WASHINGTON SOCIALIST

(Everett: 1914-1915)

Researcher

Frederick Bird, University of Washington, August 2002

Abstract

The Washington Socialist was the second of four consecutive Socialist weekly newspapers published in Everett, Washington between January 1911 and June 1918. The Washington Socialist evolved in April 1914 from its financially pressed predecessor, The Commonwealth, and lasted until June 1915, when it was renamed The Northwest Worker. These name changes were attempts to broaden the newspaper’s geographic and financial base of support. Throughout this progression, the ownership, major leaders, volunteers and often the editors remained the same. Maynard Shipley, the editor throughout most of this period (1913 – 1916), was a dominant personality. As with the Commonwealth and the subsequent Northwest Worker, the Washington Socialist served as a promotional and educational instrument for the Socialist Party, reporting on national, state and local Socialist Party events and issues. 

Dates Published,
Frequency, Size

Test issue published January 28,1914; regular publication: April 1914 – June 1915; second-class mailing permit issued March 9, 1911 at Everett, Washington (see Lineage below); published weekly; 4 pages, occasionally 6/8.

Circulation

No circulation figures were observed: however, the Commonwealth reported a circulation of 4,100 in January 1913.

Publisher/owner

The Central Committee of the Everett Socialist Party.

Editor

Maynard Shipley

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.

Status of collection

Incomplete collection: 41 of a possible 62 issues are in the collection. See Appendix A for partially annotated list of the available issues.


THE WASHINGTON SOCIALIST

WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

                        YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS.

                                    YOU HAVE A WORLD TO WIN. 


 

The Declaration of Independence
Brought Down to Date

MODERNIZED BY MAYNARD SHIPLEY

         When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one class to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and superior function to which the laws of economic development entitle them, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

         We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created with divergent capacities; that they are all endowed by nature with certain needs; that among these are life, liberty, and the attainment of happiness; that to secure these fundamental desires, governments may rightly be instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the duty of the majority concerned to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government [i]

Adopted by the Socialists of Everett in Mass Meeting Assembled,

Sunday, June 26, 1914.

(Appendix B)

 

The Washington Socialist was the second of four consecutive Socialist weekly newspapers published in Everett, Washington between January 1911 and June 1918. The first newspaper in this series, the Commonwealth, had been consistently burdened by debt from its inception until in April of 1914 the paper’s printer finally called in the receiver. [ii] Barely skipping a beat (just one issue), editor Maynard Shipley and his Everett Socialist supporters quickly launched the Washington Socialist. Shipley had already been planning to change the Commonwealth to that name to broaden its geographic appeal and financial support, and a test issue of the Washington Socialist had been published on January 28,1914. The new paper lasted until June 1915, when it was reborn again under a new banner, The Northwest Worker. [iii] 

Maynard Shipley, the editor throughout most of this period (August, 1913 to August 1916), dominated the editorial direction and personality of the three newspapers while he remained at the helm. Shipley was an experienced speaker and writer on Socialism, and a former editor of The World, a Socialist newspaper in Oakland, California when he arrived in Everett in July 1913 to present a series of lectures. His reputation preceded him. The trustees [iv] of the then rudderless Commonwealth, “who knew a good thing when they saw it,” [v] quickly signed him up. 

As with its predecessor and successor, the Washington Socialist served as a promotional and educational instrument for the Socialist Party, reporting on international, national, state and local Socialist Party events and issues. The fourth newspaper, the Co-operative News, would take a slightly different tack. Although the Washington Socialist lasted only 14 months, it covered a challenging period for Socialists, including regular election battles (they won one major local election), wars in Mexico and Europe, labor strife in the West, and ongoing internecine ideological squabbles within the local Socialist movement. Noteworthy by their absence, however, were articles on the intense factional disputes in Seattle. Shipley labeled himself a “red” [vi] or revolutionary Socialist, but refused to be drawn into that bitter battle. Shipley feared that the airing of too much internal strife would harm the party’s appeal. [vii] These fundamental disputes were between the hardcore Socialists (the “reds”) who rebuffed cooperation with other leftwing and labor groups, and the moderates (the “yellows”) who were willing to work with other leftists and unionists. [viii]

At first, due possibly to Shipley’s focus on advancing the broad Socialist agenda, the publications under his tutelage are not  good sources for information or insights into the union labor struggles taking place in Everett. However, i n April 1915, Shipley took on a second job (and perhaps a new outlook) as editor of the American Federation of Labor’s (Everett) Labor Journal. Coverage of local labor issues subsequently increased. Shipley held the Labor Journal job until he left Everett. [ix]

The high point for Everett and Snohomish County Socialists came in August 1914 when one of their own was elected to the three-person commission that ran the city [x]—the highest elected position ever attained by a Socialist in Snohomish County. [xi] This opportunity occurred when one of the previous commissioners resigned that spring and the remaining commissioners appointed a successor, a decision that angered the electorate enough for a successful recall election to be mounted in June against both sitting commissioners. [xii] A subsequent special election to fill the vacancies led to the election of James Salter, a long-time Socialist activist, school teacher and twice briefly the editor of the Commonwealth. [xiii]  

It was a fortunate turn of events for Salter who had just lost his job as principal of the Silvana schools, a small farming community southeast of Stanwood. A news note in the issue of June 14th reported that an anti-Socialist school board member in Silvana “and a few more troglodytes, including a local preacher who is now enjoying a visit to Norway, have earned the everlasting contempt of every fair-minded citizen of Silvana by the contemptible methods they used to get Mr. Salter and wife out of the Silvana schools, because they were Socialists.” [xiv] Salter would serve out the remainder of the commission term through 1916, [xv] providing numerous opportunities for Socialists to boast and for the commissioner to expound on the role of a Socialist in Everett’s municipal government.

