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John Chambers appeared before the Maryland Committee on Labor to make an appeal on behalf of Coal Miners for and eight- hour day.




Appeal for 8 hour day

(beginning missing)....Annapolis to the effect that Messrs. Max Hamilton, jr. and John Chambers, of this place, and John Crosser, of Lonaconing, appeared before the Committee of Judiciary of the House and made able arguments favoring the repeal of the Coal and Iron Police law, and asked for a law providing for two weeks pays.
At the meeting of the Committee on Labor, held in the hall of the House of Delegates Tuesday evening Mr. Thomas C. Weeks, of Baltimore, delivered a strong plea for the enactment of an eight-hour law.  Messrs. Christopher O'Brien, of Barton, and John Chambers, representing respectively the organized miners of this region, and the trade assemblies of Cumberland, spoke to the same effect.  Mr. Chambers said during his remarks that the people he represented wanted eight hours for a day without any provision for contract for longer hours.  His people wanted the bills recommended by the governor passed just as they are, with the exception of a power to contract for longer than eight hours a day.
Mr. Chambers' argument of nearly an hour, as well as Mr. Hamilton's effort, upon the Coal and Iron Police law, was highly spoken of by members of the committee.  At the conclusion the chairman thanked them for the information given and assured them their views should receive the fullest consideration at the proper time.
Chambers is now endeavoring to get some measures before the Legislature concerning the canal and the boatmen.
It will be seen that the delegation sent from Allegany county was not idle and that they probably made the best presentation that could be made.
Mr. Crowe obtained leave to introduce a bill making employers liable for personal injuries to their employees.
The Senate committee Tuesday night agreed to report favorably the bills to protect the health of employees, to legalize trades-unions, defining conspiracy, and for the creation of statistics.  For the present at least the eight-hour bill and that further regulating the hours of women and children will go over for future action.
9 August 1884 ~ Baltimore, MD.
(Courtesy of Mary Ellen Chambers/transcribed by Genie)






A Son’s Tribute to His Mother
Pensacola, Fla., August 16, 1899

To the Mining Journal

      There has passed away in your mountain town an humble individual whose biography, if correctly recorded and written, would be both instructive and edifying-—Mrs. Anastasia Chambers, my own adorable, affectionate, self- sacrificing mother.
      She was born on the west bank of the Blacwater river, in Waterford county, Ireland, midway between Fennoy and Lismore, in the parish of Lismore and “Townland” of Ballynaroon, of parents who, though reduced to poverty by England’s tyranous, infamous laws, were descended from the noblest of a noble race, for the blood of the O’Mahoney’s , the Lanes and the Burns flowed in mother’s veins.
      She received her baptism in the little village church in Ballyduff, where 23 years later, she was united in holy wedlock to John Chambers of Ardmoor, Waterford county, a “rollicking, handsome, manly fellow” of her own age.
      Mother’s father, James Lynch, of Tallow, Waterford county, himself an Irish scholar and member of an honored and honorable family, led to the altar Ellen Lane, the mother of our subject.
      Our mother was born in 1813 A.D. and married in 1836, which would place her age at the time of death at 86 years—3 years more than her father lived and 10 years less than was her mother’s age when she died—only 11 years ago.
      Of the ten children that constituted our family four were born in Ireland—all boys, and one is buried there, in old Macollop graveyard, at the foot of Killworth mountain, on the shady side of the Blackwater river, just opposite the humble home of our good father, erected by his own hands.  “Times were hard: in Ireland when our parents began life together.  Times are always hard there, but by dint of hard work, self-denial, and great economy, they were able, in 1846, the year the famine began, to “pay their passage to America”, then, as now, the Mecca of the oppressed of every land.  In those days there were no ocean greyhounds and the average voyage was of about 3 months duration.  Our parents, I believe, were something like two months in making the passage, and then, on account of cholera onboard, they were compelled to land at St. Johns, N.B., instead of Boston, the original point of destination.
      Four members constituted our father’s family at this time, I having been left in Ireland.  A younger sister of our mother, with her husband, accompanied our parents on their venture to the New World.
      Boston having been the original point of destination, where a few relatives and many family acquaintances had already settled, our parents, it seems, finally reached there in 1847.  That is a memorable year in American history as well as in the history of Ireland.  Gold was discovered in California.  The Mexican war was begun and famine was devastating the whole of the Emerald Isle.  Labor was plentiful in Massachusetts.  The great Pacific cotton mills, at Lawrence, were being built, and there our father found his first work in the United States.
      Our good mother regarded the marriage relation in the light every true woman should.  She believed it to be her duty to help her husband in every way possible and honorable, and so, with her other household duties she assumed other cares—kept boarders, etc.
      In writing this somewhat disconnected story I have omitted, perhaps, the most trying ordeals of mother’s life.  I refer to the war period.  Imagine,  if you can, dear reader, the anguish of that mother’s heart when, hearing the cannon boom at Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Martsburg, Winchester, Hagerstown, Williamsport, Falling Waters, and at Gettysburg, knowing that her three sons for who she would have died were it necessary, were somewhere among the numbers of those places, many of them destined never to return.  Perhaps her own dear boys, who she loved only a little less than she did her God, would fall among the slain.  When such thoughts as these were not racking her mind the honor and the safety of her daughters at home were an ever-present anxiety to her.  But to the honor of American manhood, South and North, not one soldier on either side ever molested or attempted in any way to disturb our family during the whole of that long, bitter and bloody struggle and our home was, as it were, between the lines most of the time.
      For the benefit of my relatives who, perhaps, have not thought of these incidents, or who have not learned from our mother the story of her life, this imperfect, yet truthful biograph6y is written.
      And in the interest of a number of your fellow-citizens, dear editor, I ask you to publish it, but most particularly as an honor due to a Noble Mother, a Sincere Friend, a True Woman—Anastasia Chambers.
                                                                                                           Her Son












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