Co-operative News 

(Everett: 1917-1918)

Report by Fred Bird

Abstract: The Co-operative News was the fourth and last of a consecutive series of Socialist weekly newspapers published in Everett, Washington between February 1911 and June 1918. The Co=operative News succeeded its predecessor, The Northwest Worker, in October 1917 and lasted until at least June 20,1918—the last edition contained by the University of Washington’s microfilm collection. That last edition (of which two of four pages are missing) and the editions preceding it are filled with predictions of newspaper’s impending doom (Appendix B) based on the federal government’s on-going suppression of other Socialist and radical publications taking place throughout the nation under the authority of the federal Espionage Act of 1917, as amended in April 1918 (Appendix E). As with all its predecessors--The Commonwealth (1911-1914), The Washington Socialist (1914-1915), and The Northwest Worker (1915-1917), the Co=operative News served as a promotional and educational instrument for the Socialist Party, reporting on national, state and local Socialist Party events and issues. However, in a shift of emphasis reflected by the publication’s new name, the Co=operative News featured extensive coverage of the growing cooperative movement. Throughout this seven-and-a-half-year progression, the publication’s major leaders, ownership (as can be best determined), volunteers, business address and even the mailing permit remained the same.

Dates Published: October 1917 – June 1918; second-class mailing permit issued March 9, 1911 at Everett, Washington; published weekly; 4 pages; 4-col format.

Dates Published: October 1917 – June 1918; second-class mailing permit issued March 9, 1911 at Everett, Washington; published weekly; 4 pages; 4-col format.

Editors: Henry W. Watts (Oct. 25, 1917?); Peter Husby (Nov. 15, 1917? – June 20, 1918?).

Political Affiliation: Socialist Party

Lineage: The Commonwealth (1911 – 1914, microfilm A3100) became the Washington Socialist (April 1914 – June 1915), then the Northwest Worker (July 1915 -- Sept. 1917), and finally the Co-operative News  (Oct. 1917 – June 1918). The latter three newspapers are all contained in microfilm A3099, entitled “Co=operative News – Everett.”

Business Address: 1612 California Street, Everett, Washington

Location of collection: University of Washington Libraries, Microform and Newspaper Collections: A3099; duplicate film available at the Everett Public Library. Incomplete collection: 22 of a possible 37 issues are in the collection. See Appendix A for partially annotated list of the available issues. Records of possible additional issues after June 20, 1918 have not been found.

Click to Enlarge


(February 14, 1918, p.1)


(June 13, 1918, p.1)


(June 20, 1918, p.1)



(November 15, 1917, p.2)


Co=operative News banner

IN THINGS ESSENTIAL, UNITY

IN THINGS DOUBTFUL, LIBERTY

IN ALL THINGS, FRATERNITY


  

PROSECUTED, SUPPRESSED, OR BOTH?

These are difficult times to edit a Free paper.  We have held out, and have held our course, in the face of great difficulties up to the present time; but there is no telling when the heavy hand of authority (official or unofficial) may fall on us.  Open discussion of vital political issues and industrial problems is not wanted at this time.  A free and fearless paper is a thorn in the side of autocrats, whether they be aristocrats or plutocrats or bureaucrats (or democrats). …

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

… The authorities can put us out of business for the present if they desire to, because they have the power, But we will come back to life again.  Be sure of that.

We know that we have brought down upon us the wrath of the powers that be, because we have always persisted in telling the truth.  That is why Comrade Watts is now in Canada.

But, truth crushed to earth, shall rise again.

Likewise, the Co=operative News. [i]

The Co=operative News

June 13, 1918

Everett, Washington

(Appendix B)

 

For nine months between October 1917 and June 1918 the Co=operative News of Everett, Snohomish County, Washington recorded the news of the Socialist community in that fast-growing mill town. There was the good news of successful socialist-oriented cooperative ventures, locally and even internationally, but these seemingly peaceful events paled in comparison to the bad news of the quickly cascading repression that had already begun to crush the Socialist movement in the United States, a fate that would befall this very newspaper. The last two issues [ii] of the Co=operative News appear almost to be draped in anticipatory mourning while the editor cries out in anger at the conservative forces that were about to overwhelm them.  