The Socialist commissioner will work in harmony with his two associates in office in so far as they approve of the following guiding principles of municipal government:

That the very best talent be secured for the various departments. That men who approve of municipal ownership and who are imbued with a genuine civic consciousness, and high ideals of social service, will be preferred as city employees...

J. M. Salter, August 20, 1914 [xvi] 

Eugene Debs to speak in Everett ad: "Washinton Socialist," August 13, 1914

Washington Socialist
August 13, 1914

“Socialist Commissioner Effects Much Needed Change,” read a headline from edition of September 3. The story reported, “Residents of Everett, who have had occasion to visit the city dock during the summer, have no doubt noticed the filthy, unhealthy conditions existing thereabouts. This is not to be marveled at considering that it had not been cleaned for three months before the Socialist commissioner took office. Beginning last week, the dock will be swept weekly...” and “Heretofore, employees of the city working on the East Side bridge have been compelled to work twelve hours daily ... the twelve hours has now been cut down to eight.” The article concluded, “Changes of this nature should convince the most bone-headed worker that it pays to put class-conscious Socialists into office, even if they can’t establish the cooperative commonwealth forthwith. Rome was not built in a day.” [xvii] 

On October 15th, the paper reported, “For two months Everett has had a Socialist Commissioner of Public Works, and so far nothing has been done to break up homes, destroy religion, nor establish free love.” [xviii] A more detailed end-of-the-year article stated: 

Even the most bitter opponents of Socialism, political enemies of Mr. Salter, have been forced to admit that as a public official, he has given an efficient and entirely honest administration of his department. Though increases in wages have been made in many instances, and an eight-hour day established, the extra expense has been compensated for by the elimination of needless expenditures in other ways. Organized labor, to a man, admit that Salter has voiced the interests of that body on all occasions, insisting always upon union wages and conditions ... It goes without saying that the Socialists of Everett are more than pleased with the results of their many years of patient effort to gain partial or complete control of the city hall. [xix]

 The paper credits Salter with efficiencies in filling city jobs with “men skilled and proficient in the duties involved,” citing the example of an electrician who was “not even an electrician, and never showed up at city hall except on pay day.” Under the heading, “Graft jobs Abolished,” it added, “from 41st and Colby to the golf links, perhaps a mile in distance, a man was kept with rake and shovel to remove the least roughness or pebbles from the highway for the benefit of pleasure-seeking autoists. Needless to state that no such expenditure of public funds for the benefit of a favored few is now being made.” Even the bartenders were satiated when Salter lead a successful fight to repeal their annual $15 city license. [xx] 

            After a subscription-building promotion of several months, the Washington Socialist celebrated the fourth anniversary of Socialist journalism in Everett on February 4, 1915 with an impressive spread of articles that touched on history but dwelt on economic and ideological lessons. 

OUR FIFTH BIRTHDAY [xxi]

With this issue this paper ends its fourth year of struggle and triumphs, and begins a fifth year free from debt, having more collectable assets than liabilities. It only remains now to keep up our enthusiasm, to renew our determined efforts to build upon a strong foundation our party press, that the enemy may well fear to lie about our officials, misrepresent our aims, or seek to belittle our program!

WHAT THREE YEARS’ EXPERIENCE COST

      On another page of this issue we publish a statement of what it has cost the comrades of Washington to learn how to run a Socialist paper efficiently and economically. One never gets something for nothing. We Socialists need not, therefore, begrudge the money and efforts which have been expended in finding and developing the talent necessary to establishing a press of our own. [xxii] 

The unsigned article ends with a plea for news articles familiar to editors everywhere:Each Local in the state should elect a publicity committee whose duty it should be to furnish the party press with news of local activities. The editor of The Washington Socialist cannot do this work for the Locals. Don’t kick for more ‘news’ when you are neglecting to send any news to us. If there is no news about your local, get busy right away and make some news, and report it.” [xxiii]  

The issue’s highlight was a reproduction of the first issue of the Commonwealth, made more interesting for the highly editorialized history that accompanied it—"The Hard Road to Success –How We Achieved It." (Appendix C) “ ‘The Commonwealth’ first saw the light on February 4, 1911, as a four-column, eight-page weekly, under the editorship of O. L. Anderson,” wrote F. G. Crosby. “Like most Socialist papers it was launched amidst unbounded enthusiasm. But its promoters soon learned that it takes more than enthusiasm to run a weekly paper.” Editor followed editor, each seeing their fervor quickly worn down by routine economics—salaries were scarce. One editor, Crosby said, “succeeded in collecting his salary” at the end of his first month and promptly left. He attributes the Washington Socialist’s financial survival to the providential arrival of Maynard Shipley, followed four months later by a competent business manager.  

