NORTHWEST WORKER

(Everett: 1915-1917)


Northwest Worker
, May 18, 1917

by Frederick Bird

Abstract: The Northwest Worker was the third of four consecutive Socialist weekly newspapers published in Everett, Washington between February 1911 and June 1918. Local news coverage in the Northwest Worker’s 27-month run focused on the unsuccessful reelection campaign of a Socialist city commissioner, on the paper’s never-ending financial struggles, and on the escalating labor turmoil in Everett, leading up to and following the infamous “Everett Massacre” of November 5, 1916. And, as with all the newspapers in this series, the Northwest Worker served as a promotional, educational and informational medium for the Socialist Party, reporting on international, national, state and local Socialist Party events and issues. Regardless of the periodic name changes, all four newspapers in the series were essentially the same publication. The papers’ major leaders, ownership, volunteers, business address (after December 1912) and even the mailing permit remained the same.

Dates Published, Frequency, Size: July 1915 – September 1917; second-class mailing permit issued March 9, 1911 at Everett, Washington; published weekly; 4 pages, occasionally larger, 6-col format.

Circulation: The only reference to a circulation figure found was a promotional display ad on the front page of the October 28, 1915 edition that states: “CIRCULATION 6,987 – BOOST FOR 10,000”

Publisher/owner: The Central Committee of the Everett Socialist Party

Editors: Maynard Shipley (July 1915 – April 1916); Henry W. Watts (April 1916 -- September, 1917).

Lineage The Commonwealth (1911 – 1914, microfilm A3100) became the Washington Socialist (April 1914 – June 1915), then the Northwest Worker (July 1915 to 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 Addresses: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.

Status of collection: Incomplete collection: 83 of a possible 114 issues are in the collection. Historically crucial issues of the newspaper immediately before and after November 5, 1916 “Everett Massacre” are missing from the collection. See Appendix A for partially annotated list of the available issues. The Northwest Worker succeeded its predecessor, the Washington Socialist in June 1915 and lasted until at least September 27, 1917. A gap of three issues in the collection then separates the Northwest Worker from its successor, the Co=operative News.


NORTHWEST WORKER

DEVOTED TO THE INDUSTRIAL, POLITICAL, AND

EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT OF THE WORKING CLASS [i] 


 

 “I’m dying, boys, but don’t give up. Lift me up. I want to sing the ‘Red Flag’ again,” said Abraham Robinowitz. As his name indicates, he belonged to the race long without a flag. Who will deny him one in death? He was shot in the back of the head by a high-power rifle bullet.

Trying to sing, he breathed his last in the arms of his friend—himself an earnest-faced lad of 18 years. He too, was hit in the back by a spent rifle bullet.

Is the lad or the man who fired from ambush, the more dangerous character? …[ii] 

Abraham Robinowitz was one of the five Wobblies
killed in the Everett Massacre ... from a short
article in the aftermath of the massacre.
Northwest Worker, November 23, 1916 

 

The second decade of the 20th century was a period of intense and often violent labor struggles in the United States, and the young but fast-growing city of Everett in Snohomish County, Washington came to symbolize this dramatic violence due to one event—the “Everett Massacre” of November 5, 1916. Much has since been written of this incident in which seven men are known to have died and 47 were wounded. The city’s three newspapers—two traditional and conservation dailies, the Everett Morning Tribune and the Everett Daily Herald, and the Socialist weekly, the Northwest Worker, are primary sources on the "massacre." Microfilm collections of the two dailies for this period are complete; however, the Northwest Worker collection is regrettably missing three issues before and two immediately after the tragedy. Nevertheless, the Northwest Worker offers valuable insight from a Socialist perspective into the events leading up to and following November 5, 1916.

The Northwest Worker and its never-ending financial difficulties was also a drama unto itself, as were the finances of the two Everett Socialist newspapers that preceded it and the one that followed. (see Lineage) The name change to the Northwest Worker was one of several attempts by the newspapers’ editors to expand the financial base and political horizons of the publications.

A NEW MOVE

Owing to the extension of our activities to the states of Idaho and Oregon, and for other reasons, the Washington Socialist board of control unanimously decided to change the name of the paper to the Northwest Worker. We hope our readers will work as hard for the paper under its new name as they did under the old. The field open to us is large; has only just been scratched; and if everyone will do his or her best during the next twelve months we shall put a kink in the ranks of the old parties that their hope of retaining their power in the law mills of these states, will have gone forever. [iii] 

All four newspapers shared a basic struggle for financial survival that kept them constantly on the brink of collapse. Finances were a strain for the papers despite the fairly strong popularity at that time of Socialism in Snohomish County and throughout the Pacific Northwest. [iv] Socialism, however, appealed primarily to the poorly paid working classes, and what little commercial advertising the papers did carry was placed by the small businesses that catered to the people who worked in Everett’s booming timber-based economy.  

Hardly an issue of the newspaper passed without pleas for new and renewed subscriptions or funds for special projects, such as a solicitation for a new addressing machine (right). Only the editor is ever mentioned as having been paid, and then not much. Donations of tangible goods were occasionally noted, include one entitled “Remembered.” It read, “The comrades of Freeland [Whidbey Island] took advantage of the gift season by sending the editor and business manager a load of good eatables. The eatables consisted of 6 jars of fruit, two boxes of apples, a sack of whole wheat flour, a sack of spuds and a sack of carrots.” [v] A month later the financial crisis was exacerbated by the weather:

S.O.S.

