A thousand times rather would I be
one of those men in Ada county jail
than Theodore Roosevelt in
the White House at Washington.
-Eugene Victor Debs
Hellraisers Journal, Saturday August 10, 1907
From the Montana News: Debs Reflects on Haywood Verdict
Readers of Hellraisers will remember the controversy begun by Roosevelt when it was revealed, last April, that the President had declared Haywood, Moyer, Pettibone and Debs to be “Undesirable Citizens.”
In the Appeal to Reason of May 18th, Comrade Debs confronted Roosevelt:
Were a mob of workingmen to seize Theodore Roosevelt and chain him to a post on a public street in Washington in broad daylight, as a mob of his capitalist friends seized and chained a workingman [Henry Maki] in Colorado, or throw him into a foul bullpen, without cause or provocation, prod him with bayonets and outrage his defenseless family while he was a prisoner, as was done in scores of well-authenticated cases in both Colorado and Idaho, would he then be in the mood to listen complacently to hypocritical homilies upon the “temperate” use of language, the sanctity of “law and order” and the beauty of “exact justice to all”?
And if he heard of some man who had sufficient decency to denounce the outrages he and his family had suffered, would he then “conceive it to be his duty,” as he tells us, to condemn the language of such a man as “treasonable and murderous” and the man himself as “inciting bloodshed,” and therefore an “undesirable citizen”?
If fighting for the rights of working people makes one an undesirable citizen, then let us hope that millions more would be proud and happy to be classed with the likes of Comrades Haywood and Debs.
In this weeks edition of the Montana News, Eugene Debs suggests that President Roosevelt should tender an apology to the man he declared guilty in advance of the trial. Comrade Debs declares the acquittal of Big Bill Haywood to be a great victory for the American labor movement and a rebuke to the prosecution and to their masters, the Mine Owners’ Association, whose interest the prosecution endeavored to serve. Comrade Debs expresses his great respect for Comrade Haywood and proposes that Haywood should be nominated as the Socialist Party’s candidate for president.