The massive strike of 1877 shook the very foundations of the political and economic order. Begun with a spontaneous railroad strike in West Virginia, the “Great Uprising” spread rapidly across the country, as the entire working populations of many cities went out on strike. Workers across the country along with sympathizers in their communities were galvanized by official violence, as state and federal troops fired on protesters in several cities. As this 1878 cartoon from the New York Daily Graphic indicated, in the aftermath of the strike Indians, trade unionists, immigrants, and tramps were increasingly grouped together in the press as symbols of disorder and opposition to the nation’s progress.
Source: Ph. G. Cusachs, New York Daily Graphic, June 14, 1878—American Social History Project.