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Chapter 4 - Bloody Sunday

How shall we enter the kingdom of Everett? was the question that confronted the committee in charge of affairs in Seattle on the morning of November 5th. Inquiries at the Interurban office developed the fact that sufficient cars could not be had to accommodate the crowd. The cost of making the trip by auto truck was found to be prohibitive. At the eleventh hour the committee, taking the money pooled by the members, secured the regular passenger steamship Verona, and an orderly and determined body of men filed down the steps leading from the I. W. W. headquarters and marched by fours to the Colman Dock.

Their mission was an open and peaceable one. Cheerful, optimistic, enthusiastic, the band of social crusaders felt that the conquest of free speech was assured. Not for a moment did they think that the Everett Klu-Klux-Klan would dare resort to violent and criminal tactics in the broad daylight of that beautiful sunny day and in plain view of a host of conscientious Everett citizens.

Assisted by Harry Feinberg and John T. (Red) Doran, Captain Chauncey Wiman checked the number of men who went on board, stopping further entry when the legal limit of two hundred and fifty persons was reached, Feinberg joining the men on board in order to serve as the main speaker at the proposed meeting. Among those who secured passage were several who were not members of the free speech party, but in the work of checking, the tickets of these persons were not collected, their fares being paid in the lump sum that was handed to the captain. Regular passengers of the Verona were informed that their tickets would be good for the steamer Calista, lying at Pier 3. Thirty-eight additional members of the free speech band joined the regular patrons who took passage on the Calista.

Laughter and jest were on the lips of the men who crowded the Verona, and songs of the One Big Union rang out over the sparkling waters of Puget Sound. Loyal soldiers were these in the great class war, enlightened workers who were willing to give their all in the battle for bread, happiness and liberty. Men of all callings these—logger, carpenter, laborer, railroad clerk, painter, miner, printer, seaman and farmhand, all united with one common aim—the desire to gain for Labor the right of free expression.

Among their number, however, were two individuals of a breed reckoned among the lowest order of the human species; two "stool pigeons," low informers upon whom even a regular detective looks down with contempt. One of these, carrying an I. W. W. card and in the employ of Snohomish county and the Everett Commercial Club under the direction of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, had sneaked out of the I. W. W. headquarters long enough to telephone Lieutenant Hedges of the Seattle Police force that there was a boatload of I. W. W. men leaving for Everett. There was no secret in connection with the trip, but that there exist such class traitors, relatively few as they are, to whom the enemies of the workers can look for information is one of the sad features of the class struggle. The "stool's" message was relayed to the Everett authorities and, after being revised by the advocates of the open shop, it finally reached the deputies in the form of a report that a boatload of I. W. W.'s, armed to the teeth, were about to invade, pillage, and burn the city.

At one o'clock the mill whistles blew, the mill deputies armed with their mill clubs, mill revolvers, rifles and shotguns, assembled at the mill headquarters—the Commercial Club—and from there were transported in mill automobiles down the alleys and back streets to the City Dock.

Citizens were driven from the dock and a rope, guarded by armed deputies, was stretched across the land end to prevent access by any save men with guns. Part of the equipment of the Naval Militia was stored in readiness at the Commercial Club—a stubborn fact for those who deny that government is a class institution. At the Pacific Hardware Company, deputy Dave Oswald had an auto load of rifles and ammunition prepared for immediate transportation and use. In Captain Ramwell's office, at the point where the rope was stretched, there were stacked a number of high-power rifles, brought there from the same source. It is even rumored that there was a machine gun on the dock. On the scab tugboat Edison, moored at the north side of the dock, men armed with rifles lay in waiting. The Everett Improvement Dock to the south was also prepared for action. Hundreds of deputies were admitted to the City Dock and were lined up under the direction of Sheriff McRae, Deputy-Sheriff Jefferson Beard, and Lieutenant Charles O. Curtis, of the Officers' Reserve Corps of the National Guard of Washington. Boards were removed from the sides of the warehouses so as to command a view of the landing place, and sacks of potatoes and lumber were used as partial barricades. A few of the deputies were in the west warehouse at the extreme end of the dock, but the majority of them were in the larger warehouse to the east of the open docking space. Plentifully supplied with ammunition and "booze," the cowardly deputies lay hidden in this ambush. The scene was set and the tragedy of November Fifth about to be staged.

As the Verona cleaved the placid, sunlit waters of the Bay and swung up to the City Dock at Everett, shortly before two o'clock, the men were merrily singing the English Transport Workers' strike song,



We meet today in Freedom's cause,
And raise our voices high;
We'll join our hands in union strong,
To battle or to die.


Hold the fort for we are coming,
Union men be strong.
Side by side we battle onward,
Victory will come!


Look, my comrades, see the union,
Banners waving high.
Reinforcements now appearing,
Victory is nigh.




See our numbers still increasing;
Hear the bugle blow:
By our union we shall triumph
Over every foe.




Fierce and long the battle rages,
But we will not fear.
Help will come whene'er it's needed,
Cheer, my comrades, cheer!



From a hillside overlooking the scene thousands upon thousands of Everett citizens sent forth cheer after cheer as a hearty welcome to the "invading army." High up on the flag-pole of the Verona clambered Hugo Gerlot, a youthful free speech enthusiast, to wave a greeting to the throng that lined the shore. Passenger Oscar Carlson and his friend Ernest Nordstrom, from their position on the very bow of the boat, caught the spirit of the party and endeavored to join in the song that resounded louder and clearer as many of the men left the cabins to go out upon the deck.

Completely filling the bow of the boat and blocking the passageway on either side, the singers crowded to the rail in the usual joyously impatient manner of holiday excursionists, and then for the first time observed a body of deputies march from the large warehouse and settle into lines across the back and sides of the open landing space on the dock, where Curtis, McRae, and Beard were stationed.

Waiting until Captain Ramwell's wharfinger, William Kenneth, had made fast the bowline to prevent the boat from backing out, Sheriff Donald McRae gave his belt holster a hitch to bring his gun directly across his middle and then lurched forward to the face of the dock. Holding up his left hand to check the singing, he yelled to the men on board:

"Who is your leader?"

