In August, 1884, there were some labor troubles, yet again in Hamilton. At the time, the Knights of Labor was an organization with a huge amount of influence with workers in the city.
The Gardner Sewing Machine factory had been one of the firms experiencing labor troubles.
On August 11, 1884, the Spectator carried the following item which arose from a conversation with a worker at that company:
“It came to the ears of a Spectator reporter yesterday afternoon that one of the workmen in the Gardner sewing machine factory named Klinger, one of those who had refused to obey the mandate of the Knights of Labor to go out, had been threatened by a member of that organization.
“Mr. Klinger was accordingly interviewed.
“ ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘it’s quite true. The man who threatened me was a Knight of Labor, but I cannot say that he was authorized by the knights to make the threat. He may have made it out of personal malice. He told me that if I valued my life more than my place, I had better quit work. I have informed the chief of police of the threat, and he has instructed me how to act. I will follow his instructions. If these men think they can frighten me, they are mistaken in their man; and if they attempt to carry out this threat, it will result more seriously to them than to me.’
“Mr. Klinger is a German, and evidently a very intelligent and respectable man. It is not at all likely that the threat came from the Knights of Labor, as a body, and Mr. Klinger has no bodily harm to dread from this source.”1
1 “A Knightly Threat”
Hamilton Spectator. August 11, 1884