“From what I can gather from old timers in the movement in Everett, employees of the print shop and others, there has been mismanagement in big gobs from the birth of the paper down to the time its affairs were placed in the hands of the present management,” Crosby continued. “It was largely a matter of making a big splurge on money they did not earn, thousands of copies were printed that were never paid for, galleys and galleys of linotype were thrown in the melting pot that never were used, the salary list was top heavy, not that the office force got it, but they were promised more than the paper could stand, took it when they could get it, and nearly every one quit with a bunch coming...”[xxiv] 

An unsigned editorial entitled “ALL YELLOW – Class Struggle Ignored” (Appendix D) in the same issue took the opportunity to criticize the ideological pedigree of the Commonwealth’s first editor: “A glance at the first page of the first issue of the ‘Commonwealth’ reveals the fact that the ‘Reds’ of Everett, in 1911, were not very well represented by Comrade Anderson, then editor. The first issue, as may be seen, was glaringly Yellow. It was not even somewhat Red. There is nothing on the first page to intimate that it was intended to be a Socialist paper. And it wasn’t. It was ‘On the Side of the People—Always.’ It says so right under the misnomer ‘Commonwealth.’ Look at it, and see for yourself. No, 'The Commonwealth’ was not an anticipatory name; no more so than was the motto thereunder, just quoted.” 

            “To the editor of ‘The Commonwealth’ of February 4, 1911,” the anonymous writer wrote, “ ‘the people’ was a present reality, ‘to whom the common weal (was) the eternal gospel of the beneficent Creator of all.’ The paper was against ‘every individual who (was) an enemy of the common good.’ As far as it was able, it intended to ferret them out, expose and cry out at the top of its voice ‘all individuals who were guilty of ‘fraud, graft and injustice of every kind’—‘call it muckraking or by any other name you please.’ You betcha. That society was divided into two antagonistic classes, the wealth makers and the wealth takers, who could have no ‘common weal,’ and who could not be bunched together into a homogeneous group called ‘the people,’ of this very important fact comrade Anderson seemed to be as naively unconscious…”[xxv] 

The likelihood of war and war itself was frequently the subject of articles, notices and letters. The launch of the Washington Socialist coincided with the seizure of the Mexican port of Veracruz by American Marines in April 1914, and the Arlington Socialist Local lost no time in condemning the American capitalists who were promoting American intervention to protect their investments then at risk in the turmoil of Mexico’s revolutions.


Editorial cartoon: “Patriotism: the last refuge of the scoundrel” – Dr. Samuel Johnson: "Washington Socialist," May 14, 1914

Resolved by Local Arlington, that we have no property interests in Mexico which need protecting. If others have, it is their affair, and it is certainly not up to us or the working people of the United States to go to war to protect the property interests of others; and this is especially true in the present instance where, as we are informed and verily believe, the alleged property interests in jeopardy are owned by the very trust magnates who are most oppressive to the workingmen of this country … therefore, we insist that we have not a man or dollar for a Mexican war.

But, resolved, that nothing herein shall be construed as intended to discourage these undesirable citizens of this country who are now most anxious for intervention in Mexico, from going there and enlisting on the firing line and spilling their blood to their heart’s content in battle with each other or with the capitalists of Europe.

WM. DeWitt, Secretary
J. W. Morris, Chairman
[xxvi]


 Four months later, the First World War broke out in Europe. To the Socialists in America, the war presented serious challenges. Socialists were convinced that traditional wars were merely an extension of a crude capitalism that saw wars only as an opportunity for capitalistic profit, while the working classes suffered the battlefield casualties and the inevitable disruptions of civilian lives. American Socialists were concerned for their European brethren who, unlike the American counterparts, had come to play significant parliamentary roles in their respective governments on both sides of the conflict.  

The Everett newspaper carried frequent articles on the dilemma European Socialists faced between upholding their revolutionary principles while, at the same time, responding to the intense nationalism the war engendered. American Socialists saw in this European quandary a clear danger to their own future, a future that would come to pass, and they fought vigorously against American entry in that war. Their opposition to the war produced an anti-religious side to their doctrine that was usually kept hidden from public exposure in more peaceful times to deny their capitalist enemies the opportunity to tar them with an anti-Christian mantle. The war, however, brought out the Socialists’ deep anger against an opiate religion they believed help keep the world’s workers in the capitalists’ tow. That anger is expressed succinctly in an unsigned article entitled "BIRTHDAY OF HELL": 

Six months from January 18th the world may celebrate the birthday of Hell!  Six months ago, August 28th, the Hell of the Twentieth Century was established on earth by professed followers of Jesus of Nazareth, whom the mankillers call the Christ, or the Messiah. For six unspeakably horrible months the leading Christian (?) nations of Europe have been patriotically engaged in the thoroughly characteristic game of “civilization”—War!  Raising Hell!  “Christians” raising Hell, for PROFITS!

All of the men who are responsible for the conditions which made this establishment of Hell on Earth inevitable are opposed to Socialism. And why not!  Socialism is unqualifiedly in favor of Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward All Men. And Peace and Profits cannot dwell together. The one makes the other impossible.

            The world has had one continuous Hell of war, or preparation for war since the day one class began to reap profits from the sweat of a neighbor’s brow.  Socialism is opposed to both War and Profits. So the Christians of the world—or the vast majority of them—are opposed to Socialism. They say it’s against religion; that it breeds class hatred; that it will break up the home; that it wants men to “divide up.”

So men uphold capitalism.  Men vote for capitalism …

For the sacred rights of property and commerce capitalism has killed over half a million of its advocates; maimed, wounded, or reduced by disease over 2,160,000 of its misguided adherents; has made countless men not only “divide up” their property, but their very bodies—for PROFITS! …

            Such is capitalism’s 1915 offering!

            Is not the worst thing that has ever been alleged against Socialism by its most dishonest enemies, incomparably preferable to the best offering of capitalism in 1915? [xxvii]

(Appendix E)


APPENDIX A

 The Washington Socialist
(Issues on microfilm #3099) 

Date

Selected subjects

1-28-15

  • Test issue; Commonwealth still printing

  • Vast audience fills Everett theater to hear Debs…

  • Death penalty editorial and news

4-16-14

  • First formal issue of The Washington Socialist

  • Front page cartoon lampooning the Bell System (AT&T)

  • Periodic list of advertisers: Here They Are – The Reliable Ones

4-22-14

  • Table showing Number of Dues-Paying Members of the International Socialist

  • Arlington Local’s resolution against Mexican War

  • Arlington unemployed plea to local ministers

  • Curlew local resolution against dogmatic socialism

5-7-14

  • Everett Central Committee approves Shipley’s modernized

  • Declaration of Independence

  • Travails of Socialist teachers reported

5-14-14

  • Large front page anti-war editorial cartoon

5-28-14

  • Everett police battle unemployed

  • Paper’s finances improve

  • County Socialist platform published

  • County Socialist convention nominates candidates and formally takes control of the newspaper

6-4-14

  • UW male seniors revolt against wearing caps and gowns at graduation

6-11-14

  • Mother Jones Wins All Hearts and Heads on Everett

  • World’s Greatest Electrical Engineer Talks on Socialism

  • Directory and news from Socialist locals

  • James Salter rebukes Arlington funeral sermon

6-18-14

  • Pure Water for Everett A Working Class Need

  • J. (James) M. Salter nominated for city’s Commissioner of Finance

  • John McSlarrow calls for Socialists to arm themselves

7-2-14

  • Shipley’s "modernized" Declaration of Independence published, APPENDIX B

  • J. (James) M. Salter nominated for city’s Commissioner of Public Works

7-30-14

  • Sinclair’s “JUNGLE” to be Shown at the Grand – Greatest of Moving Pictures

  • Workers of Everett Unite!! … There are now but two working class candidates in the political arena…

  • County Executive Committee minutes

  • Minimum Wage for Hello Girls

8-13-14

  • Salter is elected Commissioner of Public Works

  • Doctor Tells Convention “Hell Fire” Preachers Are Filling The Insane Asylums

8-20-14

  • Salter publishes Attitude of the Socialist Party on municipal Affairs

  • Salter’s Election Was Won Without Compromise

  • No Red Card Applicants for the “Spoils of Office” … Long Trail of Non-Socialist Seek The Elusive Job

  • The Eyes of The World Now On Everett

9-3-14

  •  Socialist Commissioner effects Needed Change

  • Monster Anti-War Demonstration and County Campaign Picnic planned for Labor Day in Edmonds

  • State Executive Committee adopts strong resolution against war

9-10-14

  •  The Truth About Everett's Water System

  • Organizational News: "This is Red Week! Let every member of the party get at east one new member to join."

10-15-14

  • Party membership increasing:

    • In Snohomish County, from 800 in 1908 to 4,054 in 1912

    • In US, from 14,177 in 1908 to 40,445 in 1912

  • State and County Platforms published

11-12-14

  • Election results ...

  • 26 county precincts go "red," voting a majority for Socialists

11-26-14

  • Post Office claims paper published article inciting violence

  • Morning Tribune publishes "inflammatory editorials" on Post Office charges

  • Mass meeting set to aid Everett unemployed

  • Segregation in Seattle: Negro firemen restricted to separate firehouse

12-31-14

  • Encouraging Report: Paper placed on sound financial footing despite hard times

  • Article on Commissioner Salter: Proof that a Socialist is not "just like' the Old-Party Officials when elected

1-7-15

  • Grim war news

  • Peter Husby offers free legal advice

1-14-15

  • "Auto busses" challenge street car monopoly

  • Religious bigotry at Everett library

1-21-15

  • News of Everett's "unemployed army"