Immediate and unmistakable was the answer from practically every member of the Industrial Workers of the World:

"We are all leaders!"

Angrily jerking his gun from its holster and flourishing it in a threatening manner, McRae cried:

"You can't land here!"

"The hell we can't!" came the reply as the men stepped toward the partly thrown-off gang plank.

A shot rang out from the immediate vicinity of deputy W. A. Bridges, then another, closely followed by a volley that sent them staggering backward. Many fell to the deck. Evidently the waving of McRae's revolver was the prearranged signal for the carnage to commence. The long months of lumber trust lawlessness had culminated in cowardly, deliberate, premeditated and foul murder!

Young Gerlot crumpled up and slid part way down the flag pole, then suddenly threw out both arms and crashed lifeless to the deck, his bullet-torn and bleeding body acting as a shield for several who had thrown themselves prostrate. Passenger Oscar Carlson threw himself flat upon the forward deck and while in that position seven bullets found their way into his quivering flesh, life clinging to the shattered form by a strange vagary of fate. With a severe bullet wound in his abdomen, Ed Roth swayed back and forth for a moment and then toppled forward on his face.

When a bullet whistled past the head of Captain Chauncey Wiman, and another tore a spoke as thick as a man's wrist from the pilot wheel beneath his hand, he deserted his post to barricade himself behind the safe with a mattress, remaining in that position until the close of the hostilities.

At the first shot and during the first volley the unarmed men wildly sought cover from the deadly leaden hail. Those who had not dropped to the deck, wounded or seeking shelter, surged to the starboard side of the boat, causing it to list to an alarming degree, the fastened bowline alone preventing it from capsizing. Several men lost their footing on the blood-slimed decks and were pitched headlong overboard. There, struggling frantically in the water,—by no possible chance combatants—a storm of rifle bullets churning little whirlpools around their heads, one by one they were made the victims of lumber trust greed by the Hessianized deputies stationed at the shore end of the City Dock and upon the dock to the south. The bay was reddened with their blood. Of all who went overboard, James Hadley alone regained the deck, the rest disappearing beneath the silent waters to be dragged by the undertow out to an unknown and nameless ocean grave.

Young Joe Ghilezano seized the rail preparatory to jumping overboard, but seeing two men shot dead while they were in the water he lay down on the deck instead. While there a bullet pierced his hip, another went thru his back close to the spine, and a third completely tore off his left knee cap. Harry Parker slipped over the starboard side in order to gain the lower deck, and a rifle bullet from the vicinity of the tug Goldfinch, along the Everett Improvement Company Dock, ranged thru his back from left to right, just as his friend, Walter Mulholland, also wounded, pulled him in thru a hole torn in the canvas wind shield. An abdominal wound laid Felix Baran low. The thud of bullets as they struck the prostrate men added to the ghastly sound caused by the firing of rifles and revolvers, the curses of the deputies and the moans of the wounded men.

Following the first volley the deputies who had been out in the open scuttled into the warehouses on either side. Thru their scattering ranks the scabs on the tug Edison poured their rifle fire toward the men on the Verona. Lieutenant C. O. Curtis pitched forward and fell dead upon the dock—the victim of a rifle bullet. One of the fleeing deputies paused behind the corner of the waiting room just long enough to flinchingly reach out his hand and, keeping his head under cover, emptied his revolver without taking aim. Deputy Sheriff Jefferson Beard fell mortally wounded as he turned to run, and was dragged into the warehouse by some of the less panic stricken murderers. Sheriff McRae, with a couple of slight wounds in his left leg and heel, was forced to his knees by the impact of bullets against the steel jacket which he wore, remaining in a supplicating attitude for a few seconds while he sobbed out in a quavering tone, "O-o-oh! I'm hit! I-I'm hit!! I-I-I'm hit!!!"

Placed on board the Verona to serve the interests of the lumber trust, what were the two Pinkerton operatives doing while the boat was landing and just before the first heavy firing commenced? Their actions were shrouded in mystery. But, as if anticipating something, one was seen directly after the first shot scurrying into hiding where he lay shivering until long after the firing had ceased. The other, while under cover, was struck on the head by a glancing bullet. He became so enraged at this lack of thoughtfulness on the part of his degenerate brothers that he emptied his revolver at their backs as they broke for cover. From a safe position on the dock, deputy H. D. Cooley, with a pair of field glasses, was tremblingly trying to spy for the approach of the Calista.

Inside the waiting room and the warehouses the drink-crazed deputies ran amuck, shooting wildly in all directions, often with some of their own number directly in the line of fire—bullet holes in the floor and a pierced clock case high up on the waiting room wall giving mute evidence of their insane recklessness. One deputy fled from the dock in terror, explaining to all who would listen that a bullet hole in his ear was from the shot of one of his associates on the dock.

"They've gone crazy in there!" he cried excitedly. "They're shootin' every which way! They shot me in the ear!"

Thru the loopholes already provided, and even thru the sides of the warehouses they blazed away in the general direction of the boat, using revolvers and high powered rifles with steel and copper-jacketed missiles. Dum-dums sang their deadly way to the Verona and tore gaping wounds in the breasts of mere boys—an added reward by the industrial lords for their first season of hard labor in the scorching harvest fields. John Looney was felled by a rifle bullet and even as he fell shuddering to the deck another leaden missile shattered the woodwork and impaled one of his eyeballs upon a spear of wood, gouging it from the socket.

At the foot of the dock, protected by the Klatawa slip, (Indian name for runaway) C. R. Schweitzer, owner of a scab plumbing establishment, fired time after time with a magazine shotgun, the buckshot scattering at the long range and raking the forward deck with deadly effect. The pilot house was riddled and the woodwork filled with hundreds of the little leaden messengers that carried a story of "mutual interests of Capital and Labor." Deputy Russell and about ten others assisted in the dastardly work at that point, pouring shot after shot into the convulsive struggling heaps of wounded men piled four and five deep on the deck. One boy in a brown mackinaw suddenly rose upright from a tangled mass of humanity, the blood gushing from his wounds, and with an agonized cry of "My God! I can't stand this any longer!" leaped high in the air over the side of the boat, sinking from sight forever, his watery resting place marked only by a few scarlet ripples.

