by Paul Cadmus
Cadmus was one of sixteen artists commissioned by Life magazine to illustrate significant moments in American history after 1915. Cadmus chose to depict the tragic events of a labor contract dispute which occurred in the mining town of Herrin, Illinois in 1925.
The bloody riot that ensued left 26 strikebreakers dead, slain by labor union members. Cadmus situated the action in a town cemetery, and included the symbolic Christian image of the sacrificial lamb on a headstone, drenched in blood.
However, Cadmus’s tempera painting was never published by Life, most likely because the magazine did not wish to offend organized labor just as the nation was gearing up for war production.