Comrades! The Northwest Worker needs your financial assistance at once. Bad weather has caused a suspension of business … All the mills are closed, stores have laid off their clerks … It is impossible to get advertising …If you do not act at once, we will have to suspend for one issue. NUF SED!” [vi] 

Socialist strength in the county, as measured by electoral returns, reached its zenith in the Presidential election of 1912 when Socialist Presidential Candidate Eugene V. Debs trailed only Theodore Roosevelt who ran on the Bull Moose, Progressive Party ticket. Debs beat Democrat Woodrow Wilson, the ultimate winner nationally. Almost two years later, in August 1914, Everett Socialists were successful in electing Socialist James Salter to the three-person commission that ran the city. [vii] Serving out an unexpired term following the recall of the previous commissioner, [viii] Salter had to run for reelection a year later and the Northwest Worker focused heavily on this campaign. Actually, Salter, hand-in-hand with the Socialist weekly, had never really stopped campaigning from his original election, due no doubt to the proximity of the next election, and due also to the need for Salter and all Socialists to prove their administrative competency to the doubting majority, and perhaps to themselves too.  

The official reelection campaign got underway in earnest on September 2, 1915, when beneath the headline “The City Elections – Socialists to Wage Great Battle for Socialism in City Campaign,” the story said, …“The Socialists of Everett will have three candidates in the field and we intend to put up the greatest fight that has ever been waged in a city election. The campaign committee intends to have a copy of the Northwest Worker sent to every voter every week for five weeks previous to election day. We are getting our campaign material ready, and if we don’t make the Henry Dubbs sit up and take notice we will lose our guess.” [ix] And so it went. Every issue featured stories such as “Commissioner Salter Answers Critics, [x] “Practical Achievements of A Socialist Commissioner,” [xi] and “Commissioner Salter Has Made Good on Everett’s City Council – Deserves Support of Workers.” [xii] 

Salter won the three-way primary, [xiii] but lost in the runoff general election on November 16th. Of his loss, he said: 

I was defeated because I stood for theories of economics and principles of municipal government that the majority of Everett’s citizens were not yet ready to accept.

This alone was not sufficient to insure my defeat. It was necessary for my opponent and his supporters to resort to every dirty trick known to corrupt politics.

They went from house to house circulating the most vicious and malicious falsehoods about me.

They appealed to religious intolerance, ignorance, prejudice, and patriotism and proved that Dr. Johnson, the eminent English scholar, was right when he said that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” …[xiv] 

Any bitter feelings from the election appeared to soon have passed as the pages of the Northwest Worker quickly reverted to the newspaper’s accustomed role of reporting the mundane news of local Socialists (“The Social Science Study Club held its regular meeting Sunday afternoon at the Forum. Quite a lot of valuable discussion took place.” [xv]), and its fears of America’s likely entry into the First World War, a debate that took place around big businesses’ national push for  “preparedness,” a term the Socialists saw as a euphemism for the profits to be made in war. [xvi] There were also occasional articles on the powerful firm of Stone & Webster that sought to control local electrical and water utilities and electrical transportation systems, including city trolleys and the popular interurban electric trains. [xvii] Everett had already started to acquire its own water supply and build a transmission system to bypass the Stone & Webster monopoly.  

 Editor Maynard Shipley from a May 1916 edition

Maynard Shipley
May 1916 [xviii]

April 1916 saw the departure of long-time editor Maynard Shipley. In an article entitled “ ‘We’ Resign – Will Tour State In Interest Of paper,” Shipley wrote, “For several months past the management of the Northwest Worker has been planning to put a speaker in the field for the purpose of building up the subscription list of the paper to the highest possible point. “After having virtually completed arrangements with two different speakers, conditions arose in both instances which prevented them from fulfilling their agreements. Still the necessity for putting out a speaker remained, and after due consideration the manager and the editor decide that the later should take the platform with his illustrated science and Socialist propaganda lectures, in an effort to reach people whose names cannot be gotten by ordinary methods.

“Thus it came about that last Friday, we asked the Board of Trustees to meet in special session, so that the editor could submit the plan mentioned above and a the same time tender his resignation, to take effect at once. … All ‘unfinished business’ was then and there turned over to Comrade [Henry] Watts, who was elected editor, along with his duties as business manager.” [xix] 

On May 1st, the shingle weavers, the men who worked in Everett’s many mills producing cedar shingles, went on strike. The shingle-making business had recently recovered from a severe recession and shingle weavers throughout the state had for the most part returned to their pre-recession wages, but the mill owners in Everett refused to go along, and the workers went out. The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W., or the Wobblies) subsequently injected themselves into this volatile mix. Although the members of the radical I.W.W. had little support among the shingle-weaver craft unionists, their appearance scared and angered the Everett business establishment and pushed them into precipitating confrontations that ultimately resulted in the “Everett Massacre” six months later. [xx] By late summer, mill owners—with the cooperation of Everett Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas J. Kelly and County Sheriff Don McRae – sought to defeat the strike with strike breakers and armed thugs. On August 24, 1916, the Northwest Worker reported: 

KELLY AND McRAE DEFEND STRIKE-
BREAKERS AND GUNMEN IN EVERETT

City and County Police Force Used to Help Beat

Up Striking Shingleweavers and Give

Gunmen Plenty of Freedom 

      Once again King-Kelly has demonstrated the fact to the citizens of Everett that he is the High Mogul in this neck of the woods.  The “King” is spending more than a thousand dollars a month of Everett taxpayers’ money in order to keep “specials” to protect the interests of the mill owners.  This fact was demonstrated when some 75 strike breakers attacked the picket line of 19 union shingle weavers at the Cargo mill last Saturday morning and the police stood by and laughed and seemed tickled to death to see the pickets get a licking.

