Strikebreakers
 

The seventy-five Chinamen that came to North Adams probably saved the well known Sampson Shoe Factory. Sampson wouldn't allow for the union to get the best of him or his business.

"In the 1860's and 70's, the shoe industry" turned out a huge factory labor force. One such company was located in North Adams owned by Calvin T. Sampson. The first national unions were organized by industry and the shoe makers were members of the Knights of St. Crispin in 1867. In 1870, the union called a strike against Calvin Sampson. It demanded an end to the 10 hour work day, higher wages, and for all non-union workers to be fired. To counter the strike, Mr. Sampson imported 75 Chinese workers from San Francisco. The Berkshire County reported that they were... neat, smart, intelligent and had a merry twinkle in their eyes... Though there was much protest the strike of the Knights of St. Crispin was broken."

Courtesy of the North Adams Historical Society

 Above is a picture of the outside of the Sampson Shoe Factory and the inside. Courtesy of the North Adams Historical Society