The true story of the first march on Washington by the “common man” and the dramatic train chase across Montana that was part of it. Written by Jerry Spencer
The backdrop is Butte, Montana the Spring of 1894. The "Silver Panic" is in full swing. There is up to 50% unemployment in states like Montana that rely on mining, the "Copper Kings" own the big mines and fight the newly formed unions and in the midst of all this Congressman Jacob Coxey calls for "A Petition of Boots", to descend upon Washington in order to demand a public works program to put people back to work. William Hogan forms the Butte Contingent of Coxey's Army (contingents are also formed in LA, Seattle, SFO, and Denver). Over 600 unemployed workers gather in Butte. The authorities freak out. The Governor, Federal Marshall, Mayor and Copper Kings all get involved. One ultra-rich Copper King offers the Contingent a train to use to go to DC. The Federal Marshall says "NO". The contingent "borrows" the train and takes off - Marshall is 12 hours behind, but the CHASE begins. A very exciting chase that finds the citizens of each town along the way cheering for the Contingent and throwing rotten eggs at the Marshalls. An epic tale that has many ties to our current situation. The early days of unions, the first organized march on Washington, the Federal Marshall vs. local sheriff, the Copper Kings vs. the average citizen worker. The train chase scenes across Montana invite some great action and characters.
In My Life, I have….. Bussed tables, washed dishes, been a line-cook, bartender, window washer, caddy, maid, roofer, desk clerk/night auditor, tree planter, traveling salesman, industry analyst, fundraiser, business owner, product developer, project manager, inventor, grant writer, financier, and technician. I’ve slung bales and laid shingles. I know how to work hard and make a company great. I have: taken orders, worked 24+ hours in a row, driven thousands of safe miles, developed companies from concept to reality - to sold for a profit. I have invented products, determined how to manufacture them, patented them, and turned them into devices that are displayed at the Hewlitt-Cooper Smithsonian. I’ve worked for others, worked for myself, and worked for large corporations and the State bureaucracy. I have volunteered my time, improved the chances of getting wilderness protected, and been elected to office. I have taken businesses from concept to reality, developed and implemented business plans, sought and raised capital, presented concepts and papers in front of TV cameras and hundreds of people, and become successful where others saw certain failure. I possess an indomitable spirit, and when I believe in a cause will stick with it through hell or high water.