Illinois coal wars

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Illinois coal wars
Miners gathering at the railroad tracks in Virden on October 12, 1898.
Date 1898–1900
Location Illinois, United States
Also known as Illinois mine wars
Deaths approximately 24

The Illinois coal wars, also known as the Illinois mine wars and several other names, were a series of labor disputes between 1898 and 1900 in central and southern Illinois.

The disputes were marked by racial violence between black and white coal miners, most notably during the Battle of Virden on October 12, 1898, and the Pana massacre on April 10, 1899.[1][2][3][4]

The same conditions and organizations were also involved in similar conflicts in two southern Illinois towns: in Lauder (now Cambria, Illinois) on June 30, 1899, and in Carterville, Illinois on September 17. At Lauder a group of African-American miners traveling by train from Pana were attacked. One woman, Anna Karr, was murdered, and about twenty others wounded. And at Carterville, five more non-union African-American miners were killed in out-and-out rioting.[5] Local juries acquitted all those accused in those attacks.[6]

See also


  5. Encyclopedia of American race riots By Walter C. Rucker, James N. Upton, page 673
  6. Bloody Williamson: A Chapter in American Lawlessness By Paul M. Angle