Two bodies, one with the entire throat shot away, were found next morning washed up on the beach, and that fact was reported to the Everett police by Ed. and Rob. Thompson. That night some men fishing in a little sailboat far out in the bay saw five weighted objects about six feet long, and apparently wrapped in canvas, thrown overboard from a launch, but in none of the daily papers was there any mention of bodies having been found. Six uncalled-for membership cards, deposited by men who took passage on the Verona, may represent as many murders by the cowards on the dock. Those cards are made out to Fred Berger, William Colman, Tom Ellis, Edward Raymond, Peter Viberts, and Chas. E. Taylor. Some of the deputies gloatingly declared that the death toll of the workers was twelve men at the lowest count.

So wanton was the slaughter of the helpless men and boys that strong men who witnessed the scene turned away vomiting. From the hillside the women—those whom the deputies were pretending to protect from the "incoming horde,"—casting aside all womanly fears, raced to the dock in a vain endeavor to stop the commission of further crime, crying out in their frenzy, "The curs! The curs! The dirty curs! They're nothing but murderers!" They, as well as the men who tried to launch boats to rescue the men in the water, were halted by the same citizen deputies whose names head the list of Red Cross donors.

For a short period of time, seemingly endless hours to the unarmed and helpless men on the boat, the rain of lead continued. Tho the boat had righted itself, the men were still unable to extricate themselves from the positions into which they had been thrown. Near the top of one heap lay Abraham Rabinowitz, a young Jewish college graduate, and as he struggled to regain his footing a bullet tore off the whole back part of his head, his blood and brains splashing down over Raymond Lee and Michael Reilly who lay just beneath him. Rabinowitz died in the arms of Leonard Broman, his "pal" in the harvest fields, without ever having regained consciousness.

"Hold me up, fellow workers!" suddenly called out Gus Johnson as he was fatally stricken by a bullet. "I want to finish the song." Then, above the din of the gunfire and curses of the deputies, the final verse of "Hold the Fort" rang out in defiance of industrial tyranny, and with the termination of the words "Cheer, my comrades, cheer!" the bright red death-foam flecked the ever-to-be silent lips of the brave Swedish revolutionist.

Splintering the stairways, seats and woodwork, and wounding many of the men crouched in hiding, thousands of rounds of ammunition found their way into the boat during the ten long minutes of the onslaught. Finally, with a 41 Colts revolver to enforce his demand, J. F. Billings ordered engineer Ernest Shellgren to back the boat away from the dock. With no pilot at the wheel the propeller churned madly backward for a moment, the bowline drew taut and snapped, and the Verona pulled away from the murderous crew of vigilantes. Not content with the havoc they had wrought at close quarters some of the deputies continued to fire as long as the boat was within range, a bullet from a high powered rifle shattering the left leg of Harry Golden, a youth of twenty-two years, when the boat was far out in the bay. Amputation of the limb was necessary, a cork leg daily reminding young Golden of the majesty of the law.

The Verona with its grim cargo of dead and wounded steamed toward Seattle, meeting the steamer Calista about four miles out, stopping just long enough for Captain Wiman to shout thru his megaphone, "For God's sake don't land! They'll kill you! We have dead and wounded on board now."

With unaccustomed fingers the uninjured men bathed the wounded, tearing up shirts and underclothing in order to bind up their injuries, and making the men as comfortable as possible during the two and one half hour return trip.

A few of the men on board had been armed. These voluntarily threw overboard their revolvers, together with the few empty shells that lay scattered upon the deck, George Reese alone having to be forced to discard the "souvenirs" he had picked up.

It was a quiet crowd that pulled into Seattle, not only because they realized that the class struggle is not all jokes and songs, but also in deference to the sufferings of their wounded comrades. This same spirit animated the men when they were met by drawn cordons of police at the Seattle dock, their first thought and first words being, "Get the wounded fellows out and we will be all right." In the city jail, located on the floor above the hospital, the same generous consideration of their wounded fellow workers' condition led them to forego the demonstration usually attending the arrest and jailing of any body of I. W. W. members.

The four dead members, their still forms covered with blankets, were first removed from the boat and taken to the morgue. Police and hospital ambulances were soon filled with the thirty-one wounded men, who were taken to the city hospital. The uninjured men were then lined up and slowly marched to the city jail. From the Calista the thirty-eight I. W. W. members were taken and placed in the county jail.

At the hospital, Felix Baran, shot in the abdomen, slowly and painfully passed away from internal hemorrhage. Dr. Mary Equi, of Portland, Ore., who examined the body, stated that with surgical attention there would have been more than an even chance of recovery.

No one will ever know how many brave workers were swept out to sea and lost, but Sunday, November Fifth, of the year Nineteen-sixteen, wrote in imperishable letters of red on the list of Labor's martyrs who gave up their lives in Freedom's Cause the names of


French, German, Swedish, Irish, and Russian Jew,—these are the true internationalists of the world-wide brotherhood of toil who died for free speech and the right to organize in this "land of liberty." To them Courtenay Lemon's tribute to the I. W. W. applies with full force.

