Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Assessment

Guiding Question:

How did the importation of Chinese workers affect the shoemakers' union the Knights of St. Crispin's ideals of worker solidarity, economic justice and civic equality?

Day 1

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prangsaids shoemaker at work


Today you will meet with others representing a variety of interests in the shoe factory and North Adams, Mass. in general. How will you work together to resolve the strike?

I. You will meet in groups of 4-5, each person in the group will be representing one of the following figures in the strike. Keep in mind each person's perspective and how it relates to that of the Crispin union worker.

1. C.T. Sampson, Factory Owner Pages 99-108, below
2. L.W. LeMoine, Shoemaker, member of the Knights of St. Crispin ("Crispins") Pages 114-115
3. Daniel Luther, Shoemaker, not a union member Pages 109-112
4. Lucius A. Ellis, Shopkeeper, Town of North Adams Page 115
5. John Smythe (fictitious), Bureau of Labor Statistics("BLS") Page 46-47 and 116

You will be reading the witness statement of your character in order to get their perspective on events. Each witness will be given excerpts to read of their testimony given to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (the pages listed above).


Primary Source Documents for Each Witness
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Report, 1871

C.T. Sampson, Factory Owner

99, 100, 101,

102, 103

104, 105

L.W. LeMoine, Shoemaker


114, 115

Daniel Luther, Shoemaker

109, 110, 111,


Sampson, con't

106, 107, 108

Lucius A. Ellis, Shopkeeper


John Smythe, "BLS"

46, 47, 116

II. You, as a witness, will prepare a Goals Chart for negotiation in preparation for the following days' in-class activity. Make note of wages being paid to each type of worker, and how many hours are being worked. Note what happens when the shoe business slows down and there is no need to make as many shoes. Think about why your character would be called to testify about the strike, and how his perspective might be colored by the role he played in the events leading up to the strike.

Goal Worksheet Document

III. Each group will negotiate a preliminary settlement of the strike and complete one Settlement Chart for the group. The main goals of the settlement should address wages, length of workday, working conditions, what happens when there is less work to do (times when there is a low demand for shoes), whether or not the factory will be a union shop, and term of employment (how long does the factory owner have to keep a worker, and under what conditions can the employee be terminated). Think about what matters to your assigned character/witness. What compromises are you willing to make? What agreements can the group reach?

Settlement Worksheet Document


Image Credit: "Prang's aids for object teaching. Shoemaker" c. 1874

Digital ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3a07821 Number: LC-USZ62-4436 (b&w film copy neg.) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA