, and would get back before 7.
James: *Walks back in house*
Martha: Oh James. What are you doing back so early?
James: They closed down the mill, and won't let anypony in.
James: Yes. I even heard one of the workers saying they would make a wire fence, and put snipers on towers.
Martha: Who's crazy idea was that?
James: My boss, Henry Frick.
Martha: More like Henry Brickhead. What is that mad stallion up to?
James: He's only doing this, because of that bargaining agreement. Now that we workers cannot go in to work, the boss won't pay us.
Martha: I'm sorry to hear that, but at least you can help me work around the house.
James: You got it sweetheart. What do you want me to do?
Martha: Just go dust the attic, clean all the windows.
James: Our children will hardly recognize the place when they get home. *Goes to attic*
While James was cleaning the attic, and all the windows, Martha went to plant vegetables for the soup.
Meanwhile, in Toby, and Melissa's school.
Mr. Fall: Alright. Can anypony tell me when the transcontinental railroad began construction?
Toby: *Raising hand*
Mr. Fall: Very good Max. Now how many years ago was that?
Toby: *Raising hand*
Mr. Fall: Great job Donald. Now, one more math problem. When the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, how many years ago was that from the beginning in 1863?
Toby: *Raising hoof*
Lucy: *Raising hoof*
Mr. Fall: I'm going to choose, Lucy.
Mr. Fall: No, but you were very close. T-
Lucy: Six, I'm sorry.
Mr. Fall: For what?
Lucy: For getting the wrong answer.
Mr. Fall: That's alright, you got the right answer after making your mistake. Now, I'll show you ponies one more thing before the bell rings for lunch. What do you know about the steel mills?
Toby: *Raising hoof*
Mr. Fall: Yes Toby?
Toby: I know my dad works at one of them.
Max: Well, you're in trouble.
Toby: Shut up. My dad does a great job there!
Mr. Fall: Toby, you're not allowed to tell anypony to shut up.
Toby: But he insulted me.
Max: That was actually towards your father. He should either get a new job, or jump off a cliff.
Toby: *stands up* Why, I oughta-
Mr. Fall: Toby, go to the principal!
Toby: What did I do?!
Mr. Fall: You have disturbed my lesson, and talked rudely to Max. Go, now!
Toby: *Walks toward door* I'm going to kill you.
Mr. Fall: What was that? *Locks door*
Toby: Do you want me to go to the principal or not?
Mr. Fall: We do not allow that kind of behavior in this school young man. Go to the corner, and wear the dunce hat.
Toby: This is pathetic. *Walks to corner, and puts on dunce hat*
Mr. Fall: Now then. Who else can tell me what they know about steel mills?
Max: I know they have bad working conditions, and should be burned to the ground.
Mr. Fall: Well, I don't think they should be burned to the ground, but they do have bad working conditions.
Toby: (I swear. One of these days, Max is going to learn his lesson.)
After school, Toby, and Melissa walked home.
Toby: How did your day go?
Melissa: Mine was good.
Toby: What did you do?
Melissa: I got an A+ on one of my tests.
Toby: Good for you.
Melissa: What about you? How was your day?
Toby: Mine was bad.
Melissa: Aw, what happened?
Toby: If it's ok with you, I don't want to talk about it.
Melissa: Aw, please.
Toby: Alright, but only because you're my little sister.
Toby: And you have to promise not to laugh.
Toby: Max was making fun of our dad, and humiliated him about working in the steel mills.
Melissa: What did you do?
Toby: I told him to stop, and I'm the one that gets to sit in the corner with the dunce cap.
Melissa: *Slightly laughing*
Toby: You said you wouldn't laugh!
Melissa: It's not that *Laughing* Look, to your left.
Toby: *Looks left* What a weird tree!
Melissa: Who knew trees could have green bark, and brown leaves.
Mrs. Miller: I see you two like the works of my art class.
Toby: Mrs. Miller, your art class did that?
Mrs. Miller: Yes.
Melissa: But why? If it rains, the paint could wash off.
Mrs. Miller: No it won't, but it might get chopped down. Think about it, as long as you've got something planned, you can always accomplish it if you set your mind to accomplishing your goals, hopes, and dreams. What kind of hopes, and dreams do you wish for?
Toby: I want my dad to have a better boss.
Mrs. Miller: That's a hope for your father. What is your hopes, and dreams?
Toby: Trying not to be anything like the boss that my dad has. He told me his boss is greedy, and rude. I don't want to be anything like that.
Mrs. Miller: That's good, and I'm sure it's the same for Melissa too, isn't it?