"Again and again its foot-free members, burning with an indignation and a militant social idealism which is ever an inscrutable puzzle to local authorities, have hastened to towns where free speech fights were on, defied the police, braved clubbings, and voluntarily filled the jails to overflowing, to the rage and consternation of the police and taxpayers. It has acted as the flying squadron of liberty, the unconquered knight-errantry of all captive freedoms; and the migratory workers who constitute a large part of its membership, ever on the march and pitching their camp wherever the industrial battle is thickest, form a guerilla army which is always eager for a fight with the powers of tyranny. Whether they disagree with its methods and aims, all lovers of liberty everywhere owe a debt to this organization for its defense of free speech. Absolutely irreconcilable, absolutely fearless, and unsuppressibly persistent, it has kept alight the fires of freedom, like some outcast vestal of human liberty. That the defense of traditional rights to which this government is supposed to be dedicated should devolve upon an organization so often denounced as 'unpatriotic' and 'un-American,' is but the usual, the unfailing irony of history."[11]

Baran, Gerlot, Johnson, Looney, Rabinowitz,—these names will be a source of inspiration to the workers when their cowardly murderers have long been forgotten.

Those who survived their wounds, saving as pocket pieces the buckshot, copper and steel jacketed and dum-dum bullets extracted from their persons, were; mentioning their more serious wounds:

    Harry Golden, age 22, shot in left leg, making amputation necessary.

    Joseph Ghilazano, age 20, shot in shoulder and both legs, entire knee-cap shot off and replaced with a silver substitute.

    Albert Scribner, age 32, severely wounded in hip, probably lamed for life.

    Mario Marino, age 18, shot thru the lungs.

    Edward Roth, age 30, severely wounded in abdomen.

    Walter Mulholland, age 18, shot in buttock.

    Carl Bjork, age 25, wounded in back.

    Harry Parker, age 22, shot above abdomen, in back, and in legs.

    John Ryan, age 21, wounded in right shoulder and left leg.

    Leland E. Butcher, age 28, shot in the left leg.

    J. A. Kelly, age 31, shot in right leg.

    Hans Peterson, age 32, wounded in head.

    Fred Savery, age 25, wounded in hip.

    Steve Sabo, age 21, shot in left shoulder.

    Robert Adams, age 32, shot in left arm.

    Owen Genty, age 26, wounded in right kidney.

    C. C. England, age 27, shot in left knee.

    Nick Canaeff, age 35, shot in left arm.

    Albert Doninger, age 20, wounded in left arm.

    Brockman B. Armstrong, age 35, wounds on head.

    E. J. Shapeero, age 24, wounded in right leg.

    Carl Burke, age 25, shot in back and shoulder.

    Ira Luft, age 27, shot in right side of back.

    George Turnquist, age 26, wounded in left leg.

    George Brown, age 21, shot in back.

    D. J. McCarthy, age 37, shot in side of head and in right leg.

    John Adams, age 28, wounded in right elbow.

    Edward Truitt, age 28, shot in right elbow.

Others on the boat who were wounded were Oscar Carlson, passenger, nine severe bullet wounds in all parts of his body; L. S. Davis, ship steward, wounded in the arm, and Charles Smith, Pinkerton "stool pigeon" with a slight scalp injury.

The wounded men were none too well treated at the city hospital, only a part of the neglect being due to the overcrowded condition of the wards. Wounds were hastily dressed and in some cases the injured men were placed in jail at once where they had to care for themselves as best they might.

In Everett the deputies left the dock when the Verona had steamed out of the range of their rifle fire, taking with them the corpse of gunman C. O. Curtis, office manager of the Canyon Lumber Company, and deputy-sheriff Jefferson Beard, whose wounds caused his death the following morning. The injured deputies were H. B. Blackburn, James A. Broadbent, R. E. Brown, E. P. Buehrer, Owen Clay, Louis Connor, Jr., Fred Durr, A. J. Ettenborough, Athol Gorrell, Thomas Hedley, Joe Irving, James Meagher; Donald McRae, J. C. Rymer, Edwin Stuchell, and Charles Tucker. Hooted, hissed, and jeered at by the thousands of citizens on the viaduct and hill above the dock, these self-immolated prostitutes to the god of greater profits were taken to the hospitals for treatment.

Among the crowd of citizens was Mrs. Edith Frennette, who had been in Everett a couple of days in connection with a lumber trust charge against her, and with her were Mrs. Lorna Mahler and Mrs. Joyce Peters, who had come from Seattle to attend the proposed street meeting. Making the claim that Mrs. Frenette had threatened the life of Sheriff McRae with a gun and had tried to throw red pepper into his eyes as he was being transported from the dock, the Everett authorities caused the arrest of the three women in Seattle as they were returning in an auto to meet the Verona at the Seattle dock. They were held several days before being released, no charges having been placed against Mrs. Mahler or Mrs. Peters, and the case against Mrs. Frenette was eventually dismissed, just as had been all previous charges made by McRae. These three arrests brought the total number of free speech prisoners up to two hundred and ninety-four.

What were the feelings of the Everett public directly following the massacre can best be judged from the report of an Everett correspondent to the Seattle Union Record, the official A. F. of L. organ.

"Your correspondent was on the street at the time of the battle and at the dock ten minutes afterward. He mingled with the street crowds for hours afterwards. The temper of the people is dangerous. Nothing but curses and execrations for the Commercial Club was heard. Men and women who are ordinarily law abiding, who in normal times mind their own business pretty well, pay their taxes, send their children to church and school, pay their bills, in every way comport themselves as normal citizens, were heard using the most vitriolic language concerning the Commercial Club, loudly sympathizing with the I. W. W.'s. And therein lies the great harm that was done, more menacing to the city than the presence of any number of I. W. W.'s, viz., the transformation of decent, honest citizens into beings mad for vengeance and praying for something dire to happen. I heard gray-haired women, mothers and wives, gentle, kindly, I know, in their home circles, openly hoping that the I. W. W.'s would come back and 'clean up.'"

Corroborating this is the report of President E. P. Marsh to the State Federation of Labor.

"A dangerous situation existed in Everett after the battle of November 5. Public feeling ran high and anything might have happened. Half a thousand citizens were under arms enraged at the Industrial Workers of the World and deadly determined to stamp out their organization in Everett. It is no exaggeration to say that literally thousands of the working people of Everett were just as enraged toward the members of the Commercial Club who participated in the gun battle. * * * As an instance of how high the feeling ran let me tell you that on the following morning the mayor of the city appeared on the (shingle weavers') picket line with a high power rifle and told the union pickets that he had every reason to believe that an attempt might be made by snipers to pick them off. He asked them to scatter as much as possible, make no demonstration whatever, and declared he would defend them with his life if necessary."