      We were always under the impression that the police force were to be used for the keeping of law and order but we are fully convinced now, that the police force, in Everett anyhow, is for the human protection of capitalist property, human or concrete.  The human property (scabs) on that memorable morning needed no protection as they were 4 to 1, but in the evening when some 150 unionists and sympathizers were on hand to give the scabs a drubbing the police butted in with their guns and protected the scabs and gunmen.

      If there was ever a tool of the capitalists, Kelly is that one.  His utter contempt for a man in overalls, the men that elected him, has been shown on dozens of occasions and the older he gets the worse he seems to get.  In the council chamber the other day he stated that he was not going to “let roughnecks run the city” and yet at the same time he is giving the freedom of the city to imported gunmen, who are being paid $40 a week to be ready to start trouble. …[xxi]                                                              (Appendix B

            While the mill owners went after the strikers, the city police were busy breaking up the Wobblies’ attempts to recruit followers to their cause. Northwest Worker editor Henry Watts wrote of his own arrest when he protested the police’s handling of the Wobblies: 

Since writing the front page article dealing with the trouble in Everett ["KELLY AND McRAE DEFEND STRIKE …" above], Ye Editor with 22 men and two women, have had a night’s sojourn in the Everett city jail.

            It so happened that two weeks ago an I.W.W. was arrested for speaking . . . [in] . . . the city. Two days afterward another I.W.W. came into town and opened a book store and the police notified him that they were going to get him. After the fracas on Saturday the police rounded up all the outsiders, that had come into town to help the shingleweavers on picket duty, and took them out of town to Seattle, among them being the bookseller with his stock of books. That was the match that started the trouble on Tuesday evening, when some 24 I.W.W.’s came into town, along with Organizer Thompson, to hold a street meeting.

            No sooner had the meeting started than the police pounced upon the bunch and marched them down to the city jail. Ye Editor went nosing around the city hall for copy and accidentally told an officer of law and order (?) what he thought of the high-handed methods of the authorities, and before you could count ten, he found himself in front of iron bars with all kinds of company, human and animal.

            After a night of celebration the I.W.W.’s were shipped back to Seattle and Ye Editor’s case laid over till Thursday.

            After the arrest of the first batch of prisoners, one by one, others got upon the soap-box and were arrested, but finally the police gave in and allowed the speaking to go on without arrests.

            Another invasion of the I. W. W.’s is assured for Wednesday night but as the paper goes to press too early to record the result our readers must be patient until the next issue. It appears at this time, however, that the authorities have had all they want and will be glad when the fracas can be settled. As for ourself, we are just tickled to death because more sentiment has been turned against the action of the city and county authorities in the past few days than has been stirred up for a number of years. [xxii] 

            The police harassment of the Wobblies continued, but the Wobblies kept coming back to Everett to give their recruiting speeches and promptly get arrested and jailed or smartly and often painfully chased out of town. Filling a community’s jails with “Free Speech” protestors was a classic and effective Wobbly tactic. Typically, the overwhelmed city would give in and let the Wobblies go about their business. Everett’s reaction, however, was to fight back. Sheriff McRae, with the support of the city’s Commercial Club, recruited several hundred citizens to volunteer as deputy sheriffs. Calling them the “Noble 300,” the Northwest Worker contemptuously described this posse as, “most … are business men and office seekers, and they sure presented some sight. Some of them were old and crippled and had one foot in the grave.  These joined thinking that maybe they could die a hero’s (?) death. Some of them had a lower chest on them which proved conclusively that they had not been acquainted with work for many a year. … We are pleased to report that the deputies are still alive and doing well and the workers are saving money by getting a good laugh at the expense of these heroes.” [xxiii] 

            By the second week of September, according the Northwest Worker, the newly christened deputies had proved to be less laughable. “Mob Of Everett Merchants And Mill Owners Run Amuck In City,” cried the paper’s headline.

GANG OF HOODLUM COCKROACH MERCHANTS ARMED WITH LOADED CLUBS AND GUNS, ATTACK AMERICAN CITIZENS

Some of the most disgraceful scenes have been enacted in the city of Everett during the past week, that have ever disturbed the tranquility of the City of Smokestacks. 

      The city has been absolutely at the mercy of a mob of merchants and manufacturers armed to the teeth stirring up trouble on every hand.

