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Robert McKechnie
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Birth: Oct. 20, 1834
County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Death: Mar. 4, 1893
Hoboken
Hudson County
New Jersey, USA

Ex-president of the National Typographical Union, is a native of Armagh,
Ireland, where he was born on October 20,1834. His father was a Scotchman and
a veteran soldier. Robert was educated at the Academical Institute, Belfast,
and learned his trade in the office of the Belfast Whig.He arrived in New
York in January, 1854. In 1855 ne went to Nashville to work in the Methodist
Book Concern, just begun there, but returned shortly to New York. On April
19,1861, he enlisted in the Hawkins Zouaves, and was in service for a couple
of years, in the meantime being promoted to first lieutenant. He was in a
number of battles, including among them Antietam and South Mountain. When
the term of service of his regiment expired he went back to New York. In
1864 there was a strike in New York, very disastrous to the workmen, the
scale afterwards being suspended, and the union almost destroyed. In I864 he
was elected president of Union No. 6. It was with difficulty a quorum could
be obtained, and there were only 204 members in good standing, although there
were probably four thousand compositors in the city. By March, 1867, his
efforts had resulted in increasing the membership to 452. He was re-elected
in that year,the city was districted, and proselyting was done, so that in
the following December there were 1,079 on the rolls. During that year a new
scale was adopted, the highest ever paid in New York. He endeavored while
holding this office to use organized labor in a political way, so that
unfriendly newspapers favoring a certain party should be forced to make
concessions. It proved a failure in the case of the World, but the theory was
afterwards partially carried through. In 1868 he was elected president of the
national body, succeeding John H. Oberly. The most striking event of his
administration was the issue of the "amnesty proclamation," by which all
persons who had been guilty of working under prices or had otherwise been
under the ban of unions could be restored to membership by submission. See
International Typographical Union. This was harshly criticised by some, but
was believed by most unionists to have been on the whole useful. In 1872 he
was elected for the third time president of the New York society. He was then
foreman of the World. Since his retirement from that position he has been on
the Herald. After the nomination of Mr. Blaine for the Presidency in 1884 he
went with Charles B. Smith to visit him, hoping that enough pressure could be
applied from Augusta to induce the New York Tribune to become a union paper.
In this, however, they failed, but the effort, continued until 1892, in the
end was successful.
 
 
Burial:
Flower Hill Cemetery
North Bergen
Hudson County
New Jersey, USA
 
Created by: charles mcdonald
Record added: Sep 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41468869
Robert McKechnie
Added by: charles mcdonald
 
Robert McKechnie
Added by: charles mcdonald
 
Robert McKechnie
Added by: NJ42
 
 
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- charles mcdonald
 Added: Sep. 2, 2009
 
 
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