Seven and a half years earlier, on February 4, 1911, the future had looked more hopeful for the local Socialists as they began publishing the Commonwealth, the first of four consecutive Socialist newspapers in Everett. The paper’s name changed as various editors sought different visions for the publication, but the mission and most of the people behind the publication remained the same throughout. The Socialist movement in Everett offered a cooperative, worker-focused societal vision that contrasted radically with the rough capitalism that characterized the frontier-town, timber and shingle mill economy of a community only 35 years old in 1918. 

            Socialists there in the early years of the newspapers existed in an uneasy truce with the dominant commercial and political establishment. They were even successful in electing several of their fellows to the Everett city council and later to the Everett city commission. [iii] Socialist electoral strength reached its high-water mark in the election of 1912 when the Socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs garnered 21 percent of the total in Snohomish County, running second to Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive Party) but ahead of Woodrow Wilson (Democrat Party). Socialist gubernatorial candidate Anna Maley, a former editor of the Commonwealth, also placed second in the county in that election. [iv] However, the escalation of local labor disputes, particularly the shingle weavers’ strike of 1916 and the concurrent appearance of the radical syndicalist Industrial Workers of the World (the I.W.W. or “Wobblies”), culminating in the “Everett Massacre” on November 5, 1916,[v] irrevocably degraded the local political climate for the labor-supporting Socialists. So much changed in less than two years that a recap of the papers’ history, written for its seventh anniversary on February 4, 1918 stated: 

The struggle for the past two years have been exceptionally hard owing to the labor troubles in Everett.  The paper has been boycotted by the merchants at the request of the late Commercial Club. [vi]  Printers refused to print it because the mill owners ordered them not to.  Three times the editor was thrown into jail on framed up charges and twice the charges against him were dropped and he is now to appear before the Federal judge in Seattle next Monday so that it can be decided whether or not the order of the department of labor to deport him shall be carried out. [vii]                                                                                    (Appendix C)

            As gravely as the labor struggles had poisoned relationships in Everett, the United States’ entry into the First War on April 6,1917 removed the last vestiges of civility as the forces of reaction embraced patriotism to crush leftwing dissent. When the federal Espionage Act of June 15, 1917 failed to provide adequate legitimacy for the wholesale suppression the conservatives sought, it was amended the following spring with language so broad it effectively eviscerated free speech protections. This draconian amendment (Appendix E) was printed in its entirety on the front page of the last issue of the Co=operative News

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled …

“Sec. 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, to promote the success of its enemies or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or say or do anything …

… and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause, or incite or attempt to incite, insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct, the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the army or navy of the United States, or any language intended to bring the form of government of the United States or the constitution of the United States, or the military of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the army or navy of the United States into contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute …

… and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of the German empire or its allies in the present war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both …” [viii] 

Amendment to the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917
Approved May 16, 1918

Under these ominous clouds, the Co=operative News was born in October 1917. Other than a response to the growing popularity of retail cooperatives, an explicit reason for the newspaper’s new name is unknown because several issues of the newspapers during this transition are missing—either issues of the Co=operative News before October 25 (if there were any) or of its immediate predecessor, The Northwest Worker, after September 27 (if there were any). Nothing else changed, not the editor (until his arrest), the address, the second-class mailing permit, and certainly not the nature of the news covered—local cooperative ventures launched, the war in Europe and war hysteria in America.  

Retail cooperatives were springing up all around the Northwest, the nation and, if the Co=operative News is to be believed, around the world too. “One could hardly believe that the principles of co-operation were really interwoven in the great network of commercial life in East India, but such is the case,” led an article in the December 20, 1917 edition, citing a “lecturer” in London who claimed there were 17, 327 cooperative societies in India in 1915, up from 843 such groups in 1907. [ix]

Ad for Everett Co-op. Society
Ad for Everett Co-op. Society

The Co
=operative News, Feb. 1, 1918

Back in Everett, the growth of cooperatives may not have so dramatic, but it was certainly evident from the space devoted to the subject in the Co=operative News. Cooperatives were explained and touted in the newspaper. “The prices charged to the members for goods purchased are approximately the same as those of private merchants,” stated a story on October 25, 1917. “A special effort is made, however, at all times to sell pure, unadulterated goods and to give full measure … [and] at the end of the quarter the surplus earned by the society is divided up among the members in proportion to their purchases.” [x] In the same issue, a small, typical item announced, “A Co-operative Society is being organized at Gold Bar, Wash., by the farmers and workers. It is the intention of this society to supply the Gold Bar and Startup districts with the necessities of life on the Rochdale plan.” [xi] 

            A banner headline on December 13, 1917, announced, “CO-OPERATIVE PACKING PLANT TO BE STARTED BY BUTCHERS’ UNION,” and the story that followed, shed light on the political dynamic behind this movement: 

The butcher workmen and meat cutters now on strike in Seattle, have, they believe, a big idea and one that they confidently believe will prove a ‘big stick’ in their hands against the packing house ‘Kaisers.’