Hoodlums Run City

      Over three hundred of these hoodlums parade the street nightly, causing citizens to seek places of safety.  On Thursday and Friday of last week this mob attacked a crowd of citizens who were listening to a public speaker, pulled the speaker off the box, grabbed several others in the crowd and dragged them to the county bastile.  When this mob arrived at the bastile the doors were unlocked and they were permitted to enter with their so-called prisoners. …

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

      … The three men that were arrested Monday evening and two others that were taken off the train were hauled out to the outskirts of the city, stripped and beaten by McRae and his gang. [xxiv]                                                                                 (Appendix C

            In the subsequent two available issues (September 28th and October 26th), all that are included in the collection before the November 5th “massacre,” there are no further articles on the city’s labor troubles, except for a short item on the 28th written by the shingle weaver union’s local president attesting to his union’s determination to continue the strike even after five months on picket lines. The next available issue of the paper is for November 23rd. Two weeks had passed since the ambush by the Commercial Club deputies of the Wobblies as they tried to land in Everett from the steamer Verona. The front page of the paper is covered with photographs of the Wobbly dead. These photographs, taken in a morgue, received wide circulation in the radical media of the day. The Wobblies even made postcards of the pictures and circulated them as propaganda. [xxv]  

            The edition of November 28, 1916 also included a list of over 70 men who participated in the sheriff’s posse, divided between business people (the majority) and “Wage Slave Deputies.” This list would continue to run in many subsequent editions. When the Verona and a second steamer, together carrying about 300 Wobblies, returned to Seattle on November 5th, 74 Wobblies were arrested. All but one were eventually released. Teamster Tom Tracy was charged with murder and through the spring of 1917 the Northwest Worker followed the dramatic trial that ended in his acquittal. [xxvi]  

            The United States entered the First World War on April 6, 1917 and there was a new edge to the national and international news of the war published in the paper—an edge too, to the local coverage. On April 19th, the editor was arrested and jailed for libel: 

The arrest resulted from the publication on April 5 in the Northwest Worker of the following alleged libelous statement:

“We have a Prince in Everett who runs around to the Commercial Club every day for his orders.  He is at present running a scab lunch counter which is also a recruiting headquarters for gunmen and legalized murderers.”

The [charging] information explains that the passage:  “gunmen and legalized murderers” meant American soldiers recruiting at artillery headquarters in the store of Henry M. Prince, 1611 Hewitt Avenue. This inference, said the complaint, meant that “Twelfth company artillerymen were gunmen and murderers, tending to expose them to ridicule and hatred, published maliciously and unlawfully.” [xxvii]                                                                                               (Appendix D) 

            The libel charges against Watts were eventually dismissed, [xxviii] but his brief sojourn in the jail allowed him to visit and report on the Wobblies still incarcerated there: 

With the help of the Everett Commercial Club we managed to get a night’s lodging in the county jail this week and were able to get an inside view and opinion from the “wobblies” who are incarcerated in the bastile through the machinations of my friends of the Commercial Club.

The boys are in better spirits than one would expect after five months in jail.  They keep things lively around there.  A phonograph is brought into use every now and again in one of the “tanks” but after a while that kind of music gets tiresome, so somebody starts up on a fiddle, and although there are no celebrated musicians to handle the instrument, still a little music is obtained.

I.W.W. songs are being sung all day long.  After every meal the boys march around the tanks in lockstep fashion to the tune of “Hold the Fort” and many other songs. [xxix]                                                                                                   (Appendix D) 

In May, the paper reported on the arrest of two Seattle Socialists for distributing anti-draft leaflets, while a debate ranged among Socialists over allowing themselves to be drafted or refusing and risking jail. [xxx] Late in September, Watts ran a small article that foretold his future arrest again—an arrest that would end to his deportation in 1918: 

How They Love Us

We are informed by “Red” Doran I.W.W. organizer, that he has seen a warrant that has been issued for the arrest of ye editor ... It seems too bad that the authorities will persist in disturbing us from our peaceful pursuits. We have been in jail four times already and if they keep it up it will soon be like home to us. Guess we must be too autocratic and they want to get us out of the way in order that America might be made safe for Democracy. We know, dear reader, that you are sick and tired of hearing that item, but it is the only string the jingoes have on their fiddle and we want to help them fiddle it so that it might wear out. [xxxi]

 


 

APPENDIX A

 The Northwest Worker
(Issues on microfilm #3099)

Date

Selected Subjects

7-1-15

  • First edition, New Move

  • The Future of Politics

  • Reprint of Shipley’s revised Declaration of Independence

  • Turning out Patriots

  • Shipley’s If We Demand it

7-8-15

  • The Red Flag

  • Deb’s International Patriotism

  • County’s Socialist Directory

  • Penalizing Teachers of Truth – Scott Nearing

7-15-15

  • ‘Speeding Up’ Produces Insanity

  • Japs to Bar Religion

7-22-15

  • Henry Watts Dangers of State Capitalism

  • The Rucker Mill and the 8-Hour Day

  • Gig Harbor Boy … Will Defy Flag Law

7-29-15

  • Frans Bostrom Socialist Balderdash

  • Party Members Violate Organization Pledge

  • Ole Fingarson of South Dakota Wants Some Discussion

8-5-15

  • The Proposed Municipal Water And Power Plant

  • Proletaria Bill Answers Ole Fingarson’s Questions

8-12-15

  • Right of Free Speech Denied the Workers (Appendix E)

  • James Salter My Views on The Proposed Water System

8-19-15

  • Steven County Socialist Encampment at Colville City Park

8-26-15

  • Agnostic Picnic at Woodland Park Sunday

9-2-15

  • The City Elections – Socialists to Wage Great Battle

9-9-15

 

9-16-15

  • Joe Hill Mass Meeting  (Appendix G) Called For... September 22 to protest against legal murder of innocent victim of police.