  • Articles and editorials against capital punishment

1-28-15

  • Vast Audience Fills Everett Theatre to ear Debs

  • Library controversy continues

2-4-15

  • Facsimile of first Commonwealth edition published

  • Newspaper (s) history recounted

  • Editorial criticizes first publisher as "All Yellow"

2-11-15

2-18-15

2-25-15

3-4-15

3-11-15

3-18-15

3-25-15

4-1-15

4-8-15

4-15-15

4-24-15

4-29-15

5-13-15

5-27-15

  • A Tri-State Paper Suggested (the future Northwest Worker)

  • Picnic excursion to Holmes Harbor promoted -- only 40¢ for the boat fare

6-10-15

  • Fund raising begun to purchase a printing plant 

6-17-15

  • Fair Weather Socialists criticized for quitting the movement under pressure

  • War news: French Burn German soldiers with fiery acids

6-24-15

  • Beating up Socialist no offense says county attorney

  • Free speech fight in Maltby

  • Printing plant drive still short $200 as July 1 deadline approached

  


APPENDIX B

Maynard Shipley, Washington Socialist, published July 2, 1914

 The Declaration of Independence Brought Down to Date

MODERNIZED BY MAYNARD SHIPLEY

Adopted by the Socialists of Everett in Mass Meeting Assembled,
Sunday, June 26, 1914.
 

            When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one class to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and superior function to which the laws of economic development entitle them, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

            We hold these truths to be self-evident:  That all men are created with divergent capacities; that they are all endowed by nature with certain needs; that among these are life, liberty, and the attainment of happiness; that to secure these fundamental desires, governments may rightly be instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the duty of the majority concerned to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their common safety and happiness.  Prudence indeed, will dictate that governments long established shall not be allowed to outlive their usefulness, though all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, the exploitation of the workers, evinces a design to crush them under an absolute industrial despotism, it is their duty, to overthrow such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.  Such has been the patient suffering of the American wage-slaves; but now necessity constrains them to alter or abolish the bourgeois system of government and exploitation.  The history of the present ruling class is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having for direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over those who produce the wealth of the world.  To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

            The owning class has refused its assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

            The masters have forbidden their governors and legislators to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in the operation till their supreme court shall have declared them unconstitutional; and when not legally suspended or abrogated, they have been complacently ignored by those in authority, who have utterly neglected to attend to them.

            They have refused to allow to be passed other laws for the accommodation of large numbers of workers, unless such laws left the trading class in full ownership of the means whereby the working class must live—a concession of no benefit to them and of use to grafters only.

            The masters have called together their legislative bodies at convenient places, entirely comfortable, and not too distant from, Wall Street, the real seat of government, for the sole purpose of enacting laws in support of their own economic needs, regardless of the welfare of the workers.

            They have declared laws unconstitutional repeatedly which opposed firmly invasions on the rights of the working class.

            They have refused for a long time after their annulment to allow others to be enacted; thus the legislative powers, held in their own hands, have not been returned to the people at large for their exercise; the country remaining in the meantime, exposed to all sorts of grafting from without, and to frequent panicky convulsions from within.

            They have endeavored to prevent the further development of these states; for that purpose making laws granting the lands to non-resident exploiters; refusing to pass others to encourage actual settlement of the same, and raising conditions preventing the establishing of homes thereon.

            They have obstructed the administration of justice by causing creatures of the corporations to be elected or appointed to judicial seats in courts of law.

            They have made judges dependent on their will alone for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.

            They have erected a multitude of new offices and sent thither swarms of new officers to harass the wage-slaves and eat out their substance.

            They have kept among us, in times of peace, without the consent of the people, standing armies and state militia to assist their fellow exploiters in grinding the faces of the useful workers.

            They have succeeded in rendering the military independent of and superior to the civil power.

            They have combined with others to subject the workers to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged even by their own class-made laws; giving assent to acts of anarchy and violence in the interests of members of their own class:

            By quartering their troops of armed strike-breakers among us during times of industrial disputes;

            By protecting their hired assassins, under cloak of courts martial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states;

            By depriving us of jobs by means of the lockout and blacklist;

            By imposing taxes on us through the means of wage slavery;

            By depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury;

            And by packing the jury when the workers are so tried;

            By transporting us to other states to be tried for pretended offenses;

            By abolishing the right to peacefully assemble in our own or a neighboring state, establishing therein an arbitrary government, substituting post-mortems for habeas corpus, tramping on the pretended constitutional rights of citizens, enlarging the scope of the state militia, so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same arbitrary power in other states;

            By taking away our suffrage through capitalist election laws, abolishing our most valuable means of political expression and altering fundamentally the forms of civil government;

            By suspending working-class laws and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

            The masters have abdicated popular government here, by declaring the workers out of their protection, their policeman’s club having grown bigger than the constitution;

            They have plundered our cities, ravaged our homes, deprived us of the means of self-support, and destroyed the lives of our people;

            The master-class is at this time creating large armies of mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny already begun in the days of Cleveland, with circumstances of cruelty and suffering scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally inexcusable in a civilized nation;

            They have constrained our misguided fellow wage-slaves to join the army, militia and navy, to bear arms against members of their own class, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren in toil, or to fall, mayhap, themselves by unwilling hands;

            The masters have excited domestic insurrections amongst us, in the mad struggle for profits, and have endeavored to bring on the workers of our mills, mines and factories the merciless gunmen whose known rule of warfare is treachery, secret assassination, incitement to violence and undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

            In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our petitions have been answered only by repeated “investigations.”  A class whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant is unfit to rule over a people determined to be free.

