NAMING NAMES- the 1899 Strike

Strike 1899

“On Thursday morning, April 27, between 7 and 8 o’clock,  a crowd of men composed mostly of Finns, started in procession over Rockport Granite Company’s property, through their quarry and drove about 200 of their quarrymen, paving cutters, blacksmiths, etc., from their work, they demonstrated by” hollering” and hooting  and told the men they must quit work or else there would be trouble, they were  repeatedly told get off the Rockport company’s property and let the men alone but would not move until they were perfectly ready.
Among the number recognized as being the leaders were
Matt L. Jacobson, Oscar Isaacson, John Mattson, Frank Hendrickson, Hendri Hendrickson, Matt Mattson 2nd,
Victor Biglink”

(observations recorded by Louis Rogers, Rockport Granite Company)


A note by Les Bartlett,
B. Erkilla’s “Hammers on Stone,” pp 143-147 recount the general outline of the 1899 strike, I suspect that she had access/knowledge of the kind of name list I now have, but back in the 1960s and 70s, there might have been stronger feelings about naming the names. I am hoping that from this listing, some people will connect with their ancestors and more sharing might come around this vital, often violent chapter of life on Cape Ann. For much worse was to follow on the heels of  “Strike 1899.”
If Victor Biglink comes to your door, give him a cup of black coffee, he’s been working hard days and hard nights.


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