Hellraisers Journal: Ashes of Joe Hill Taken into Custody by Federal Authorities at Omaha, Nebraska

My body? Oh, if I could choose,
I would to ashes it reduce
And let the merry breezes blow
My dust to where some flowers grow.
Perhaps some faded flower then
Would come to life and bloom again.
-Joe Hill

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Hellraisers Journal, Monday November 19, 1917
Omaha, Nebraska – Joe Hill’s Ashes Seized in Raid

Joe Hill, ashes envelope front

From the Lincoln Journal Star of November 16, 1917, we find that, in the raid upon the I. W. W. hall in Omaha conducted by federal officials on Tuesday in which 64 men and one woman were arrested, Fellow Worker Joe Hill, now dead, was also taken into custody. The article describes his arrest, or rather, the arrest of a portion of his remains:

Among the things taken from the headquarters is a framed picture of Joe Hill, one of the “I. W. W. martyrs,” who was executed in Utah a few years ago. Inclosed behind the glass is a small envelope containing a few grains of ashes of his body, which was cremated.

How long federal authorities plan to hold on to the ashes of Joe Hill is unknown at this time.

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Hellraisers Journal: Frank Little & “Agitators” of Butte “Against Everything” Proclaims Company Newspaper

Don’t worry, Fellow Worker,
all we’re going to need
from now on is guts.
-Frank Little

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Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday July 25, 1917
Butte, Montana – “Agitators” Support Striking Miners

Metal Miners, Butte MT, Mining Artifacts, date unknown

The Anaconda Standard, voice of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, declared recently that the “agitators” of Butte are “against everything.”

Yet the striking miners have made it quite clear exactly what they stand against-i.e., the blacklist (Rustling Card system), long hours, low wages, and unsafe working conditions such as led to the deaths of 168 copper miners in the Speculator Mine Fire Disaster just a few short weeks ago.

From the Anaconda Standard of July 23, 1917:

AGITATORS TALKING AGAINST EVERYTHING
—–

A mass meeting for miners of the Butte district, held last evening at the ball park, was attended by about 2,000 men. All the speakers urged the miners to stay out and said the modifications of the rustling card and the weekly pay day announced by the Anaconda Copper Mining company on Saturday should be disregarded.

Joe Shannon made a fiery speech in which he urged every miner to start picket duty today, and he remarked that the Campbell union [Butte Metal Mine Workers Union] had the “number of every miner now working.”

R. L. Dunn, strike leader of the electricians, who had pledged the miners the electricians would not go back to work until the miners were underground, said the papers had called him an I. W. W. and he would admit it.

[Said Dunn:]

This strike is an expression against the form of society which allows a few to control the wealth of the nation and a protest against the system of society which keeps workingmen from enjoying the comforts and good things of life.

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Hellraisers Journal: Report Received From San Jose, California, Regarding Release of Joe Hill’s Ashes

Then we’ll sing one song of the One Big Union Grand,
The hope of the toiler and slave,
It’s coming fast; it is sweeping sea and land,
To the terror of the grafter and the knave.
-Joe Hill

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Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday March 7, 1917
San Jose, California – “Then Let the Merry Breezes Blow…”

From the March Edition of the International Socialist Review:

Joe Hill Ashes, Envelope, November 1916

Joe Hill — Memorial services in honor of Joe Hill, the I. W. W. poet who was murdered by the authorities of Salt Lake City last year, were held in San Jose, California, at South Park, January 14. Services opened by the singing of the Marseillaise by the I. W. W. local. Comrade Cora P. Wilson of the Socialist Party delivered the oration. Services were continued at Inspiration Point, Alum Rock Park. Joe Hill’s last poem was read and as the comrades sang the “Red Flag,” Rita Wilson, 9 years old, let loose three balloons containing the ashes of Joe Hill, which the four winds wafted over the beautiful Santa Clara Valley.

[Photograph added.]

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Hellraisers Journal: Joe Hill’s Ashes Handed Out to Delegates of IWW Convention; Four Packets Cast Upon Lake Michigan

Then we’ll sing one song of the One Big Union Grand,
The hope of the toiler and slave,
It’s coming fast; it is sweeping sea and land,
To the terror of the grafter and the knave.
-Joe Hill

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Hellraisers Journal, Friday December 1, 1916
All Over the World – Fellow Worker Joe Hill Gets Grand Send-Off

Joe Hill Memorial Edition, LRSB, March 1916

The body of Fellow Worker Joe Hill will find its final resting place all over the world as the delegates to the Convention of the Industrial Worker of the World leave Chicago today with some 600 packets of the the martyr’s ashes in their pockets. Envelopes of parchment containing the ashes of Joe Hill were handed out to the delegates at a memorial meeting held Sunday November 19th on the first anniversary of the murder by the State of Utah of our rebel songwriter. Four of those packets were cast upon the waters of Lake Michigan on November 25th in a ceremony which included Big Bill Haywood and members of the local Marine-Transport Workers I. U.