            Nor have we been wanting in patience toward our industrial masters.  We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts made by their legislatures to extend an unwarranted jurisdiction over us.  We have reminded them of the circumstances of our working and living here, in a country of potential wealth and abundance for all who labor.  We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common humanity to discontinue their usurpations, which would inevitably lead to working-class revolt and final supremacy of the proletariat, marking the end of all classes and of class rule.  But they have been deaf to the voice of justice and reason.  We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which necessitates our separation into two distinct classes, the exploiters and the exploited, the wealth-takers and the wealth-makers, and hold the master class of this country, as of all other countries, our enemies in politics and industry—in nothing friends.

            We, therefore, the representatives of the workers of all nations, in mass meeting assembled, appealing to the highest sense of justice for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the workers of the world, solemnly publish and declare that the useful wealth producers, now held in the bondage of wage-slavery, are of right, and must of necessity become, free and independent citizens of a new industrial world republic, in which economic equality, justice and fraternity may become a glorious reality, instead of a concatenation of empty words, a delusion and a snare to the exploited and economically enslaved workers; we further declare that the wage-earners of this and all other countries are morally absolved from all allegiance to the capitalist class, and that all pretense of community of interests between them is but a wicked and intolerable fiction, designed to hold the greater and better part of the human race in degrading bondage; that that the workers, as members of a common world brotherhood, should have full power to declare for freedom and international peace, for the common ownership of the earth and the joint control of the greater means of production and distribution; that the workers have full power to contract a world-wide alliance, to establish international transportation facilities, to establish methods for an equitable exchange of products, and to do all other acts and things which will further their mutual interests.  And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the continued progress of the human race, we pledge to each other our lives, our votes and our cherished honor. 

JOHN WORSWICK, Chairman
PETER HUSBY, Secretary

[xxviii]
 


APPENDIX C

F. G. Crosby, Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915

The Hard Road to Success --- How We Achieved It 

STORY OF WASHINGTON SOCIALIST AND THE OLD COMMONWEALTH

Told by F. G. Crosby 

            “The Commonwealth” first saw the light on February 4, 1911, as a four-column, eight-page weekly, under the editorship of O. L. Anderson.

            Like most Socialist papers it was launched amidst unbounded enthusiasm.  But its promoters soon learned that it takes more than enthusiasm to run a weekly paper.

            The last issue to bear the name of comrade Anderson at the head was that of May 25, 1911, and for a couple of weeks the paper appears to have jogged along without an official editor.

            Then on June 16, 1911, the name of comrade J. M. Salter, present city commissioner of Everett, appears at the head of the editorial page.  Comrade Jim evidently deposited his suitcase in the office when comrade Anderson departed and proceeded to keep the editorial chair warm, but was too modest to sign his name as editor until he had a couple weeks’ practice.

            On September 8, 1911, Anna A. Maley, now a teacher in the Rand School of Social Science, New York City, took hold of the editorial pen; or, to be real accurate, if our memory serves us, the editorial typewriter.  Anna Agnes was received with open arms by the local comrades, and gave in return brilliant editorials and lectures, down to May 31, 1912.  Comrade Maley largely made her own living during the time she was with us by lecturing, and, as a matter of fact, drew very little money from the “Commonwealth.”

            Under all these editors the paper went further into debt.

            It was not a case of lining their own pockets, but a case of that they were not fitted for the managerial part of the work.  Instead of making the month’s income cover the month’s expenses, they were continually banking on the future; but the great future failed to materialize, and each succeeding management struggled along with an ever-increasing burden of debt, until its affairs were taken in hand by the present management.

            Comrade Maley finally could stand it no longer, and stepped down and out., Joseph Hazard taking her place February 14, 1913.  Joe, as he was familiarly called, had big visions of the future greatness of “The Commonwealth,” but failed to take into consideration the indebtedness which continued to grow; and finally Joe got out from under, February 14, 1913, and went to work for the school book trust.

            H. A. Livermore, a ex-sky pilot, succeeded him as editor and held down the editorial chair until July 3, 1913, when on account of his inability to make the paper pay his salary regularly, he threw up the sponge and retired to the jungles to farm.

            Alf. Wagenknecht, ex-assistant secretary, stepped into the editorial shoes July 17, 1913, and made a big splurge for one month, succeeded in collecting his salary, and folded his tent and departed for pastures new and green.

            Jas. Salter again stepped into the breech and kept the press moving until relieved by Maynard Shipley, August 28, 1913.  Comrade Shipley, who was formerly editor of “The World” of Oakland, Cal., was in the city on a lecture course, and was roped in and brought to the office by the trustees, who knew a good thing when they saw it.  Comrade Shipley is pre-eminently a writer, his editorials are copied by the Socialist press all over the United States, often without giving him credit for them.  He has made many warm friends for the paper, and naturally some enemies.