Mrs. Miller: Good. Off you go now.
Toby, and Melissa ran off to tell their parents about what they just saw.
Toby, and Melissa walked home, and told their parents about what they saw.
Martha: A painted tree? How is that possible?
Toby: The art class in our school did it.
James: Whatever will they think of next?
Toby: Maybe someday, a pony will put an engine into a horse carriage, and call it a car.
Toby: It may not sound like a good idea now, but when it does get invented more ponies will want to try it, and then they'll start creating their own cars. In twenty years or so, they'll make a lot of changes to the car.
James: Uh, Toby? That's never going to happen at all.
Toby: Just a guess.
Melissa: Hey, I just noticed something. Aren't you supposed to be at work? You normally get back by 7.
James: They locked me out, and did the same to every worker.
Toby: Wow. Also, that just reminded me. This colt in my class was badmouthing you, just because of your job.
James: Well he can badmouth me all he wants. He doesn't know me, and I don't know him. What has he been saying?
Toby: He says that you should either get a new job, or jump off a cliff.
James: Well, I'll tell you one thing Toby. Many of the other workers plan to go on strike, and if that does happen, I'm definitely getting a new job.
Martha: Dinner will be ready in thirty minutes.
Toby: Thanks mom.
Melissa: Thank you mommy.
Meanwhile, in the steel mills.
Andrew: Henry, I understand your hatred towards the union, but are all the snipers, and water cannons really neccesary?
Henry: Yes. We can't allow the union to shut down this mill.
Henry: What do you think about what I've done?
Andrew: It is nice. See if you can reinforce the walls with more steel.
Henry: We need the workers for that.
Andrew: No we don't. We can do it ourselves. How hard can it be?
Andrew was right. It wasn't hard, but it definitely wasn't easy.
Henry: *Making steel*
Andrew: Good. *Making steel* After reinforcing these walls, we should make some shields in front of them.
Henry: You got it boss.
So the two ponies continued making steel, so that they could modify the mill. Word soon spread around, and ponies in Pittsburgh started calling the mill, Fort Frick.
The next morning, June 29, 1892
Henry: *Laughing* We did it Andrew. The mill has been reinforced, shielded, and now let's watch the union try to get in.
Union Ponies: *Walking towards steel mill*
Andrew: They're coming this way. I see them.
Union Ponies: *Seeing Sniper towers, and water cannons*
Sniper: *About to shoot a union pony*
Henry: Hold your fire. Do not shoot until I tell you too!
Union Ponies: *Go to entrance* I can't believe they would set up so many sniper towers. *tries to open door* What the hay? The door won't open.
Andrew: Hahahahaha! They can't get in.
Union Captain: Mr. Carnegie! You let us in, or the bargaining agreement will be broken!
Henry: We already broke it yesterday.
Union Captain: What are you talking about?
Henry: We locked out our workers.
Union Captain: Then, we will shut down the mill. You will regret your decisions. *Leaves*
Union Ponies: *Follow captain*
Shortly after the union left, the workers arrived.
Henry: Not again.
Andrew: What's the matter?
Henry: The workers are here again.
Andrew: Don't let them in.
James: Jack, they've finished making the wired fence, and there seems to be a lot of other modifications.
Jack: That's it. We're going on strike.
James: Good luck with that *About to leave*
Jack: Where do you think you're going?
James: Back home.
James: Uh, uh. You're going on strike with us. Understand?
James: I've got to get back to my family.
Larry: James, your family can take care of itself. Now, we have to take care of ourself. Us, the workers.
Henry: Hey! Are you going to leave or what?!
Jack: Yeah, but you won't like what we've got for you!
And just like that, the workers left.
Andrew: What did he mean by that?
Henry: They're going on strike.
Andrew: Do you know how bad this could be?
Henry: Yeah. It could be as bad as the one in 1889.
Andrew: Get some advertisements set. We're getting replacement workers.
The striking workers were determined to keep the plant closed. They secured a steam-powered river launch and several rowboats to patrol the Monongahela River, which ran alongside the plant. Stallions also divided themselves into units along military lines. Picket lines were thrown up around the plant and the town, and 24-hour shifts established. Ferries and trains were watched. Strangers were challenged to give explanations for their presence in town; if one was not forthcoming, they were escorted outside the city limits.
Telegraph communications with AA ponies in other cities were established to keep tabs on the company's attempts to hire replacement workers. Reporters were issued special badges which gave them safe passage through the town, but the badges were withdrawn if it was felt misleading or false information made it into the news.
Frick was also busy. The company placed ads for replacement workers in newspapers as far away as Boston, St. Foalis and even Europe.