Mayor Merrill, equally guilty with the deputies who were on the dock, taking advantage of a means of spreading information that was denied to the workers, directly after the massacre spoke from a soap box on the corner of Wetmore and California Avenues, telling all who would listen that he was not responsible for the trouble as the Commercial Club had taken the power away from him and put it in the hands of McRae. The insincerity of this vacillating lackey of the lumber trust was demonstrated by his brutal treatment of young Louis Skaroff, who with Chester Micklin and Osmond Jacobs, had been arrested and thrown into jail when the three, bravely taking their lives in their hands, attempted to speak on the corner of Hewitt and Wetmore two hours after the tragedy. It was on Monday night about ten o'clock that the night jailer took Skaroff into a room where Mayor Merrill and a man posing as an immigration officer were seated. The fake immigration officer tried to frighten the prisoner with threats of deportation, after which the jailer beat Skaroff across the head. Merrill arose and took a hand in the proceedings, buffeting the boy back and forth until he fell to the floor. Then, with the aid of the jailer, Skaroff's fingers were placed, one by one, beneath the legs of an iron bed in the room while the ponderous mayor jumped up and down on the bed, mashing and tearing flesh and knuckles. Upon regaining consciousness the mutilated boy found himself in the jail corridor, crushed beneath Merrill's massive form, the mayor having grasped Skaroff by the hair in order to repeatedly hammer the lad's head against the hard cement floor. Finding that Skaroff's spirit could not be broken the cowards finally desisted. Skaroff was released at the end of eleven days.

Chaos reigned in Everett following the tragedy. That night over five hundred deputies patrolled the streets, fearing just retribution for their criminal misdeeds. Those who had been on the dock as parties to the massacre were overheard saying to each other, "We must stick together on this story about the first shot coming from the boat." Certain officials called for the state militia which was mobilized in Seattle but not used. One militiaman, a young lad named Ted Kennedy, refused to serve, claiming that it was the same as strike duty. The fact that the militia was mobilized at once, and that Governor Ernest Lister went to Everett to confer with officials and mill owners there, when he had refused to furnish protection or even to make an investigation at the request of the I. W. W. a short time before showed the governor's bias in favor of the employers. In this lumber district the militia was apparently the property of the mill owners.

A hastily gathered coroner's jury in Everett on November 6th brought in a verdict that C. O. Curtis and Jefferson F. Beard met death from "gunshot wounds inflicted by a riotous mob on the Steamer Verona at the city dock." If any of the jury dissented from its false statement they were too spineless to express their opinion. The deliberations were under the direction of Coroner A. R. Maulsby and the members of the jury were Adam Hill, C. E. Anthony, O. H. King, Chris Culmback, C. Sandstein, and Charles F. Manning.

The inquest was a farce. Those who were outside the "deadline" and who were willing to swear that the first shots came from the dock were not permitted to testify, only sympathizers with the Commercial Club being called as witnesses. No real attempt to take testimony was made. The Seattle Central Labor Council on November 8th appropriated $100 for a more complete investigation after branding the Everett inquest as fraudulent in the following resolution:

"Whereas, It appears to this council that, following a lockout and open-shop campaign by Roland H. Hartley and others of Everett, Wash., the police and business men of that city have attempted to ruthlessly and lawlessly suppress all street speaking and demonstrations by labor organizations, and that unarmed men have been brutally beaten and terrorized, and


Whereas, This policy culminated in a bloody battle on Sunday, November 5, resulting in the death of seven or more men and the wounding of many more, and


Whereas, A fair inquest should be held to fix responsibility for this crime, and it appears that this has not been done, but that only witnesses favorable to the bosses have been heard;


Therefore, we demand another inquest, free from control by the forces opposed to labor, and a change of venue, if that be necessary."

Capitalism stood forth in all its hideous nakedness on that day of red madness, and public opinion was such that the striking shingle weavers had but to persistently press their point in order to win. A conference of prominent men, held in Everett on Monday, decided that the situation could be relieved only by a settlement of the strike. The mill men, when called in, abruptly refused to grant a single demand so long as the men were still out, an attitude they could not have maintained for long. Listening to the false advice of "friends of labor" and "labor leaders" the shingle weavers, albeit grudgingly, returned to their slavery, unconditional surrender being the price they were forced to pay for the doubtful privilege of "relieving the social tension." But with the pay envelopes that could not be stretched to cover the increased cost of living, the weavers, discouraged to an extent and lacking their former solidarity, were forced to down tools again within a few weeks by the greatest of all strike agitators—Hunger.

The prisoners in Seattle were held incommunicado for several days. They were fed upon the poorest grade of prison fare, and were made to sleep on the winter-chilled cement floors without blankets. But Mayor Hiram Gill, realizing that public sentiment was with the imprisoned men, ordered that they be placed upon a proper diet, be given blankets and be allowed to see relatives and friends. On November 8th in the Seattle Times there appeared a statement by Gill that played a very important part in riveting the attention of the people upon the real criminals in the case. As the Times is a notoriously conservative and labor-hating sheet, being largely responsible for the raid on the I. W. W. and Socialist Halls on July 19, 1913, and for the attack by drunken sailors and soldiers on the I. W. W. hall on June 16, 1917, it can hardly be accused of exaggeration in favor of the workers in this interview.

Following the publication of this interview the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Seattle's "Commercial Club," endeavored to father a movement looking to the recall of Gill from office. Back of this attempt were Judge Thomas Burke, Louis Lang, Jay Thomas, and four stall-fed ministers, the Reverends W. A. Major, E. V. Shailer, Wood Stewart and Carter Helm Jones. Of these, Thomas represented the liquor interests, Lang was the former police chief who had been discharged in disgrace and was herding scabs on the waterfront, Burke was chief spokesman for the low-wage open-shop interests, and as to the preachers—the less said the better. The lumber and shipping trusts had adequate representation at the "Law and Order" meeting as the attempted recall gathering was styled. But the whole thing fell flat when Gill himself offered to sign the recall for the opportunity it would give him to tell the real facts about the Everett case and the interests lined up behind the prosecution and the recall.