  • Legal Murder In Benighted Utah -- Joe Hill to pay the price of being a rebel

9-23-15

9-30-15

  • Brothers cartoon (Appendix F)

  • Campaign article on Commissioner J. Salter

10-7-15

  •  Commissioner Salter answers critics

10-14-15

  • A Personal Word to Women -- Why you should vote for the Socialist candidates by Katherine Hodges, Socialist commissioner candidate

10-21-15

  • The Practical Achievements of a Socialist Commissioner

  • County Socialist Platform published

10-28-15

  • Socialism, the Gospel of Plenty by Katherine Hodges

11-4-15

  • Salter advances to General election

  • Hundreds Turned Away at Socialist Rally...

  •  Photo of Joseph Hillstrom [Joe Hill]  -- Scandinavian Mass Meeting Sunday -- Would Save Joe Hill Appendix G

11-11-15

 

11-18-15

 

11-25-15

  • Why Socialist Lost in Everett

  • Hodges runs for School Board

12-2-15

 

12-23-15

  • Turncoat denounced -- Cab Brown Kill Our paper?

  • War Trust Stealing Country Blind

12-30-15

  • The Politics of the Old International by Ernest Untermann

  • Is Man Cousin to the Ape is subject of a Shipley lecture in Seattle

1-6-16

1-13-16

  • Theater tickets taken in exchange for ad and resold to paper supporters

1-27-16

  • Forging Ahead ... Increase in membership most encouraging ... Washington makes the biggest gain in the nation

2-3-16

  •  Snowstorm causes revenue shortage

  • Preparation begun for newspaper's birthday

2-10-16

 

2-17-16

  •  Why is Big Business Behind the Preparedness Campaign?

  • Canadians are Jailed for Sedition

3-2-16

  •  Big advertising drive outside of Everett pushes paper to 10 pages

3-9-16

 

3-16-16

 

3-23-16

 

4-6-16

  •  The Stone and Webster Octopus; Their Wealth and Power  -- Everett but a small area sucked by giant tenticles

  • Indictment Against Steel Trust Dismissed

4-13-16

  •  Maynard Shipley resigns to tour state to raise support for the newspaper

  • Peter Husby announces candidacy for state supreme court

4-20-16

 

4-27-16

 

5-11-16

  •  Maynard Shipley challenges Peter Collins of Knights of Columbus to debate

  • 100,00 in Greatest May Day Parade New York City Ever Saw

5-18-16

  •  French Women Proclaim a Longing for War's End

  • J. Salter loses libel suit against Everett Morning Tribune

5-25-16

 

6-1-16

  •  $175 donated to addressing machine fund

  • Reactionaries get Everett Labor Journal ... after Shipley leaves

 

6-8-16

12-28-16

3-15-17

5-24-17

8-24-16

1-4-17

3-22-17

5-31-17

9-7-16

1-11-17

3-29-17

6-7-17

9-14-16

1-18-17

4-5-17

6-14-17

9-21-16

2-1-17

4-12-17

6-28-17

9-28-16

2-8-17

4-19-17

7-26-17

10-26-16

2-15-17

4-26-17

8-2-17

11-23-16

2-22-17

5-3-17

8-9-17

11-30-16

3-1-17

5-10-17

8-23-17

12-7-16

3-9-17

5-17-17

9-27-17

 


APPENDIX B

 Northwest Worker, published August 24, 1916

KELLY AND McRAE DEFEND STRIKE-
BREAKERS AND GUNMEN IN EVERETT
 

City and County Police Force Used to Help Beat
Up Striking Shingleweavers and Give
Gunmen Plenty of Freedom
 

            Once again King-Kelly has demonstrated the fact to the citizens of Everett that he is the High Mogul in this neck of the woods.  The “King” is spending more than a thousand dollars a month of Everett taxpayers’ money in order to keep “specials” to protect the interests of the mill owners.  This fact was demonstrated when some 75 strike breakers attacked the picket line of 19 union shingle weavers at the Cargo mill last Saturday morning and the police stood by and laughed and seemed tickled to death to see the pickets get a licking.

            We were always under the impression that the police force were to be used for the keeping of law and order but we are fully convinced now, that the police force, in Everett anyhow, is for the human protection of capitalist property, human or concrete.  The human property (scabs) on that memorable morning needed no protection as they were 4 to 1, but in the evening when some 150 unionists and sympathizers were on hand to give the scabs a drubbing the police butted in with their guns and protected the scabs and gunmen.

            If there was ever a tool of the capitalists, Kelly is that one.  His utter contempt for a man in overalls, the men that elected him, has been shown on dozens of occasions and the older he gets the worse he seems to get.  In the council chamber the other day he stated that he was not going to “let roughnecks run the city” and yet at the same time he is giving the freedom of the city to imported gunmen, who are being paid $40 a week to be ready to start trouble.  These men, and there were four of them here last Saturday, are being paid by Jamieson and it was one of these that told the scabs, while at breakfast that morning, that they were going to clean up the picket line.  One man, the night watchman, at once said that he wasn’t hired to do any fighting and quit on the spot.  But this did not deter the gunmen and the scabs from sallying forth to “clean up the picket line.”  It apparently had been all arranged for no sooner had Jamieson’s scabs appeared on the scene than the scabs from the C. B. mill appeared behind the pickets and thus the pickets were hemmed in between two lines of scabs.  And then the battle began.  With a cry of “Get Mills!  Get Bogan!  Get Barrett!” they rushed onto that little band of pickets and kicked and punched and clubbed until the pickets were forced to run.  And the police stood by and laughed and sneered.  And the gunmen got union officials, Mills, Bogan and Barrett.