July 4, 1892
Henry: *Walking down street*
Sheriff: *Sees Henry* Mr. Frick. What can I do for you today?
Henry: I'd like some help.
Sheriff: What kind of help?
Henry: I need you to stop my workers from going on strike. They've been making everypony hear feel unwelcome.
Sheriff: Everything seems the same to me.
Pony: *Leaving town* Stupid strike. I'm leaving this town!
Sheriff: Ok, I see your point. Let's stop the strike.
Henry: Uh, sheriff? This is Philander Knox. He also works for Andrew Carnegie.
Philander: We need more ponies to stop the strike. Tomorrow, you have my permission to send eleven deputies to help stop the strike.
Sheriff: What are they going to do?
Philander: They will be giving the strikers handbills, and they'll pay for all the damage they've caused.
Henry: What if it doesn't work?
Philander: Don't be daft. It will work. Just you wait, and see.
Sheriff: Alright. Tomorrow, I'll dispatch eleven deputies handing out handbills to the strikers. I still think it's a stupid plan, but if that's what you want, so be it.
The evening of July 4, 1892
James: *Having soup*
Martha: Is everything ok?
James: No. Every worker is going on strike, and they forced me to join them.
Martha: What are you talking about?
James: Larry, and Jack. They made me join them for the strike. I didn't want to, but I had no choice.
Martha: Well, what are you going to do?
James: What they tell me to do I guess.
Toby: Everything will be ok Dad. Sooner, or later the strikers will stop, and everything will be ok again.
James: Thanks Toby.
???: *Knocks on door*
James: Hmm, who could that be? *walks to front door*
???: James? Are you in there?
James: *Opens door* Who are you?
???: I'm Deputy Roebuck. I've heard from somepony named Philander Knox that you were involved with the homestead strike.
James: Unfortunately, yes.
Deputy Roebuck: *Gives James handbill* Pay us, or we arrest your family. Good day *Leaves house*
James: I can't believe this.
James: I didn't do anything, and they're giving me a HANDBILL!!!! *Rips up handbill*
Martha: Kids, go to your room.
Toby & Melissa: *Going to their room*
Martha: James, let's talk about this.
James: No. I'm sorry Martha, but I gotta deal with this tomorrow. They have no right, to give a pony a handbill for something they didn't do! *Leaves house*
James went to talk to Jack, and Larry.
Larry: James. What's up?
James: Some lousy deputy gave me a handbill for nothing.
Jack: We got one of those too.
Larry: What did you guys do?
Jack: We tore ours up.
James: Same with me. My family is worried, and I want to end this once, and for all.
Jack: What are we going to do though?
James: Tomorrow morning, we get them on a boat, and make them leave this town. Jack, get those guns you were talking about, and give them to everypony that's on strike. After that, we attack on the day after.
Larry: July 6?
James: Yes. We attack the AA, and the mill on July 6.
On July 5, everypony on strike did exactly what James told them to do.
James: That's everypony, right?
Jack: I think so.
Deputies: *On boat*
Deputy Roebuck: You can't do this. We'll arrest you!
Larry: We'd like to see you try that when you go down river. *Pushes boat*
Deputy: Get some paddles, and row back!
James: *Holding paddles* You mean these?!
Jack: And good luck trying to row back with your arms, and hooves!
Deputies: Curse you!
And so, the deputies had no way to get back to shore, and continued drifting towards the middle of nowhere
Meanwhile, at the mill
Henry: Ok, the strikers are not stopping, so here's what we must do. Build a fence.
Andrew: What kind of a fence?
Henry: Just a regular one, with barbed wire on the top.
Andrew: *Looks out window* Henry, we're already making a fence like that.
Andrew: Yeah. In fact, it's nearly completed.
Henry: Ah, great. Now we must get the Pinkerton National Detective Agency notified, and make them help us stop those pesky ponies on strike.
Andrew: Ok. *Making telegraph to PNDA*
While the telegraph was being made, the strikers arrived at the mill.
James: Fort Frick seems to be getting more, and more modifications.
Jack: It's a good thing we're attacking tomorrow. Any later, and we'd be defeated in no time.
Larry: That reminds me, did you give those guns to everypony?
Jack: Oh yeah. They have them ready for the battle tomorrow.
Back in the mill
Andrew: *Finishes telegraph*
Henry: Alright. What did they say?
Andrew: They said they would be here by tomorrow.
Outside the mill
Larry: Hold up, I can hear them talking. *goes towards open window*
Henry: What do you mean they'll be hear tomorrow?