From The Chicago Daily Tribune of November 20, 1916:

I. W. W. DELEGATES GIVEN HILL’S ASHES
TO SCATTER.
—–

Parchment Packages Distributed at Massmeeting
to Keep Green the Memory of
an Executed Member.
—–

Joe Hill, ashes envelope front

That Joe Hill’s name shall not die, delegates to the tenth convention of the I. W. W., the Industrial Workers of the World, were given parchment packets yesterday containing Hill’s ashes, with instructions to scatter them where they wished. In all there are 600 packets. At the memorial meeting in West Side auditorium yesterday 150 delegates in the audience of 1,500 were presented with envelopes.

Joe Hill was shot in the Utah state penitentiary a year ago yesterday for the murder of a groceryman for which he was convicted on circumstantial evidence. President Wilson twice interceded for him and his last telegram to Gov. Spry asked an entire reconsideration of the case. Yesterday speakers called Hill a martyr.

Among the foreign delegates who were given packets were Charles Carter, Philippine islands; K. Taro, Japan; J. R. Webster, Australia, and A. B. Prashner, England.

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Continue reading “Hellraisers Journal: Joe Hill’s Ashes Handed Out to Delegates of IWW Convention; Four Packets Cast Upon Lake Michigan”

WE NEVER FORGET: Songs to Honor and Remember Fellow Worker and Rebel Songwriter Joe Hill

Songs for Joe Hill

Joe Hill’s Great-Grand Niece, Lovisa Samuelsson performs a song she wrote for Joe Hill at the Joe Hill Centennial Celebration in Salt Lake, Utah. She is joined on stage by her mother, Pia Samuelsson, and her uncle, Rolf Hägglund. They are descendants of Joe Hill’s brother Efraim Hägglund. She is playing on the guitar of Utah Phillips which contains some of Joe Hill’s ashes.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Songs to Honor and Remember Fellow Worker and Rebel Songwriter Joe Hill”

WE NEVER FORGET: The Love Songs of Joe Hill

Organize! Oh, toilers, come organize your might;
Then we’ll sing one song of the workers’ commonwealth,
Full of beauty, full of love and health.
-Joe Hill

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Hilda Erickson
Hilda Erickson

There are three love songs written by Joe Hill that have survived to make their way into our Rebel Songwriter’s musical legacy. Two were found in his room when it was searched soon after his arrest in January of 1914. These two songs were subsequently published in The Salt Lake Tribune of June 21, 1914. The third was found years later in Stockholm, Sweden, during a search of the Joe Hill file of the Archives of the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: The Love Songs of Joe Hill”

WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Four

Organize! Oh, toilers, come organize your might;
Then we’ll sing one song of the workers’ commonwealth,
Full of beauty, full of love and health.
-Joe Hill
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Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at San Pedro Sailors Mission
Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at Sailors’ Rest Mission in San Pedro, April 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. For the fourth day, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, features FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy. We are presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 4 of this series.

The Songs & Poems of Joe Hill,
Published in the Little Red Songbooks of 1914 & 1916

The Eighth Edition of the Little Red Songbook, published in Cleveland and dated December, 1914, was dedicated as the “Joe Hill Edition.” There were no new Joe Hill song’s in that edition, but there was a poem headed by a drawing of a wooden shoe entitled “The Rebel’s Toast.” The poem appears under the song “Liberty Forever,” but Green believes that the two are not related and states that there is no evidence to indicate that Joe Hill intended for the poem to be sung.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Four”

WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Three

Organize! Oh, toilers, come organize your might;
Then we’ll sing one song of the workers’ commonwealth,
Full of beauty, full of love and health.
-Joe Hill
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Joe Hill, cartoon, And stay off! See! Sept 1911
Cartoon drawing by Joe Hill, September 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. For the second day, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, features FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy. We are presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 3 of this series.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Three”

WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Two

Organize! Oh, toilers, come organize your might;
Then we’ll sing one song of the workers’ commonwealth,
Full of beauty, full of love and health.
-Joe Hill

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Joe Hill, cartoon, And stay off! See! Sept 1911
Cartoon drawing by Joe Hill, September 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. For the second day, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, features FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy. We are presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 2 of this series.

 

The Songs of Joe Hill, Published in the Little Red Songbook of 1913

The Industrial Worker of March 6, 1913 announced that the new edition of the Little Red Songbook would include eleven new songs. On the front cover, that issue of the songbook was designated as the Fifth Edition. Nine of the eleven new songs were by Joe Hill, and included: Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part Two”

WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part One


Then we’ll sing one song of the One Big Union Grand,
The hope of the toiler and slave,
It’s coming fast; it is sweeping sea and land,
To the terror of the grafter and the knave.
-Joe Hill
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Songs of Joe Hill from the Little Red Songbook, Part 1.
—–

Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at San Pedro Sailors Mission
Joe Hill, Self-Portrait at Sailors’ Rest Mission in San Pedro, April 1911

Fellow Workers, sit back and relax. It’s time to honor the memory of Joe Hill by enjoying the songs that he left to us. Over the next few days, WE NEVER FORGET, The Labor Martyrs Project, will feature FW Hill’s musical and lyrical legacy by presenting his songs in the order in which they were first published in the Little Red Songbooks of the Industrial Workers of the World. Today we offer Part 1 of this series.

Continue reading “WE NEVER FORGET: Joe Hill-Songs from the Little Red Songbook, Part One”