            The capitalist press of the city is putting a different aspect on this case by making the citizens believe that the pickets started the fray.  In doing this they make a good case for the endorsement of the “anti-picketing” bill that is to be referred to the voters this fall.  It makes a good case for the plutocratic capitalists, and as it is the policy of the capitalist press to take the side of big business, it isn’t at all out of place for the press to make the case against labor as black as possible.

            The shingle weavers were winning.  Every man on the picket line has been receiving $3 per day from the fund of about $800 that is being supplied by the shingleweavers that are working in other districts.  Every striker was getting his pay in one form or another and the union had made up its mind to keep that picket line there, be it one month or one year.  Hence, the bosses were getting scared and finally made up their minds to do something.  That something was done Saturday morning and now the mill owners have discovered that they have hit a hornet’s nest.

            Organized labor of Everett have got solidly behind the strikers and it is going to be a fight that the union-haters will long remember.  All the so-called friends of labor have stood by the bosses during the last scrap.  Sheriff McRae, an ex-union shingle-weaver, has turned out to be a renegade and the $25 that he donated to the strike fund at the beginning of the trouble has been returned to him.

            At a special meeting called by the Trades Council Monday night the following resolutions were adopted as a result of the arresting of ten men who had been given orders to leave town but had refused, and as a consequence got jugged.  These men, excepting one, have since been released.

            The police of this city and the county sheriff have taken the side of the bosses against labor and it is going to be a fight to the finish.  Comrade B. A. Burton, the Socialist candidate for Sheriff, will get a bigger boost by organized labor this fall than organized labor has given any man in the city of Everett before.  The sentiment is ripe for a Socialist administration in both the city and the county and the present strife will help to weld the ranks of Socialists and Unionists together as nothing else ever could.

            That organized labor has seen the light could easily be discerned at the special meeting and by the following resolutions, and we hope that the rest of the citizens of Snohomish county will put a stop to the autocratic acts of county officials by electing a full Socialist ticket this fall.

            “To the General Public of Everett”:

            “Whereas, the organized workers are being discriminated against by the authorities of the city of Everett and the sheriff’s office of Snohomish county (by openly winking at violence on the part of imported strikebreakers and professional thugs), but deny the striking workmen the same protection afforded the strikebreakers, and

            “Whereas, organized labor only desires to exercise our constitutional rights and be accorded the protection that the law allows, therefore be it

            “Resolved, that we inform the officials of Everett, Snohomish county and the state of Washington that we insist on our constitutional rights; and be it further

            “Resolved, that we condemn the actions of the Everett police department and the sheriff’s office of Snohomish county for imprisoning union men for simply refusing to leave the city; be it further

            “Resolved, that organized labor call a mass meeting at the City Park Thursday, August 24, to enlighten the general public as to the real conditions that exist on the waterfront.”

 


APPENDIX C             

Northwest Worker, published September 14, 1916

 MOB OF EVERETT MERCHANTS AND MILL OWNERS RUN AMUCK IN CITY

Gang of Hoodlum Cockroach Merchants Armed with Loaded
Clubs and Guns, Attack American Citizens

            Some of the most disgraceful scenes have been enacted in the city of Everett during the past week, that have ever disturbed the tranquility of the City of Smokestacks. 

            The city has been absolutely at the mercy of a mob of merchants and manufacturers armed to the teeth stirring up trouble on every hand.

Hoodlums Run City

            Over three hundred of these hoodlums parade the street nightly, causing citizens to seek places of safety.  On Thursday and Friday of last week this mob attacked a crowd of citizens who were listening to a public speaker, pulled the speaker off the box, grabbed several others in the crowd and dragged them to the county bastile.  When this mob arrived at the bastile the doors were unlocked and they were permitted to enter with their so-called prisoners.  This same band, led by Governor Clough and a drunk by the name of McRae, paraded the main streets until late at night.  On Friday this mob raided a book store and unceremoniously hauled the occupants off to the county bastile where, with the others previously caught, they spent the night on the cement floor.

Attack Launch

            On Saturday afternoon a launch containing 21 men and women hove in sight of the city and drunken McRae commandeered a boat and went out and fired on the incoming launch and with the help of the rest of his piratical crew mauled up the occupants of the launch and then had them taken to the bastile.

City Officials Helpless

            The mayor and commissioner of public safety have nothing to say in the matter.  In fact they are so scared of losing their jobs that they dare not offer any resistance.  The mayor offered an apology to the citizens at the outbreak of this trouble but has since been compelled to take back his words.  The most prominent of this mob are bankers, politicians and mill owners.

Broken Heads

            On Monday night the disgraceful scenes were re-enacted and several citizens endured broken heads from the loaded sticks of this fiendish gang and several others were thrown into the bastile.

Stripped, Beaten and Shot

            The three men that were arrested Monday evening and two others that were taken off the train were hauled out to the outskirts of the city, stripped and beaten by McRae and his gang.  One man by the name of Rowen is in a serious condition.  Another by the name of Feinberg who spoke on the box Monday night has not been seen since he was taken to the outskirts of town.  Four shots were heard in that direction and his friends think that something serious has happened to him.  McCrae arrested these men and then turned them over to the mob of armed hoodlums who proceeded to rob and beat them as stated above.

Little Girl Injured

            A little girl 12 years old, who was unable to move fast enough to suit these thugs, we battered with a club and when one considers that these clubs are loaded with lead it is indeed a serious offense, but nobody is able to get redress for this kind of assault.

