Hellraisers Journal: Eugene Debs Recalls the Martyred Miners of Pennsylvania for “Jail and Gallows Edition” of Appeal to Reason

EVD Quote re June 21 1877 PN Martyrs, AtR 11-23-1907


Hellraisers Journal, Tuesday November 26, 1907
Eugene Debs on Pennsylvania’s “Day of the Rope”

From the Appeal to Reason of November 23, 1907:

“Looking Backward.”


Molly Maguires marching to their death, Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper, July 7, 1877.
The Day of the Rope, Black Thursday, June 21, 1877.

Before me lies a copy of the Philadelphia Evening Herald, bearing date of June 21, 1877. On that day the “Mollie Maguires” were executed, six of them-Boyle, McGeghan, Munley, Roarity, Carroll and Duffy-at Pottsville; four of them-Campbell, Doyle, Kelly and Donahue-at Mauch Chunk, and one-Lanahan-at Wilkesbarre. They all protested their innocence and all died game. Not one of them betrayed the slightest evidence of fear or weakening. The issue of the Herald referred to contains a full account of the executions, with portraits of the hapless victims.

Not long ago in the jail at Pottsville I stood on the spot where the six “Mollies” met their doom, and I uncovered in memory of their martyrdom.

Not one of them was a murderer at heart. All were ignorant, rough and uncouth, born of poverty and buffeted by the merciless tides of fate and chance.

To resist the wrongs of which they and their fellow-workers were the victims and to protect themselves against the brutality of their bosses, according to their own crude notions, was the prime object of the organization of the “Mollie Maguires.” Nothing could have been farther from their intention than murder or crime. It is true that their methods were drastic, but it must be remembered that their lot was hard and brutalizing; that they were the neglected children of poverty, the products of a wretched environment.

At the scenes of the execution the tragedy is today, thirty years later, still spoken of in whispers. A vague dread of reviving the fearful past seems to silence the tongue of the resident when the subject is introduced. But bit by bit the truth has slowly and painfully filtered through the dungeon doors of false history, and the world is beginning to understand the true inwardness of the “Mollie Maguire” organization and its real relation to the labor movement.

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Hellraisers Journal: Eugene Debs on John Brown, “the bravest man and most self-sacrificing soul in American history.”

John Brown by EVD, AtR, Nov 23, 1907


Hellraisers Journal, Monday November 25, 1907
Eugene Debs on John Brown: “He resolved to lay his life on Freedom’s alter.”

From the Appeal to Reason of November 23, 1907:



John Brown, ab 1846, by A Washington, wiki

The most picturesque character, the bravest man and most self-sacrificing soul in American history, was hanged at Charleston, Va., December 2, 1859.

On that day Thoreau said: “Some eighteen hundred years ago Christ was crucified. This morning, perchance, Captain Brown was hung. These are the two ends of a chain which is not without its links. He is not ‘Old Brown’ any longer; he is an Angel of Light… I foresee the time when the painter will paint that scene, no longer going to Rome for a subject; the poet will sing it, the historian record it, and with the landing of the Pilgrims and the Declaration of Independence it will be the ornament of some future national gallery, when at least the present form of slavery shall be no more here. We shall then be at liberty to weep for Captain Brown.”

Few people dared on that fateful day to breathe a sympathetic word for the grizzled old agitator. For years he had carried on his warfare against chattel slavery. He had only a handful of fanatical followers to support him. But to his mind his duty was clear, and that was enough. He would fight it out to the end, and if need be alone.

Old John Brown set an example of moral courage and of single-hearted devotion to an ideal for all men and for all ages.

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Hellraisers Journal: Eugene Debs on Mother Jones: “wherever the battle waxes hottest there she surely will be found upon the firing line.”

EVD Quote re Mother Jones, AtR, Nov 23, 1907


Hellraisers Journal, Sunday November 24, 1907
Eugene V. Debs on “The Grand Old Woman of the Revolutionary Movement”

From the Appeal to Reason of November 23, 1907:



Mother Jones, Fort Worth Telegram, Apr 26, 1907

“The ‘Grand Old Woman’ of the revolutionary movement” is the appropriate title given to Mother Jones by Walter Hurt. All who know her—and they are legion—will at once recognize the fitness of the title.

The career of this unique old agitator reads like romance. There is no other that can be compared to it. For fifteen years she has been at the forefront, and never once has she been known to flinch.

From the time of the Pullman strike in 1894, when she first came into prominence, she has been steadily in the public eye. With no desire to wear “distinction’s worthless badge,” utterly forgetful of self and scorning all selfish ambitions, this brave woman has fought the battles of the oppressed with a heroism more exalted than ever sustained a soldier upon the field of carnage.

Mother Jones is not one of the “summer soldiers” or “sunshine patriots.” Her pulses burn with true patriotic fervor, and wherever the battle waxes hottest there she surely will be found upon the firing line.

For many weary months at a time she has lived amid the most desolate regions of West Virginia, organizing the half-starved miners, making her home in their wretched cabins, sharing her meagre substance with their families, nursing the sick and cheering the disconsolate—a true minister of mercy.