A NOTABLE SUCCESS

            On January 1, 1914, Katherine H. Hodgins took over the business end of the office, and it is largely due to her efficient management that the paper is still in existence.  From the time she entered the office until March 30, when we were thrown into the receiver’s hands, we paid all current bills and had paid off about $100.00 of the indebtedness of our predecessors.  Everything looked encouraging, and indicated that we would eventually get out of debt, when like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky came the receiver, and took possession, capturing our advertising account of about $250.00 and the subscription income for the week.

THE NEW PAPER

            A meeting was held at which much enthusiasm and old time devotion to the paper prevailed, and it was decided to launch a new paper to be known as “The Washington Socialist.”

            The Everett Print Shop, at whose instance the receiver was appointed, found they had a white elephant on their hands, and soon made overtures to sell us the Commonwealth back again.  After considerable haggling, the right to the use of the name “The Commonwealth” and all the tangible property of the Commonwealth Publishing Co. was, by the order of the court, sold to F. G. Crosby, who had been authorized by the local Socialists to make the purchase, and who for a short time was the nominal owner, until it could be turned over to the Social party of Snohomish county, who are still the owners and exercise a guiding hand through a press committee.

            Only one issue of the paper was skipped, and after publishing one issue as “The Commonwealth,” in order to save our second class mailing privilege, we changed the name to “The Washington Socialist.”

            From what I can gather from old timers in the movement in Everett, employees of the print shop and others, there has been mismanagement in big gobs from the birth of the paper down to the time its affairs were placed in the hands of the present management.

THE REASON WHY

            It was largely a matter of making a big splurge on money they did not earn, thousands of copies were printed that were never paid for, galleys and galleys of linotype were thrown in the melting pot that never were used, the salary list was top heavy, not that the office force got it, but they were promised more than the paper could stand, took it when they could get it, and nearly every one quit with a bunch coming, at a conservative estimate the paper sunk $1,500.00 per year more than it legitimately earned, this in a measure was made up by the sale of stock, donations, lectures, debates, picnics, dances, etc., etc., leaving a deficit of about $2,000.00 which the court kindly wiped out in the bankruptcy proceedings. [xxix]

 


APPENDIX D 

Maynard Shipley, Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915

ALL YELLOW
Class Struggle Ignored

            A glance at the first page of the first issue of the Commonwealth reveals the fact that the “Reds” of Everett, in 1911, were not very well represented by Comrade Anderson, then editor.  The first issue, as may be seen, was glaringly Yellow.  It was not even somewhat Red.  There is nothing on the first page to intimate that it was intended to be a Socialist paper.  And it wasn’t.  It was “On the Side of the People—Always.”  It says so right under the misnomer “Commonwealth.”  Look at it, and see for yourself.  No, “The Commonwealth” was not an anticipatory name; no more so than was the motto thereunder, just quoted.

            To the editor of “The Commonwealth” of February 4, 1911, “The people” was a present reality, “to whom the common weal (was) the eternal gospel of the beneficent Creator of all.”  The paper was against “every individual who (was) an enemy of the common good.”  As far as it was able, it intended to ferret them out, expose and cry out at the top of its voice “all individuals who were guilty of “fraud, graft and injustice of every kind”—“call it muckraking or by any other name you please.”  You betcha.  That society was divided into two antagonistic classes, the wealth makers and the wealth takers, who could have no “common weal,” and who could not be bunched together into a homogeneous group called “the people,” of this very important fact comrade Anderson seemed to be as naively unconscious as is brother Johnny Campbell, late Bull Mooser.  Anderson wanted to be “as helpful as possible to the whole community,” althesame Morning Tribune.

            Nixie on the “class struggle.”  Such a drawing of class lines wouldn’t suit “the larger policy of the paper.”  No, not at all.

            The purpose and policy of the Washington Socialist is not so large.

            We do not aspire to “be as helpful as possible to the whole community,” and “thus give us the Everett that shall be the best and happiest city on the Coast.”  We’re not in the real estate business.  The Washington Socialist is published exclusively in the interest of the wage workers of the city, county, state and nation.  We’ll let the Tribune and Herald take in “The People—Always;” as long, at least, as “the People”—whoever they are—will stand for it.

            We wonder if brother Anderson is still fighting to serve “the People—Always.” [xxx]

 


APPENDIX E 

Maynard Shipley, Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915

BIRTHDAY OF HELL

            Six months from January 18th the world may celebrate the birthday of Hell!  Six months ago, August 28th, the Hell of the Twentieth Century was established on earth by professed followers of Jesus of Nazareth, whom the mankillers call the Christ, or the Messiah.  For six unspeakably horrible months the leading Christian (?) nations of Europe have been patriotically engaged in the thoroughly characteristic game of “civilization”—War!  Raising Hell!  “Christians” raising Hell, for PROFITS!

            All of the men who are responsible for the conditions which made this establishment of Hell on Earth inevitable are opposed to Socialism.  And why not!  Socialism is unqualifiedly in favor of Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward All Men.  And Peace and Profits cannot dwell together.  The one makes the other impossible.