            The taxpayers of Snohomish county will be compelled to pay for this high-handed work, as the 19 men who have been jailed are each to have a separate jury trial and this will cost several thousand dollars.  Sheriff McRae is to be charged with violation of the Federal law for arresting the men on the launch, and several law suit cases will be prosecuted as a result of other actions of the Commercial club.

            How long this kind of thing will go on is hard to say.  This mob is drunk with power and no one can tell how it will end.  The state government has not sent any troops to stop this disorder and so the American citizens of this city will have to take care of the situation themselves.

  


APPENDIX D  

 Henry Watts, Northwest Worker, published April 19, 1917

WE ARE CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL LIBEL

            Charged with libel, Henry W. Watts, editor and manager of the Northwest Worker, was arrested Monday by Deputy Sheriff Jim Hill on informations and warrant signed by county prosecutors and Judge Guy C. Alston, who fixed bail at $1,000.

            The arrest resulted from the publication on  April 5 in the Northwest Worker of the following alleged libelous statement:

            “We have a Prince in Everett who runs around to the Commercial Club every day for his orders.  He is at present running a scab lunch counter which is also a recruiting headquarters for gunmen and legalized murderers.”

            The information explains that the passage:  “gunmen and legalized murderers” meant American soldiers recruiting at artillery headquarters in the store of Henry M. Prince, 1611 Hewitt Avenue.  This inference, said the complaint, meant that “Twelfth company artillerymen were gunmen and murderers, tending to expose them to ridicule and hatred, published maliciously and unlawfully.”

            The witnesses contained in the information are Capt. W. C. Bickford, Lieut. R. D. Farris, W. R. Connor, G. W. Koockogey, Henry Prince and J. H. Mitchell.

            Ye editor spent a night in jail with the “wobblies” and is now back on the job.  The case will be tried next month. 

BOYS ARE DOING FINE

            With the help of the Everett Commercial Club we managed to get a night’s lodging in the county jail this week and were able to get an inside view and opinion from the “wobblies” who are incarcerated in the bastile through the machinations of my friends of the Commercial Club.

            The boys are in better spirits than one would expect after five months in jail. They keep things lively around there. A phonograph is brought into use every now and again in one of the “tanks” but after a while that kind of music gets tiresome, so somebody starts up on a fiddle, and although there are no celebrated musicians to handle the instrument, still a little music is obtained.

            I. W. W. songs are being sung all day long. After every meal the boys march around the tanks in lockstep fashion to the tune of “Hold the Fort” and many other songs.

            Although the prison diet is not one to be desired for very long the boys manage to put the stuff away without getting indigestion. The big feed that was supplied them on Easter Sunday by the Everett Comrades was greatly appreciated and they are looking forward to the next one.

            Since the change in the sheriff’s office the boys have found life a little more bearable than under McCrae’s regime. The jailers seem to treat the boys as human beings should be treated and but for the poor equipment at hand for treating the boys that get sick everything seems to be O.K.  Jail is no place to treat sick people, but our prison institutions are not built for the benefit of sick people.

            The expense to the county will come pretty heavy, because, not only does the taxpayers have to pay for the attendance of witnesses both for the prosecution and defense in Seattle, but it has to pay for the feeding and clothing of the 74 prisoners.  The boys are not worrying about the expense and why should they?  If the people of Snohomish County have not enough sense to abolish the system that calls for jails then they will have to pay the price.

  


APPENDIX E  

 Emil Herman, Northwest Worker, published August 12, 1915

RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH DENIED THE WORKERS

By Emil Herman

            [In my position as a Socialist propagandist] and organizer, since the middle of March of this year, I have encountered four cities in Western Washington where freedom of speech and peaceable assemblage is restricted or denied entirely.

            They are Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Tacoma and Raymond.

            I will take them up in the order mentioned and give a brief outline of the situation in each place.

            In Port Townsend the use of the streets for public meetings is not restricted by ordinance, but by mob violence.  For several years past, each time an open-air meetings has been arranged (or, Sam McGee, dealer in wood and coal) (who, by the way, has economic power to the extent that he can go into the superior court of Jefferson county and abuse the judge with unprintable language, without fear of being cited for contempt) has selected a dozen or so of hoodlums from among the soldiers at Fort Worden and as many anarchist-minded civilians as he could influence, proceeded to get them drunk on cheap “booze” and then used this valiant army of drunken hoodlums to beat up the speaker, and all this without interference from (or perhaps with the connivance of) the police, who are supposed to protect people in the orderly pursuit of their “legal” vocations.

            In Port Angeles, since the strike of three years ago, the lumber barons dominate the burg completely and rule with an “iron hand.”  Here the use of the streets for public speaking is prohibited by ordinance, and up to the present time the organizations of labor, including the Socialist Party, have not developed sufficient strength, or courage,--possibly both—to challenge the right of the city officials to abridge the constitutional right of free speech and assemblage. 

In Tacoma

            In Tacoma, while the use of the streets for speech-making has not been entirely denied, the use thereof, so far as the labor unions and the Socialist Party are concerned, has been restricted to the poorest corner in the city—14th and Pacific avenue.  And all done without protest or resistance from the said labor unions and the Socialist Party. 

In Raymond

            In Raymond the forces of labor were completely crushed,--during the strike of several years ago—by the use of club and gun; and the wholesale deportation of strikers; and so completely have they been cowed ever since that the English-speaking Socialists are afraid to even organize into a local of the Socialist Party, let alone put up a fight for the right to speak and publicly assemble on the streets of that corporation-ridden burg. 

