Coxey's Army Confrontation at U.S. Capitol (1894)
SE corner of U.S. Capitol: At the height of a serious economic depression in 1894, bands of unemployed workers formed "industrial armies" which headed for Washington to demand various reforms. Coming from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Boston and the midwest, the "Commonwealers," as they called themselves, rode seized trains and converged on Washington in April and May. The largest contingent, led by "General" Jacob Coxey, having marched on foot most of the way from Ohio, entered the District on April 29, 1894 and established Camp George Washington. Cheered by thousands of onlookers, on May 1, 1894, Coxey's Army marched seven miles down 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol where Coxey was arrested while trying to speak and many of his unarmed followers were beaten by police, many of whom charged the crowd on mounted horses. "Clubbing...will not drive thought out of people's minds," Coxey told AFL head Samuel Gompers, "a club will subdue one man, but it will recruit one hundred for the cause." Following this confrontation, the workers remained in the District through most of the summer, camped at various sites, including Camp Tyranny (see 53).
Independence Ave SW & 1st St SW
DC Labor Map
Welcome to the DC Labor Map! Here you can find both current and historic labor sites in Washington, DC, including union hotels, restaurants, international and local union organizations, labor art and historic labor sites. You can use it for an online virtual tour of DC labor, or to plan your visit to our nation’s capital.
CLICK ON "LEGEND" at right to view categories; TO CHOOSE A SPECIFIC CATEGORY just click on it and only those sites will be shown.
We welcome your comments and suggestions: click on the “comments” tab at the bottom of the map. The DC Labor Map is a project of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO: primary research was done by Chris Garlock, Jon Garlock and Lisa Garlock; contributors include: Saul Schniderman, Peter Winch and Fhar Miess.