            The world has had one continuous Hell of war, or preparation for war since the day one class began to reap profits from the sweat of a neighbor’s brow.  Socialism is opposed to both War and Profits.  So the Christians of the world—or the vast majority of them—are opposed to Socialism.  They say it’s against religion; that it breeds class hatred; that it will break up the home; that it wants men to “divide up.”

            So men uphold capitalism.  Men vote for capitalism.

            Men say they are against Socialism because of what they allege that Socialism will do to them.

            No one knows from experience what Socialism will do either to him or for him.  Socialism has never been tried anywhere on the earth.

            But capitalism has been tried.  We know from experience both what it has done for us and what it is doing to us.

            During the past six months capitalism has spent the unthinkable sum of $7,200,000,000 for the purpose of destroying its advocates.  Another $12,000,000,000 loss to the world has come from capitalism’s suppression or destruction of BUSINESS, the thing for which it is supposed to exist.

            Capitalism during the past six months has broken over three million homes!  It has destroyed numerous churches erected to the glory of capitalism’s religion.  It has so fostered “class hatred” that eleven Christian nations are patriotically engaged in a furious, horrible attempt to murder and destroy all that stands between them and Profits!  Trade!  Markets!  For the sacred rights of property and commerce capitalism has killed over half a million of its advocates; maimed, wounded, or reduced by disease over 2,160,000 of its misguided adherents; has made countless men not only “divide up” their property, but their very bodies—for PROFITS!  If the present reign of capitalist “law and order” continues as long as did the little misunderstanding between the good Christians north of Mason and Dixon’s line and those south of that historic boundary, the entire three million “patriots” now attempting to slaughter one another will have succeeded.

            Meanwhile, uncounted millions of men, women and children, widows and orphans, the civilized (!) world over, are jobless, penniless, homeless, food-less, or half-famished, cold and disconsolate.

            Such is capitalism’s 1915 offering!

            Is not the worst thing that has ever been alleged against Socialism by its most dishonest enemies, incomparably preferable to the best offering of capitalism in 1915? [xxxi]


Business Offices

From January 1911 until December 1912 the business office of Everett's socialist newspapers was located in the Commerce Building at the corner of Hewitt and Rockefeller Avenues. The building still stands. In January 1913, the office was moved to 1612 California Ave., into a building that was originally the Trinity Episcopal Church. While no good photographs of the 1612 California building exist, the Sanborn Map Company's 1914 insurance atlas identifies the building as "Socialist Hall.". The site was in recent times developed into a Bon Marche department store and currently houses the offices of Cogswell College.


Commerce Building


Photo by the author, 2002


Socialist Hall

1914 Insurance Maps of Everett, Washington, including Lowell

Insurance Maps of Everett, Washington, including Lowell.

Published by the Sanborn Map Company, 11 Broadway, New York. 1914.

(Author's notations in red)

Courtesy, The Everett Public Library

 


[ii] The Washington Socialist newspaper, Everett, Washington, issue of April 16, 1914, 4.

[iii] Washington Socialist, Feb. 4, 1915, 1.

[iv] The trustees were the leaders of the Central Committee of the Everett Socialist Party.

[v] Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915, 1.

[vi] Radical heritage: labor, socialism, and reform in Washington and British Columbia, 1885-1917, Carlos A. Schwantes, (Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1979), 210.
See also
Squabbling Socialists in Washington State: A Guide to Factions and Newspapers
1900-1917
, Gary Siebel (Labor Press Project, University of Washington, 2001).

[vii] Up-Hill All The Way, The Life of Maynard Shipley, Miriam Allen DeFord, (Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch Press, 1956), 149.

[viii] Radical heritage, 210.

[ix] Up-Hill All The Way, 149.

[x] 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.

[xi] The Commonwealth newspaper, Everett, Washington, January 19, 1912: Hale E. Dewey, Socialist Mayor of Edmonds.

[xii] History of Snohomish County, Vol. 1, William Whitfield, Supervising Editor, (Seattle: Pioneer Historical Publishing Co., 1926), 424.

[xiii] Washington Socialist, August 13, 1914, 1.

[xiv] Washington Socialist, June 11, 1914, 2.

[xv] History of Snohomish County, 424.

[xvi] Washington Socialist, August 20, 1914, 1.

[xvii] Washington Socialist, September 3, 1914, 1.

[xviii] Washington Socialist, October 15, 1914, 1.

[xix] Washington Socialist, December 31, 1914, 1.

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] How a fifth birthday could have been celebrated on their fourth anniversary is not explained.

[xxii] Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915, 1.

[xxiii] Ibid.

[xxiv] Ibid.

[xxv] Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915, 4. The Morning Tribune was one of Everett’s two daily newspapers.

[xxvi] Washington Socialist, April 22, 1914, 2.

[xxvii] Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915, 4.

[xxviii] Washington Socialist, July 2, 1914, 1&4.

[xxix] Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915, 1.

[xxx] Washington Socialist, February 4, 1915, 4.

[xxxi] Ibid.


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