The Speculator Miners last letters

mine rescue squad

The Granite Mountain/Speculator Mine disaster of June 8, 1917 was the most deadly mine disaster in the history of the United States. Nearly two hundred miners died most from asphyxiation. Utah Phillips reads some of the trapped miners letters.


First letter

Dear wife, this may be the last message you will get from me. The gas broke about 11:15 pm, I tried to get all the men out, but the smoke was too strong. I got some of the boys with me in a drift and put up in a bulkhead. If anything happens to me you better sell the house and go to California and live. You will know your Jim died like a man and his last thoughts were for his wife that I love better than anyone on earth. We’ll meet again, tell mother and the boys goodbye,
With love to my wife and may God take care of you.
Your loving Jim
Jay D Moore

Second Letter

Dear Pat, well we are waiting for the end, I guess it won’t be long. We take turns rapping on the pipe so if the rescue crew is around they will hear us. Well my dear wife try not to worry, I know you will but trust in God everything will come out alright. There’s a young fellow here Clarence Marthy, he has a wife and two kiddies, tell her we done the best we could but the cards were against us.
Goodbye loving wife

Third Letter

All alive but air getting bad, one small piece of candle left, think it is all off.

Fourth Letter (written on the cover of the book)

In the dark.