For years ‘Big Business’ has been running co-operative buying and selling agencies to promote their interests. The butcher workmen are taking a leaf from the book of Big Business and are now planning to launch a meat packing house and retail selling markets in Seattle to be owned and operated exclusively by members of the unions and workers. [xii] 

The positive news on coops, however, was almost casually dispersed among the overwhelming number of articles on the threats to Socialism and Socialists. The first issue of the Co=operative News does not list an editor for the simple reason he was in jail. Henry Watts had steered the Northwest Worker as editor, business manager, and advertising manager since April 1915 and had probably been involved in the paper’s name change. He is still listed as managing editor in the annual ownership statement published on October 25th, but that week he was arrested as an undesirable alien. [xiii] Watts was charged with “advocating or teaching, subsequent to his entry, the unlawful destruction of property; that he was a person likely to become a public charge at the time of his entry; and that he entered without inspection.” [xiv] Watts was found guilty and ultimately deported to Canada, thus the reference to him in the paper’s front-page editorial (“PROSECUTED, SUPPRESSED, OR BOTH?”) published on June 13, 1918.

            Watts may have been the first prominent Everett Socialist to be arrested, but others would soon follow. Former Socialist State Party Secretary Frans Bostrom was arrested in early November for displaying a controversial political cartoon in his front window. “The expected has at last happened,” he wrote for the paper. “… Today, some member of the Everett Rotary Club took exception to it, and after trying to get up a row with me, filed information with the police. I was arrested, spent three hours in the city jail, taken before the United States commissioner and discharged, with the understanding of course that the fearful cartoon would not again appear in the window.” [xv]

Ad for Nevada Socialist Colony
Ad for Nevada Colony,

The Co
=operative News, Feb. 1, 1918

Editor Peter Husby

            The edition of December 13, 1917 reported that former editor Henry Watts had been released on bail. The same issue also noted “the I.W.W. hall at Monroe, Wash., has been closed on account of the proprietor being threatened with violence by the ‘Liberty Lovers.’ The upholders of law and order say they will smash the building if it is used as an I.W.W. headquarters, the threat being made secretly, of course, as befits the brave character of the Mimic Men of Monroe.” [xvi]

 

Peter Husby (left) succeeded Henry Watts as editor. Husby, seen here from a photograph in the April 13, 1916’s edition of the Northwest Worker, was an attorney, Socialist activist and a long-time contributor to the paper(s), including authoring a “Free Legal Advice” column.

 

The current state secretary, Emil Herman of Everett, was also arrested under the vague language of the Espionage Act and languished in jail unable to raise sufficient bail, but still able to write: 

…  those who, like myself (a wage worker) wish to make the world a better place—and a safer one—for working people to live in, and who openly, intelligently, actively and legally engaged in work that will put an end to “Kaiserism,” and Autocracy and “Prussian Militarism” and the ECONOMIC CAUSES WHICH PRODUCE THEM, are clapped into jail and held under outrageously excessive bond; or may have our property—such little as we may possess—destroyed, our publications suppressed and our speakers manhandled—and even lynched.

FOR ALL OF WHICH

Increasing thousands—aye, millions—of people are beginning to demand an explanation.  And if the “Destructive Parallel” continues, that demand will become a ROAR—and the ROAR a CYCLONE which will sweep all Kaiserism, Autocracy and Prussian Militarism, and the ECONOMIC CAUSES WHICH PRODUCE THEM, out of existence—NO MATTER WHERE THEY MAY BE FOUND. [xvii]

(Appendix D

            More telling perhaps of the wide impact of the repression is a small story on the back page of the May 9, 1918 edition: 

SHOEMAKER ARRESTED
BUSINESS KILLED

Charles Milas, a shoemaker with a shop at 2933 Colby Avenue, Everett, was arrested a few days ago charged with the violation of the Espionage Act. After he had been in jail for a week under $15,000 bond he was turned loose without a hearing even. The cause of his arrest, as near as can be learned, was that he had a disagreement with some “Poster Committee.” And for that he got a week in jail, a broken-up business and a broken-up family. He has to sell out and his wife is suing him for divorce, so it is said. [xviii] 

 


APPENDIX A 


(Issues on microfilm #3099) 

Dates

Selected Subjects

10-25-17

  • First edition in collection?