During the great strike in the anthracite coal district she marched at the head of the miners; was first to meet the sheriff and the soldiers, and last to leave the field of battle.

Again and again has this dauntless soul been driven out of some community by corporation hirelings, enjoined by courts, locked up in jail, prodded by the bayonets of soldiers, and threatened with assassination. But never once in all her self-surrendering life has she shown the white feather; never once given a single sign of weakness or discouragement. In the Colorado strikes Mother Jones was feared, as was no other, by the criminal corporations; feared by them as she was loved by the sturdy miners she led again and again in the face of overwhelming odds until, like Henry of Navarre, where her snow-white crown was seen, the despairing slaves took fresh courage and fought again with all their waning strength against the embattled foe.

Deported at the point of bayonets, she bore herself so true a warrior that she won even the admiration of the soldiers, whose order it was to escort her to the boundary lines and guard against her return.

No other soldier in the revolutionary cause has a better right to recognition in this edition than has “Mother” Jones.

Her very name expresses the Spirit of the Revolution.

Her striking personality embodies all its principles.

She has won her way into the hearts of the nation’s toilers, and her name is revealed at the altars of their humble firesides and will be lovingly remembered by their children and their children’s children forever.

[Photograph added.]

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Hellraisers Journal: Suffragist Picket Now in Prison & Susan B. Anthony Remembered by Eugene Debs

EVD Quote, Susan B Anthony, Pearson's Mag, July 1917


Hellraisers Journal, Thursday October 25, 1917
Occoquan Workhouse, Virginia – Photograph of Abby Scott Baker

From Indiana’s Richmond Palladium of October 22, 1917:

Suffragists, Abby Scott Baker, Prison, Rmd IN Pldm, Oct 22, 1917

Here are shown two photographs of Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, one of the most prominent women members of army set in Washington, recently arrested with other militant suffragists outside the White House and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in the workhouse at Occoquan.

The first photograph depicts her in evening dress, and the second shows her in the coarse uniform given her after she had begun serving her sentence. This uniform consists of underwear made of ticking, thick cotton socks, man’s size shoes with the soles worn through, and a blue gingham apron held at the waist with a string that also served as a corset. In the pocket of the apron she carried a comb and tooth brush, given her by the officials of the workhouse.



While the suffragists picketing the White House in Washington D. C. are being dragged off to jail, we offer this remembrance of Susan B. Anthony, whose long and unrelenting struggle for full citizenship these brave women carry on. The fond memorial tribute to Miss Anthony is gleaned from an article by Eugene V. Debs which appeared in the July 1917 edition of Pearson’s Magazine. (We urge our readers to seek out the entire article):

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Hellraisers Journal: Debs Reflects on Haywood Verdict: Thinks Roosevelt Should Tender an Apology

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:

Henry Maki WFM Telluride, Chained to Pole Mar 2, 1907

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”?

[Photograph added.]

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.

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Hellraisers Journal: Eugene V Debs & Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Denied Right to Speak in the State of Minnesota

EGF Quote, I fell in love with my country, RG 96


Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday July 4, 1917
St. Peter & Duluth, Minnesota – Freedom of Speech Denied

From the New Ulm Review of July 4, 1917:


Eugene Debs, ISR, Sept 1916

St. Peter’s Chautauqua opened Sunday, July 1, and will continue until next Sunday, July 8. An excellent program has been arranged and is being carried out, with a large attendance. Eugene V. Debs, who had been secured to deliver one of the lectures, has been forbidden by the Minnesota Safety commission to deliver a public lecture in this state. The St. Peter committee was notified to that effect late last week. Mr. Debs was to have delivered the Fourth of July address on the Chautauqua program. St. Peter people, who had anticipated hearing a patriotic address by Mr. Debs feel that the Safety commission has convicted him without a trial.

The commission offered to send C. W. Ames, a member of that body to take the place of Debs on the program, but the offer was declined without even thanks. In fact the offer was considered, according to the St. Peter papers, somewhat presumptuous on the part of the commission.


[Photograph added.]

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn and the City of Duluth:

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Hellraisers Journal: Summary of Moyer-Haywood Case From Current Literature: Socialist Press & “Undesirable Citizens”

If they hang Moyer and Haywood,
they’ve got to hang me.
-Eugene Victor Debs


Hellraisers Journal, Saturday June 8, 1907
Current Literature on Moyer-Haywood Case, Part II

HMP, Gooding Steunenberg, Current Lit June 1907


THE murder of ex-Governor Steunenberg, as viewed by the state authorities of Idaho and by most of the daily papers of the country, came as a sequel to a long series of labor troubles between the miners and the mine-owners of the Coeur d’Alene district in Idaho. This district, twenty-five miles in length and one to five miles wide, contains rich mines of lead. Trouble began in 1892 and continued for seven years, off and on, with all the usual violent accompaniments of a war between labor and capital in a region where the forces of government are none too strong and the leaders on either side none too scrupulous. There were pitched battles between the union men and the non-union men. Dynamite was used to wreck mills, men were assassinated, and on May 8, 1897, the feeling had become so intense that President Boyce, of the Western Federation, advised every local union to organize a rifle corps, “so that in two years we can hear the inspiring music of the martial tread of twenty-five thousand armed men in the ranks of labor.” The trouble reached a climax in April, 1899, when the $250,000 mill of the Bunker Hill Company was destroyed by the miners with dynamite.