On the night of the tragedy a report was circulated in Seattle to the effect that every known I. W. W. would be arrested on sight. The answer to this was a street meeting at which nearly ninety dollars were collected as the first money toward the Everett Prisoners' Defense, and the packing of the hall for weeks thereafter by members and sympathizers who had not attended meetings for a long time. A temporary committee was chosen to handle the work of the defense of the imprisoned men, and this committee acted until November 16th, at which time at a mass meeting of I. W. W. members Herbert Mahler was elected secretary of the Everett Prisoners' Defense Committee, Charles Ashleigh, publicity agent, and W. J. Houser, Morris Levine and Thomas Murphy as the committee. Richard Smith was afterward chosen to take the place vacated by Levine. This committee functioned thruout the case and up until the final audit of their account on June 12, 1917.

Within the jail a process of selection had gone on. One by one the free speech prisoners were taken from their cells and slowly led past a silent and darkened cell into whose gloomy depths the keenest eye was unable to penetrate. Again and again they were marched past the peephole, first with hats on and then with them off, while two sinister looking fingers were slid out of a narrow opening from time to time to indicate those who should be held.

"I'd give two of my fingers," muttered one of the prisoners bitterly, "to know the skunk that belongs to those two fingers."

Little did he and his fellow workers realize that they were to learn later, thru the development of the trial, that the principal person engaged in the despicable work was George Reese, a member of the I. W. W. and of the I. L. A. It was on learning this that many of the actions of Reese were made clear; his connection with dock riots during the longshoremen's strike, his establishment of a "flying squadron" to beat up scabs on the waterfront, his open boast on the floor of I. L. A. meetings that his pockets were lined with money gained by robbing the strike-breakers after they had been beaten up and his advice to other strikers to do likewise, his activities just prior to the various dock fires, his seemingly miraculous escape in every instance when strikers were arrested, his election as delegate from the longshoremen to the Seattle Central Labor Council, his requests of prominent I. W. W. members that they purchase various chemicals for him, his giving of phosphorus to members of the I. L. A. and the I. W. W. with instructions as to how and where to use it, his attempts to advocate violence at an Everett street meeting, his gathering of "souvenirs" on the Verona—all actions designed either to aid the employers in their fights against the workers or to furnish an excuse for his further employment as an "informer."

Well may the question be asked—What was Reese doing just as the Verona docked in Everett on November 5th? Was Reese merely a "stool pigeon" or was he an "agent provocateur?"

Aiding Reese in the selective process was Charles Smith, the other Pinkerton operative who had been on the boat. One of the men first picked out was I. P. McDowell, alias Charles Adams, and this individual was weak enough to fall for the promise of immunity offered by agents of the lumber trust if he would point out the "leaders" and then take the stand to swear that the men on the boat were armed and the first shot came from one of them. McDowell pointed out some of the men, but lacking the nerve to carry out the last part of the program he was held with the rest for trial. The seventy-four men thus picked were formally charged with murder in the first degree. The first charge carried the names of C. O. Curtis as well as that of Jefferson Beard, but later the name of Curtis was dropped from the information. The men so charged were:

    Charles Auspos, alias Austin, age 38, teamster, born in Wisconsin.

    James D. Bates, age 29, steam fitter, born in Illinois.

    E. M. Beck, age 45, laborer, born in New York.

    Charles Berg, age 22, laborer, born in Germany.

    J. H. Beyer, age 56, painter, born in Michigan.

    J. F. Billings, age 35, cook, born in Nebraska.

    Charles Black, age 23, laborer, born in Pennsylvania.

    J. J. Black, age 27, longshoreman, born in Massachusetts.

    John W. Bowdoin, age 35, laborer, born in Sweden.

    Frank Boyd, age 43, laborer, born in Illinois.

    Pete Breed, age 26, laborer, born in Holland.

    W. H. Brown, age 40, laborer, born in Maryland.

    H. T. Cheetman, age 25, carpenter, born in Florida.

    Fred Crysler, age 26, laborer, born in Canada.

    Charles H. Cody, age 46, painter, born in Montana.

    William Coffin, age 34, motorman, born in California.

    Clarence Cyphert, age 35, logger, born in Washington.

    Roy Davis, age 47, laborer, born in California.

    William Davis, age 35, cook, born in Maryland.

    Axel Downey, age 17, laborer, born in Iowa.

    John Downs, age 28, sailor, born in Colorado.

    Adolph Ersson, age 26, laborer and sailor, born in Sweden.

    Harry Feinberg, age 25, cleaner and dyer, born in Illinois.

    Charles Hawkins, age 28, laborer, born in Indiana.

    Charles Haywood, age 46, miner, born in Minnesota.

    E. F. Hollingsworth, age 29, fireman, born in North Carolina.

    J. E. Houlihan, age 36, miner, born in Ireland.

    Alfred Howard, age 28, coal packer, born in New York.

    Harvey Hubler, age 21, teamster, born in Illinois.

    Oscar Johnson, age 24, laborer, born in Sweden.

    Victor Johnson, age 37, laborer, born in Finland.

    J. A. Kelly, age 31, logger, born in Ohio.

    Theodore Lauer, age 29, laborer, born in New York.

    William Lawson, age 32, laborer, born in Washington.

    Jack Leonard, age 27, laborer, born in Kentucky.

    Pat Lyons, age 48, laborer, born in England.

    Jim Mack, age 31, laborer, born in Ireland.

    Joseph Manning, age 28, automobile repairer, born in Pennsylvania.

    Laurence Manning, age 26, laborer, born in New York.

    Ed Miller, age 48, painter, born in New York.

    Harold Miller, age 21, gas fitter, born in Kansas.

    John Mitchell, age 38, miner, born in Illinois.