  • Editor Henry Watts arrested, although it is not reported that week

11-15-17

  • Kerensky Has Fallen

  • Finland Declares Independence

  • Co-ops of County Have Meeting

  • Articles on Women’s Suffrage

  • Helen Keller writes about elections

11-22-17

  • Peter Husby’s name as editor appears for the first time

  • Iceland Demands Her Freedom

12-13-17

  • Former editor Henry Watts released from jail on bail

  • Striking butchers plan co-op

  • Seattle Workers Appeal To Russian Government … to aid in release of emigrants held here

  • Monroe IWW hall forced to close

12-20-17

  • Paper starts narrow 4-column format to reduce costs

  • Free art school opens in Everett

  • Co-ops flourish in India

  • Petition For Eight-Hour Law Filed In Olympia

1-10-18

  • “Patriots” wreck plant that prints the Socialist Seattle Call

  • Vagrancy Law a New Weapon Against Strikers

1-24-18

  • Seattle Police On Rampage … against Wobbly     newsboys

  • Paper starts narrow 4-column format to reduce costs

2-1-18

  • Spirited Debate On The War – the Salters take on Island County patriots

  • Paper’s subscription price raised

2-14-18

  • Paper’s history recounted

  • Co-ops Organize Wholesale Society

  • Revolt Feared In England

  • Leon Trotzky And The World War

2-21-18

  • Watts case summarized and brought up to date

  • Contributors to paper’s birthday party listed

  • Bolsheviki Tell Of New Freedom

  • Sale of Underwear at Dolson & Smith

2-28-18

  • Watts is deported

3-7-18

3-14-18

3-28-18

4-4-18

4-18-18

  • Nils Osterberg, Darrington Socialist, jailed for violating Espionage Act

5-2-18

  • Emil Herman publishes article from jail

5-9-18

  • Emil Herman is Indicted

5-23-18

  • Herman Case On Trial

6-6-18

  • Teacher and former Commonwealth editor James Salter charged with disloyalty; could lose teaching credentials

6-13-18

  • Editorial predicts paper’s demise

  • Emil Herman sentenced to 10 at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary

6-20-18

  • Last edition in collection, amendment to Espionage Act published, pages 2 & 3 missing

 


APPENDIX B  

The Co=operative News, Published June 13, 1918 

PROSECUTED, SUPPRESSED, OR BOTH?

                These are difficult times to edit a Free paper.  We have held out, and have held our course, in the face of great difficulties up to the present time; but there is no telling when the heavy hand of authority (official or unofficial) may fall on us.  Open discussion of vital political issues and industrial problems is not wanted at this time.  A free and fearless paper is a thorn in the side of autocrats, whether they be aristocrats or plutocrats or bureaucrats (or democrats).

                The Co=operative News is being watched by Federal authorities, as by a flock of hawks.  We were in the office of a United States official recently and saw on his desk a copy of our newspaper which had three different articles heavily blue-penciled.  On two occasions, several weeks ago, two Federal Investigators came into our office and “interviewed” the editor.  About a week ago two plain-clothes men paid us a visit and went through the recent files of the paper, after which they each bought a copy of the issue that was found marked as stated above.  Later in the same day “loyalty league” men came and bought copies of the same issue.  It looks as if they were gathering evidence for an action of some kind, either against the paper or the editor.

                A short time ago we were in the office of a high Federal Prosecutor, and were questioned about a certain article that had recently appeared in the Co=operative News.  This man then said:  “We are not investigating the facts in this matter, and if we find that the article is not true, and our belief is that it is not, then we will prosecute the man who published it.”  Later the same man said in a joking manner that they were going to put all socialists behind the bars—Grim humor, we would say.

                It appears that the masters are consistently following a plan whereby active socialists throughout the country are to be disposed of one by one, under some pretext or another.  This is borne out by the fact that recently one of the numerous federal investigators was overheard to say “Now, Peter Husby comes next.”