Andrew: I mean they'll be hear tomorrow. They'll come here down the Monongahela river in steam boats, and when they arrive, we'll be ready to hold off the strikers.
Henry: Ah, good.
Larry: Andrew called for some help.
Jack: Where are they going to be?
Larry: They'll be coming here tomorrow up the Monongahela river, so tell the rest of the strikers, and have them get ready.
Jack: Yes sir.
July 6, 1892. This was it. The strikers would start fighting everypony that got in their way. First, they were going to kill the Pinkerton's on the Monongahela River.
Jack: There they are. Shoot them! *Shoots Pinkerton ponies*
James: *shooting at Pinkerton ponies*
Pinkerton Ponies: *getting shot* AAH!!! *Falls into river*
Pinkerton Major: Return fire! *Shoots at strikers*
Jack: To the plant!! *Runs*
Strike Ponies: *Follow Jack*
Pinkerton Major: They gave up already.
But the strikers didn't give up yet. They were going to blow the launch whistle to alert the plant. This would get thousands of ponies to go to the steel mill.
Pinkertons: *Park boats on land*
Pinkerton Major: After them everypony! They couldn't have gone far! *Runs to plant*
Pinkertons: *Following the major*
Random ponies: *arriving at the mill*
Martha: Why are you doing this?
James: I'm sorry. This wasn't what I wanted, believe me. But if I don't do what Jack, and Larry say, I die.
Martha: Then die as a good pony. Not one that caused violence, and murder.
James: *Hugs Martha* I'm sorry. I promise when this is over, everything will get better.
Jack: James, get over here! The Pinkerton ponies are coming!
James: I love you, and tell Toby, and Melissa that I love them too, if I don't survive. *Runs to Larry*
Martha: *Goes home*
Jack: We gotta get into Fort Frick. *Climbs over fence*
Pinkertons: *Shooting at Jack*
Larry: I got a better idea.
Jack: *Gets to other side*
Larry: *Knocking on fence with gun* Cover me!
Strike ponies: *Shooting Pinkertons*
James: *Knocking on fence*
Soon, the fence fell over.
Larry: Good job. Now, let's find Jack. *Runs to Jack*
James: *shooting Pinkertons*
Pinkerton Ponies: *return fire*
James: *Dodging bullets, and runs to Jack*
Strikers: *Follow James*
Pinkerton Ponies: *Shoot one strike pony*
Strike Pony: *Falls on ground, and dies*
James: What are you doing Jack?
Jack: Using the water cannon *Shoots water at Pinkertons*
The Pinkerton ponies that didn't get frozen were shot to death.
Pinkertons: Ok, we surrender!
Strike Ponies: *Cheering*
James: Finally. It's over.
On July 7, the strike committee sent a telegram to Gov. Pattison to attempt to persuade him that law and order had been restored in the town. Pattison replied that he had heard differently. Union officials traveled to Harrisburg and met with Pattison on July 9. Their discussions revolved not around law and order, but the safety of the Carnegie plant.
The company had waged a second front in state court, and was winning. On July 18, 16 of the strike leaders were charged with conspiracy, riot and murder. Each pony was arrested for one night and forced to post a $10,000 bond. The union retaliated by charging company executives with murder as well. The company ponies, too, had to post a $10,000 bond, but they were not forced to spend any time in jail. One judge issued treason charges against the Advisory Committee on August 30 for making itself the law. Most of the ponies could not raise the bail bond, and went to jail or into hiding. A compromise was reached whereby both sides dropped their charges
The Declaration of the Strike Committee, dated July 20, 1892 reads in part,
The employees in the mill of Messrs. Carnegie, Phipps & Co., at Homestead, Pa., have built there a town with its homes, its schools and its churches; have for many years been faithful co-workers with the company in the business of the mill; have invested thousands of dollars of their savings in said mill in the expectation of spending their lives in Homestead and of working in the mill during the period of their efficiency. Therefore, the committee desires to express to the public as its firm belief that both the public and the employees aforesaid have equitable rights and interests in the said mill which cannot be modified or diverted without due process of law; that the employees have the right to continuous employment in the said mill during efficiency and good behavior without regard to religious, political or economic opinions or associations; that it is against public policy and subversive of the fundamental principles of American liberty that a whole community of workers should be denied employment or suffer any other social detriment on account of membership in a church, a political party or a trade union; that it is our duty as Equestrian citizens to resist by every legal and ordinary means the unconstitutional, anarchic and revolutionary policy of the Carnegie Company, which seems to evince a contempt for public and private interests and a disdain for the public conscience.