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Hellraisers Journal: Summary of Moyer-Haywood-Pettibone Case From Current Literature: Kidnapping and Supreme Court

If they hang Moyer and Haywood,
they’ve got to hang me.
-Eugene Victor Debs


Hellraisers Journal, Friday June 7, 1907
Current Literature on Moyer-Haywood-Pettibone Case, Part I

HMP, re Undesirable Citizen, June 1907

HMP, NYC Moyer Haywood Protest, Current Lit, June 1907


WHAT Mr. Debs, once a Socialist candidate for President, calls “the greatest legal battle in American history,” is now in progress in Boise City, Idaho. Fifty special correspondents of newspapers and magazines from all parts of the country hastened last month to the little city to report the case, and the telegraph company installed ten additional circuits to handle the press of business. Boise City itself is not excited. It has not furnished any of the defendants, nor any of the lawyers, nor the victim whose murder is the cause of all this excitement. All it furnishes is the jury to try the case. But the country at large is furnishing the excitement. The President of the United States has been involved in a heated controversy over the character of the defendants. The United States Supreme Court has rendered a decision which is likened by Socialist orators to the Dred Scott decision of half a century ago. Thousands of men have been parading the streets of many cities—50,000 in New York alone according to The Herald’s estimate—waving red flags, singing the Marsellaise, denouncing the Supreme Court and assailing the President in terms of bitter reproach. And a collection of $250,000, according to some estimates, has been gathered from the members of labor unions to insure for the defendants in this trial an adequate defense.

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Hellraisers Journal: Eugene Debs Will Not Be Going to Boise at Request of Haywood’s Defense Attorneys

The worm turns at last, and so does the worker.
Let them dare to execute their devilish plot
and every state in this Union will resound
with the tramp of revolution
-Eugene Victor Debs


Hellraisers Journal, Tuesday June 4, 1907
Boise, Idaho – Eugene Debs Will Not Attend Haywood Trial

From the South Dakota Lead Daily Call of June 1, 1907:


Haywood’s Attorneys Request Debs,
the Famous Socialistic Labor Leader,
Not to Attend the Trial Now on at Boise


HMP, EVD, Eugene OR Guard, May 30, 1907

BOISE, Idaho, June 1.-Eugene V. Debs, the leading apostle of socialism in the country, has been requested by Attorneys Richardson and Darrow to stay away from Boise during the progress of the Haywood trial. Debs has replied to the letter of Haywood’s counsel announcing his acquiescence in their desire.

The correspondence was perfectly friendly, Debs accepting the reasons advanced by Richardson and Darrow as sufficient.

The socialist problem is a serious and difficult one for the defense attorneys. A dozen representatives of as many socialistic publications are attending the trial and each is at odds with the other….


The request to Debs was made because of a statement published over his signature a year ago in which he declared for an armed demonstration if the Colorado men were executed…

[Photograph added.]

From the June 3rd Evening Star of Independence, Kansas:

Debs Treats Ladies to Ice Cream


Girard correspondence in the Pittsburg Headlight [Pittsburg, Kansas]: Eugene V. Debs, who is living in Girard for the present, treated the ladies who are employed at the Appeal to reason office very liberally to ice cream, cake and candy at Decker’s Candy Kitchen, after office hours last Friday afternoon.

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Hellraisers Journal: Eugene Debs for the Appeal to Reason: “Roosevelt’s Labor Letters”

If Moyer and Haywood die!
If Moyer and Haywood die!
Twenty million working men
Will know the reason why!
-Protest Chant


Hellraisers Journal, Sunday May 19, 1907
From the Appeal to Reason: Debs Questions President Roosevelt

Roosevelt’s Labor Letters

Eugene V. Debs

Kidnappers Special by BBH, detail, AtR, May 19, 1906

The letter of President Roosevelt to the Moyer and Haywood conference of New York is in strange contrast with the one previously addressed by him to the Chicago conference on the same subject. The two letters are so entirely dissimilar in spirit and temper that they seem to have been written by different persons. In the first the President bristles with defiance, in the last he is the pink of politeness. The first letter utterly failed of its purpose. Organized labor did not lie down and be still at the command of the President. On the contrary, it growled more fiercely than before in fact, showed its teeth to the President, who has become so used to exhibiting his own. And lo-what a change! The President receives a labor committee, talks over matters for an hour and then addresses a letter to the conference through the chairman, beginning “My Dear Mr. Henry,” explaining that he is ready to perform his duty if only the conference will point it out to him, and putting the whole blame on “Debs and the Socialists,” whom he charges with using “treasonable and murderous language,” but not a word of explanation does he vouchsafe in regard to his denunciation of Moyer and Haywood, the real, and in fact the only, point at issue.

Again has the President vindicated his reputation as one of the smoothest of politicians and one of the most artful and designing of demagogues.

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