                The Co=operative News has held a unique position through eight years of its existence.  Probably no other paper in the Socialist movement has had a more dramatic and interesting career, the history of which would fill a good sized volume.

                We are at present supported by hosts of loyal readers from all parts of Washington, Idaho and Oregon, not to mention numerous other friends in different parts of the United States.

                Moreover, We are out of debt.

                Since Mr. Connor of the Everett Print Shop so obligingly put us through bankruptcy some years ago relieving us of approximately two thousand dollars indebtedness, we have strenuously persisted and have succeeded in maintaining the paper on a cash basis.

                The authorities can put us out of business for the present if they desire to, because they have the power, But we will come back to life again.  Be sure of that.

                We know that we have brought down upon us the wrath of the powers that be, because we have always persisted in telling the truth.  That is why Comrade Watts is now in Canada.

                But, truth crushed to earth, shall rise again.

                Likewise, the Co=operative News. 

 


APPENDIX C 

The Co=operative News, Published February 14, 1918 

HISTORY OF THIS PAPER’S STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE

                This week we are celebrating the eighth birthday of The Co=operative News and we think it proper to give a little history of the life of the paper.

                The paper was started February, 1911 by a group of Socialists in the city of Everett under the name of The Commonwealth.  It made great headway from the start and became quite a power in the city of Everett and was principally the means of electing three Socialists to the city council before the year was out.  The next year a commission form of government was sprung on the city and in the elections following the Socialists were defeated but with an increased vote.

                O. L. Anderson acted as editor for the first few months but the income of the paper was not sufficient to pay the salary desired by the editor and his place was filled by J. M. Salter, who later was elected Commissioner of Public Works of Everett on the Socialist ticket.  Before the first year of existence of the paper was out another editor took hold of the editorial pen in the form of Anna A. Maley, who is now working for the Milwaukee city council in the office of Socialist Mayor Hoan.  Comrade Maley struggled along on the meager salary that the paper’s income allowed until February, 1913, when she could stand the strain no longer.  Comrade Joseph Hazard was the next to take hold of the job, but my May he found out that the job of trying to curtail the growing indebtedness was more than he could do, so he quit in June and the paper was placed in the hands of H. A. Livermore, who held onto the job for one month and then threw it up.  Alfred Wagenknecht, now serving one year in prison for obstructing the draft law in Ohio, was the next to fill the editorial chair and made a big splurge for one month and then packed up and departed for new pastures.  James Salter stepped into the breech again in August, 1913, and kept the paper going for a couple of weeks until Maynard Shipley, now editor of “Public Ownership” of Baltimore, Maryland, and formerly editor of “The World,” Oakland, Cal., was roped in to fill the job.

                On January 1, 1914, Katherine H. Hodgins took over the business management of the paper without pay but the printers and other debtors were tired of waiting for their money and in March the paper was placed in the receiver’s hands with the result that the paper was buried and so where the $2,000 of debts.  A few days later a new paper was born, known as “The Washington Socialist” and Maynard Shipley was elected editor, Katherine H. Hodgins, Business Manager, and F. G. Crosby, Advertising Manager.  After thirteen months of struggle, Comrade Hodgins resigned as business manager.  Although the paper at this time was practically free from debt, the strenuous work was telling on the health of the business manager, and there being a Comrade in our midst, Henry W. Watts, who had had news paper experience, and who was willing to take on the job, she decided to resign.

                Maynard Shipley continued to edit the paper until April, 1915, when he resigned in order to make a lecture tour of the country. Henry W. Watts was elected to fill the place and he continued as editor, business manager, and advertising manager, until his arrest as an “undesirable alien.”  The struggle for the past two years have been exceptionally hard owing to the labor troubles in Everett.  The paper has been boycotted by the merchants at the request of the late Commercial Club.  Printers refused to print it because the mill owners ordered them not to.  Three times the editor was thrown into jail on framed up charges and twice the charges against him were dropped and he is now to appear before the Federal judge in Seattle next Monday so that it can be decided whether or not the order of the department of labor to deport him shall be carried out.

                Everything has been tried by labor haters to kill the paper but up to this time they have not succeeded.  The income of the paper is not sufficient to get out a paper of the old size but with the assistance of our many faithful readers we hope to be able to bridge the chasm in the very near future and produce a paper bigger and better than it has ever been before.

                We want you to rally to our support in celebration of the eighth birthday of the paper.  If you have not sent in your “gifts” yet then be sure to hustle for the “Birthday Party” which is to be held in The Forum next Sunday evening.