    George Murphy, age 28, laborer, born in Kentucky.

    Louis McCall, age 24, laborer, born in Texas.

    I. P. McDowell, alias Charles Adams, age 28, printer, born in Illinois.

    C. D. McLennan, age 48, longshoreman, born in Georgia.

    Carl Newman, age 30, laborer, born in Sweden.

    John Nugent, age 38, laborer, born in New York.

    Malachi O'Neill, age 34, blacksmith, born in Ireland.

    Earl Osborne, age 33, logger, born in North Carolina.

    Jack Paterson, age 24, laborer, born in Illinois.

    Harston Peters, age 32, laborer, born in Virginia.

    James Powers, age 47, sheet metal worker, born in Massachusetts.

    John Rawlings, age 26, laborer, born in Wisconsin.

    Michael J. Reilly, age 23, laborer, born in New York.

    John Ross, age 36, laborer, born in Massachusetts.

    Ed. Roth, age 31, longshoreman, born in New York.

    Thomas Savage, age 50, machinist, born in New York.

    E. J. Shapeero, age 23, timekeeper, born in Pennsylvania.

    William Shay, age 28, laborer, born in Massachusetts.

    H. Shebeck, age 24, laborer, born in Wisconsin.

    Albert Shreve, age 40, laborer, born in Illinois.

    H. Sokol, age 26, laborer, born in Russia.

    D. Stevens, age, 21, longshoreman, born in Canada

    Robert Struick, age 24, farmer, born in Michigan.

    Frank Stewart, age 35, logger, born in Canada.

    Tom Tracy, age 30, crane driver, born in Pennsylvania.

    Thomas H. Tracy, age 36, teamster, born in Nebraska.

    Edwart Truitt, age 28, longshoreman, born in Pennsylvania.

    F. O. Watson, age 35, blacksmith, born in Louisiana.

    James Whiteford (Kelly), age 36, cook, born in New York.

    Abraham B. Wimborne, age 22, buss-boy, born in England.

    William Winn, age 44, miner, born in Maryland.

All of these men, with the exception of J. H. Beyer, were heavily handcuffed and secretly transferred to Everett, forty-one being taken in the first contingent and the balance later.

Meanwhile the I. W. W. branches in Seattle had communicated with the General Headquarters of the organization and steps had been taken to secure legal aid. Attempts to enlist the services of Frank P. Walsh, former chairman of the Industrial Relations Commission, were unsuccessful. For various reasons other well known attorneys refused to ally themselves with the defense.

Attorney Fred H. Moore of Los Angeles, responding to the call from Seattle, reached Seattle just one week after the tragedy, on Sunday, November, 12th. Moore acted as chief counsel for the defense. He had first come into prominence thru his connection with the great free speech fight waged in Spokane, Wash., during the fall of 1909 and the spring of 1910. During that fight he handled the legal end of the cases of many hundreds of free speech fighters whose arrests ran into the thousands. He was also connected with various other cases in connection with the Industrial Workers of the World, notably that of Jack Whyte and others arrested in the contest for free speech in San Diego, Cal. and the famous Ettor-Giovannitti case that developed from the great strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Mass., in 1912. His sympathy with the workers and his understanding of the class struggle made him invaluable to the defense.

Of equal importance was attorney George F. Vanderveer, who was called into the case a little later than Moore. Vanderveer was formerly the prosecuting attorney for King county, in which position he won a reputation for clever and merciless cross-examination. One of Seattle's most prominent and brilliant lawyers, his wide acquaintance with all classes of people and his comprehensive knowledge of conditions in King and Snohomish counties, coupled with his keen satire and compelling logic, gave a force to the case that cannot be underestimated.

Attorney E. C. Dailey of Everett, Caroline A. Lowe of Kansas City, Mo., and Harry Sigmond and J. L. Finch, both of Seattle, completed the list of counsel for the defense.

After being held in the Seattle city jail for nine days without any charge having been placed against them, one hundred twenty-eight men who were on the Verona were released, small bodies of them being sent out at different periods in order to avoid demonstrations from the public. Those who were released were:

James Agen, Frank Andrews, Brockman Armstrong, W. D. Beachy, J. H. Beyer, John Bolan, J. Bonfield, Elmer Brisbon, Leonard Broman, George Brown, James Burns, Martin Cable, Val Calze, A. L. Cameron, James Carlough, J. H. Carr, Ray Clark, Joseph Cline, Archie Collins, Robert Conning, Nick Conaieff, Joseph Costello, R. F. Dalton, Frank Dante, C. W. Davis, Lawrence Davis, Albert Doninger, John Donohue, William Dott, Joseph Dougherty, Ned Dustard, J. H. Elliott, C. C. England, John Fitzpatrick, A. Fletcher, Russell Free, Alfred Freeman, Ben Freeman, James Freeman, John Gibson, Frank Gillarkey, P. A. Gragler, Charles Gray, James Gray, Paul Grossman, Ed Gruberg, Raymond Gurber, Robert Hansen, Joe Harris, L. W. Harris, Arnold Hensel, Roy Howell, G. H. Isenberg, Carl Jacobson, George Johnson, Ray Johnson, John Karne, Henry Krieg, Fred Laveny, Henry Lea, Raymond Lee, William Ledingham, Charles Leider, Ira Luft, Ed Lynn, George Maguire, William Micklenburg, August Miller, Dennis Miller, Frank C. Miller, John Miller, Frank Millet, Roy Mitchell, William Montgomery, William Moore, James Murray, Leo McCabe, J. McCoy, Bernard Narvis, Al. Nickerson, Ben Noll, Tom Norton, Tom O'Connor, Jack Osborne, E. Peckman, Hans Peterson, A. Pilon, Ira Porter, Max Ramsey, Edward Rays, Herman Rechlenberg, Frank Reiner, Ernest Rich, John J. Riley, C. H. Ross, M. Rountell, Steve Sabo, J. L. Samuel, Joe Sarracco, Ed Schwartz, Carl Schultz, H. Stredwick, Arthur Shumek, Charles Smith, Harry Smith, E. J. Smith, Cecil Snedegar, Frank Sofer, Stanley Stafl, Raymond St. Clair, John Stroka, Mike Stysco, C. Thomas, Richard Tibbs, John Utne, Joseph Vito, John Walker, Benny Warshawsky, F. Westwood, Ben Whitehead, Arley Whiteside, William Wilke, H. Wilson, Frank Wise, and Charles Wolskie.

