The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

THE CAPITOL BOYCOTT: A STUDY IN PEACEFUL
LABOR TACTICS
The material covered in this paper has been drawn largely from
three sources, the excellent files of the Granite Cutters' Inter-
national Association of America, a copy of which their office at
Quincy, Massachusetts, has been kind enough to furnish; the rec-
ords of the Federal Circuit Court sitting in the West Texas District
which are in the Federal Court Building in Austin; and the
report of Testimony taken by the Select Committee of the House
of Representatives on alleged violations of the Laws prohibiting
the importation of contract laborers and printed as House Miscel-
laneous Document 572, 50th Congress, 1st Session, 1888.
Newspaper reports have given a background and have aided in
organizing the connected story. Quotations from newspapers are
used only when substantiated by official records. No specific refer-
ence will be made except in instances where other than the major
source material mentioned above is used.
In 1882, the legislature of the State of Texas contracted with
Mr. Mattheas Schnell of Rock Island, Illinois, for the building
of a state capitol. He was to receive as compensation 3,000,000
acres of public land. Twelve days later Mr. Schnell "for valuable
consideration" transferred three-fourths of his interest in the con-
tract to the.firm of Taylor, Babcock & Co., afterward known as the
Capitol Syndicate. Five months later for additional "valuable
consideration" Mr. Schnell transferred his remaining interest to
the same company.1 Members of the Syndicate in addition to
Amos Babcock were Chas. B. Farwell, United States Senator from
Illinois, John B. Farwell, his brother, and Col. Abner Taylor, a
representative to Congress from Illinois.
Apropos of the undertaking for which the Capitol Syndicate
now became .responsible, Mr. Forrest Crissey has remarked:
Before the Farwells had fairly started on the actual building
they had reached the conviction that operating a great wholesale
house and holding a seat in the United States Senate were mere
Report of the Capitol Building Commission to the Governor, January
1, 1885, Appendix, Exhibit A.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed March 28, 2015.