 


APPENDIX D

The Co=operative News, Published May 2, 1918 

THE DESTRUCTIVE PARALLEL

By Emil Herman

                From the Seattle “P. I.” of April 24, 1918, I have the following:

                “Not guilty” was the verdict returned by the jury in Superior Judge A. W. Frater’s department last night in the case against G. Merle Gorden and J. Fred Drake, charged with rioting in connection to with the wrecking on January 5 of the plant of the Pigott Printing concern, which produced the Seattle Daily Call for its Socialist editors.  The defense pleaded mental irresponsibility at the time of the smashing, caused by alleged seditious articles in the Call and the Industrial Worker, the I. W. W. organ.  The jury was out one hour and five minutes, returning a verdict at 9:10 p.m.

                Because of the plea of insanity and mental irresponsibility the jury filled out the following special form of verdict as follow:

                “Did the defendant commit the crime charged?”

                “No.”

                “Does the jury acquit the defendants because of insanity or mental irresponsibility at the time of the trial?”

                “No.”

                “Does the insanity or mental irresponsibility exist at the time of the trial?”

                “No.”

                If such a condition of insanity or mental irresponsibility of the defendants does not exist at the time of the trial, is there likelihood of relapse or recurrence of the insane or mentally irresponsible condition?”

                “No.”

                ATTORNEYS ASK ACQUITTAL

                “Attorney Sullivan charged that the alleged seditious matter published in the Call and Industrial Worker had so aroused the defendants that as patriotic American citizens they could do nothing else than what they did—clean out the plant.  He asked for a verdict of acquittal founded on patriotism.”

                Yesterday we read in the same paper that a Mr. Babcock, member of a ship building concern, who recently received an $8,000,000 contract from the U. S. Government, and several others who were charged with sedition were acquitted.

                All of these not only admitted but testified that they were opposed to all war, including the present one, and that they had purchased neither War Saving Stamps nor Liberty Bonds for that reason.

                And—

                I was, today, bound over to the Grand Jury and remanded to this jail under $25,000 bond, although ABSOLUTELY no evidence was introduced at the preliminary hearing to sustain the charge under which I am being held.

                Moral:

                The above is irrefutable evidence that if one is a prominent capitalist, i.e. an extensive and intensive exploiter of labor, he may openly, defiantly and arrogantly make statements, and take action tending to obstruct the Government in its war activities.

                While those who, like myself (a wage worker) wish to make the world a better place—and a safer one—for working people to live in, and who openly, intelligently, actively and legally engaged in work that will put an end to “Kaiserism,” and Autocracy and “Prussian Militarism” and the ECONOMIC CAUSES WHICH PRODUCE THEM, are clapped into jail and held under outrageously excessive bond; or may have our property—such little as we may possess—destroyed, our publications suppressed and our speakers manhandled—and even lynched.

FOR ALL OF WHICH

                Increasing thousands—aye, millions—of people are beginning to demand an explanation.  And if the “Destructive Parallel” continues, that demand will become a ROAR—and the ROAR a CYCLONE which will sweep all Kaiserism, Autocracy and Prussian Militarism, and the ECONOMIC CAUSES WHICH PRODUCE THEM, out of existence—NO MATTER WHERE THEY MAY BE FOUND.

                Written in the Snohomish County Jail, April 24, 1918. 

 


APPENDIX E

The Co=operative News, Published June 20, 1918 

SOME MORE LAW 

                Text of the amendments to the Espionage Act reported to the Senate and House of Representatives by the conference committee, April 23, 1918.  And is now the law of the land.

                An Act to amend section three, title one, of the Act entitled, “An Act to punish acts of interference with the foreign relations, the neutrality, and the foreign commerce of the United States, to punish espionage, and better to enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and for other purposes,” approved June 15, 1917, and for other purposes.

                Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section three of title one of the Act entitled, “An Act to punish acts of interference with the foreign relations, the neutrality, and the foreign commerce of the United States, to punish espionage, and better to enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and for other purposes,” approved June 15th, nineteen hundred and seventeen, be, and to the same is hereby amended so as to read as follows:

                “Sec. 3.  Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, to promote the success of its enemies or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or say or do anything except by way of bona fide and not disloyal advice to an investor or investors, with intent to obstruct the sale by the United States of Bonds or other securities of the United States or the making of loans by or to the United States, and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause, or incite or attempt to incite, insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct, the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, and whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the army or navy of the United States, or any language intended to bring the form of government of the United States or the constitution of the United States, or the military of the United States, or the flag of the United States, or the uniform of the army or navy of the United States into contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute, or shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any language intended to incite, provoke, or encourage resistance to the United States, or to promote the cause of its enemies, or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully by utterance, writing, printing, publication, or language spoken, urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production in this country of any thing or things, product or products; necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war in which the United States may be engaged, with intent by such curtailment to cripple or hinder the United States in the prosecution of the war, and whoever shall willfully advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated, and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of the German empire or its allies in the present war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both:  Provided, That any employee or official of the United States government who commits any disloyal act or utters any unpatriotic or disloyal language, or who, in an abusive and violent manner criticizes the army or navy or the flag of the United States shall be at once dismissed from the service.  Any such employee shall be dismissed by the head of the department in which the employee may be engaged, and any such official shall be dismissed by the authority having power to appoint a successor to the dismissed official.”

                Sec. 2.  “That section one of title XII and all other provisions of the act entitled “An act to punish acts of interference with the foreign relations, the neutrality, and the foreign commerce of the United States, to punish espionage, and better to enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and for other purposes,” approved June 15th, 1917, which apply to section 3 of Title 1 thereof shall apply with equal force and effect to said section 3 as amended.

                That Title XII of the said act of June 15th, 1917, be, and the same is hereby, amended by adding thereto the following section:

                “Sec. 4.  When the United States is at war, the postmaster general may, upon evidence satisfactory to him that any person or concern is using the mails in violation of any of the provisions of this act, instruct the postmaster at any post office at which mail is received addressed to such person or concern to return to the postmaster at the office at which they were originally mailed all letters or other matter so addressed, with the words “mail to this address undeliverable under espionage act” plainly written or stamped upon the outside thereof, and all such letters or other matter so returned to such postmasters shall be by them returned o the senders thereof under such regulations as the postmaster general may prescribe.” 

 

Espionage Act, 15 June 1917
Text of the original Sec. 3:

Section 3

Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and whoever when the United States is at war, shall wilfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall wilfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both. [xix]

 

 


ENDNOTES


[i]  PROSECUTED, SUPPRESSED, OR BOTH?, The Co=operative News Newspaper, Everett, Washington, June 13, 1918,1.

[ii] Co=operative News, June 13 & 20, 1918.

[iii] Co=operative News, February 14, 1918,1.

[iv] “Commonwealth,” The Labor Press Project, University of Washington, 2001 (http://faculty.washington.edu/gregoryj/laborpress/Bird.htm).

[v] For a brief description of the Everett Massacre, see the Everett Library’s web site at http://www.epls.org/nw/emassacre.htm.

[vi] The Commercial Club, an organization of prominent businessmen, mill owners and the political establishment, was accused of organizing the loosely deputized sheriff’s posse that met and ambushed the intercoastal steamer Verona as it attempted to dock in Everett on November 5, 1916, packed with members of the Industrial Workers of the World coming to participate in free-speech demonstrations—the “Everett Massacre.” Five Wobblies and two “deputies” died in the assault.

[vii] “History Of This Paper’s Struggle For Existence,” Co=operative News, February 14, 1918,1.

[viii] Co=operative News, June 20, 1918, 1.

[ix] Co=operative News, December 20, 1917, 2.

[x] Co=operative News, October 24, 1917, 2.

[xi] Ibid. – The Rochdale plan called for “voluntary and open membership, democratic control and profits returned to members in proportion to their purchases...” (University of Wisconsin, International Co-operative Information Center, A short history of the UK Co-operative Movement), http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/icic/def-hist/history/uk-move.html), accessed August 8, 2002.

[xii] Co=operative News, December 13, 1917, 1.

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] Co=operative News, February 21, 1918, 1.

[xv] Co=operative News, November 15, 1917, 1.

[xvi] Ibid, 4.

[xvii] Emil Herman, “The Destructive Parallel,” Co=operative News, May 2, 1918, 4.

[xviii] Co=operative News, May 9, 1918, 4.

[xix] First World War.Com (“Primary Documents”), http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/espionageact.htm, accessed 8-11-02, 1:10 pm

Copyright (C) Frederick Bird
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