Shall We Fight?

            In view of the above, is it not pertinent to ask:  Are even the Socialists still so obsessed with the slave psychology that they will cringe under the authority of the capitalist class, and respect and obey their every wish when garbed in legal form?  And, if so, how long will it be before freedom of speech and peaceable assemblage will be guaranteed on the streets of the above-mentioned cities?

            Workers, especially Socialists, arouse from your lethargy; get busy; time is pressing; the message of the Socialist Party is being listened to as never before.  The capitalist system is disintegrating.  Labor is about to come into its own.

            But we must prepare and organize ourselves NOW.  So again I say—get busy; be a real Socialist; join the Socialist Party, and then go to work as you never did before.

 


APPENDIX F 

 

Editorial Cartoon

Brothers editorial Cartoon

 Northwest Worker, Published September 30, 1915

 


APPENDIX G                       

  

IWW martyr Joe Hill
The Northwest Worker
November 14, 1915

Ad for mass meeting on Joe Hill

The Northwest Worker, September 16, 1915


Scandinavian Mass Meeting Sunday
Would Save Joe Hill

Throughout the Northwest, and particularly on Puget Sound, Scandinavians are uniting in an effort to secure a new trial for Joseph Hillstrom, poet and union organizer. A mass meeting of Joe's compatriots has been called for Sunday, 3:30 p.m., at Bancroft's Hall, Oakes and California, at which some action will be taken looking to the securement of a re-trial of Hillstrom on a charge of murder. The evidence in the case and the circumstances of the trial were a mere travesty on justice, and there is every evidence that a fair trial would show "Joe Hill," as he is now familiarly known, to be wholly innocent for the crime for which he was condemned to be shot at an early date. A storm of protest is being raised all over the country against this threatened judicial murder. Joe's real crime is that he is a "labor agitator."

The Northwest Worker, November 14, 1915, 4.

  


ENDNOTES


[i] Another subhead used later was “Official Organ of the Socialist Party of Snohomish and Stevens Counties – Spokesman For the Only Useful Class in Society -- The Working Class.”

[ii] The Northwest Worker newspaper, Everett, Washington, November 23, 1916, 1: The Everett Massacre: Abraham Robinowitz was one of five Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) shot and killed on the Steamship Verona as it attempted to dock in Everett on November 5, 1916.

[iii] Northwest Worker, July 1, 1915, 1.

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

[v] Northwest Worker, December 30, 1915, 1.

[vi] Northwest Worker, February 3, 1916, 1.

[vii] The City of Everett’s 1912 CHARTER (JUNE 18, 1912-JUNE 25, 1968) provided for government by three commissioners, with titles of finance commissioner, public works commissioner and safety commissioner, serving four-year terms. The commissioner with the largest plurality acted as the ceremonial mayor.

[viii] The Washington Socialist newspaper, Everett, Washington, August 13, 1914, 1.

[ix] Northwest Worker, September 2, 1915, 1.

[x] Northwest Worker, October 7, 1915, 1.

[xi] Northwest Worker, October 21 & 28, 1915, 1.

[xii] Northwest Worker, November 11, 1915, 1.

[xiii] The other two Socialists lost in their respective primaries: Northwest Worker, November 4, 1915, 1.

[xiv] Northwest Worker, November 25, 1915, 1.

[xv] Northwest Worker, February 2, 1916, 1.

[xvi] George O. West, “Why is Gig Business Behind The Preparedness Campaign?,” Northwest Worker, February 17, 1916, 1.

[xvii] “The Stone and Webster Octopus; Their Wealth and Power – Everett but Small Area Sucked by Giant Tentacles,” Northwest Worker, April 6, 1916, 1.

[xviii] Photo of Maynard Shipley, Northwest Worker, May 11, 1916.

[xix] Maynard Shipley, “ ‘We’ Resign – Will tour State In Interest Of paper,” Northwest Worker, April, 13, 1916, 4.

[xx] Everett Massacre web site, Everett Library,  http://www.epls.org/nw/emassacre.htm. Accessed August 17, 2002.

[xxi] Northwest Worker, August 24, 1916, 1.

[xxii] Henry Watts, “More Trouble,” Northwest Worker, August 24, 1916, 4.

[xxiii] Northwest Worker, September 7, 1916, 4.

[xxiv] Northwest Worker, September 14, 1916, 1.

[xxv] Copies of these photographs are available at the Everett Public Library’s Northwest Room,  (http://www.epls.org/nw/)

[xxvi] “ ‘Frame-Up’ Tried On Prisoners,” Northwest Worker, March 8, 17, 1.

[xxvii] Henry Watts, “We Are Charged With Criminal Libel,” Northwest Worker, April 19, 1917, 4.

[xxviii] Dismiss Case Against Editor, Northwest Worker, May 24, 1917, 1.

[xxix] Henry Watts, “Boys Are Doing Fine,” Northwest Worker, April 19, 1917, 4.

[xxx] “Register On The Fifth Of June,” Northwest Worker, May 24, 1917, 1.

[xxxi] Henry Watts, “How They Love Us,” Northwest Worker, September 27, 1917.

Copyright (c) 2002 Frederick Bird
1249 NE 92nd Street
Seattle, Washington 98115
fredbird@heliotropeseattle.com