ILR School

Herrin Massacre investigation proceedings

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The so-called Herrin Massacre took place on June 22, 1922 in Herrin, Illinois, during a strike called by the United Mine Workers of America At the end of a gun battle between strikebreakers, company guards, and striking miners, a group of men who had surrendered to the strikers were assaulted, followed as they were fleeing, and murdered. In the end, nineteen men were dead. UMWA president John Lewis denied responsibility for the attack, and local courts acquitted the miners who had been indicted for the murders. However, the State of Illinois established an investigating committee to ascertain the facts. The proceedings lasted from April 4 to May 19, 1923.

PLEASE NOTE: Only excerpts of the investigating committee’s proceedings have survived, on a microfilm whose provenance is unknown. Various sections of the proceedings have their own numeration system, and the microfilm does not provide information on the section/date to which the pages refer to. The digital files made available here were generated in exactly the same sequence as found in the microfilm. Each digital file consists of approximately 100 images of text, and should be read in sequence. Given the poor quality of the original, full-text searches are not always reliable.