Most of these were mere boys. Mere boys—but undaunted by their recent terrible experience on the Verona where the open shop fiends had fired upon them without warning. Mere boys—and yet they loyally marched straight to the I. W. W. hall as soon as they were released, there to inquire about the condition of their wounded fellow workers and to gain news of those who had been taken to Everett to answer charges of first degree murder. Mere boys—youthful enthusiasm shining on their beardless faces. Scattered among them were a few men of middle years, and here and there a grey head stood out in bold relief—but the majority of them were mere boys, youthful soldiers in the Social Revolution, fine and clean and loyal material called together by the compelling ideal of a New Society.

The predominance of young blood in the organization was noted in the report of the 1912 convention, where it was shown that ninety per cent of the membership were under thirty years of age, due of course to the fact that the modern tendency is to displace the older men in industry. As one wit has put it "If a man works as hard as the employers want him to he is worn out at forty-five; if he isn't worn out at forty-five he is not the kind of worker the employers want." Others have noted the percentage of the very young. John Graham Brooks, for instance, in "American Syndicalism—The I. W. W." has this to say:

"Of the same nature as a characteristic is the youth of the membership. The groups I saw in the West bore this stamp so unmistakably as to suggest bodies of students at the end of a rather jolly picnic. The word 'bum' usually applied to them in that region does not fit them. There are plenty of older men, as there are men with every appearance of being 'down and out'—with trousers chewed off at the heels, after the manner of tramps, but in face and bearing they are far from 'bums.' In one of the speeches the young were addressed as 'best material;' because they could stand the wear and tear of racking journeys. They were free from family responsibilities, and could at any moment respond to the call of duty."

Bearing out this idea, tho along a somewhat different line, is an excerpt from an article by Anna Louise Strong which appeared in the Survey magazine just prior to the trial. This and other articles, together with the personal efforts of Miss Strong, whose official standing as a member of the Seattle School Board and as Executive Secretary of the Seattle Council of Social Agencies gave weight to her opinion, did much toward creating a favorable public sentiment during the trial. Says Miss Strong:

"The boys in jail are a cheerful lot. The 'tanks' which contain them are the tanks of the usual county jail, much overcrowded now by the unusual number. Bunks crowded above each other, in full sight thru the bars; a few feet away, all the processes of life open to the casual beholder. But they sit in groups playing cards or dominoes; they listen to tunes played on the mouth-organ; most of all they sing. They sing whenever visitors come, and smile thru the bars in cheerful welcome. Theirs is the spirit of the crusader of all ages, and all causes, won or lost, sane or insane. Theirs is the irresponsibility and audacious valor of youth. When they disliked their food, says a conservative newspaper, they went on strike and 'sang all night.' Sang all night! What sane adults in our drab, business-as-usual world would think of doing that? Who, in fact, could think of doing it but college boys or Industrial Workers of the World, cheerfully defying authority?"

Thru an absurd and laughable error J. H. Beyer, one of the seventy-four men charged with first degree murder, was among those who were released. Beyer immediately sought out and told attorney Moore his story. Then this "hardened criminal" walked the street of Seattle after public announcement had been made that he was willing to be taken to Everett to be incarcerated with the rest of his fellow workers, and that he awaited rearrest. The prosecution made no move to apprehend him, so on December 14th Beyer went to Everett and asked the authorities to lock him up. The Snohomish officials shamefacedly granted this unique request but they absolutely refused to refund the money Beyer had paid to deliver himself up to "Justice."

Before leaving Seattle Beyer made this statement: "I have waited here nearly a month since my release from the Seattle jail, yet no officer from Everett has come for me. In justice to the other boys accused I feel that I should share their lot as well as the accusation. I do not fear returning to Everett and giving myself up for I am confident that we shall be all exculpated. I am fifty-three years of age and have had many and varied experiences in my career, but I never expected to be accused of crime because I endeavored to assert my constitutional right of Free Speech."

The same day that Beyer surrendered himself, bonds of $50 each were secured for thirty-eight men who had been selected from the Verona and Calista and held on charges of unlawful assembly. Bail was given by James Duncan, Secretary of the Central Labor Council, and E. B. Ault, editor of the Union Record, both of Seattle. The released men were Dewey Ashmore, E. Belmat, C. Burke, L. E. Butcher, James Callahan, Harry Chase, Charles Day, A. J. Deach, Charles Ellis, J. Ford, Owen Genty, Hy Gluckstad, Frank Goff, James C. Hadley, Steve Heletour, A. O. Hooper, C. C. Hulbert, H. P. Hunsberger, C. L. Johnson, R. W. Jones, Joe Kelley, F. Lansing, W. O. Lily, E. McBride, William McGregor, R. Nicholson, David O'Hern, Harry Parker, J. Ryan, Sam Scott, Mark Skomo, Thomas Smye, and F. Thorpe.

Altho an inquest had been held over the dead gunmen at such an early date after the tragedy and with such haste as to seem suspicious, repeated demands for an inquest over Labor's dead were of no avail. No such inquest was ever held. Only by strong protest were the bodies kept from the potter's field.

Thirty-eight charged with unlawful assembly, seventy-four in jail accused of first degree murder, thirty-two severely wounded and at least two of these crippled for life, six unaccounted for and probably shot and drowned, and five known dead in the city morgue,—this was the answer of the tyrannical timber barons to Labor's demand for free speech and the right to organize within the confines of the Lumber Kingdom.


[11] Courtenay Lemon, "Free Speech in the United States." Pearson's Magazine, December 1916.

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