Hellraisers Journal: Drumright Follows Tulsa: IWW Hall Raided, FWs Forced to Throw Bricks Thru Window

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


Hellraisers Journal, Saturday November 17, 1917
Drumright, Oklahoma – Takes Cue From Tulsa “Knights of Liberty”

From The Leavenworth Weekly Times of November 15, 1917:




Sheriff Issues Statement Urging Shooting on Sight of
Any I. W. W. Suspect Caught Molesting Property-
Plot to Aid I. W. W. Prisoners to Escape
Cook County Jail Frustrated-
Workers Call Convention in Omaha-
4,000 to 5,000 Members Will Be Present

WWIR, IWW Flog Tar Feather, Morn Tulsa Dly Wld, Nov 10, 1917

Tulsa, Okla. Nov. 10.-Taking their cue from the actions of the “Knights of Liberty” of Tulsa who last night flogged, tarred and feathered seventeen members of the I. W. W. and warned all others to flee, officers at Drumright today raided the I. W. W. headquarters there, arrested the secretary and at the point of the pistol forced the men found in the hall to throw bricks through the window on which the sign had been painted. Then all were ordered to “get out.”

Drumright recently was the center of a threatened I. W. W. uprising in the adjacent fields.

Sheriff Griff Graham of Washington county issued a statement today urging the shooting on sight of any I. W. W. suspect caught molesting property.

Several letters were received today by Tulsa newspapers asking if they could put the writers in touch with the “Knights of Liberty” saying they would like to organize other bodies of the same order. No one here can be found who will admit knowing anything of the inside workings of the order.

Jail Delivery Foiled.

WWIR, IWW, Andreytchine Red Sweetheart, Chg Tb Nov 11, 1917

Chicago, Nov. 10.-What is believed to have been a plot to aid I. W. W. prisoners to escape while they were being transferred from the Cook county jail to other jails near Chicago, was frustrated today by Deputy United States Marshall Richard Hart, who arrested a man said to be J. E. [J. C.] Russell and a 15-year-old girl.

The man was seized after he was seen slipping a note to a jail guard with instructions to deliver it to one of the I. W. W. prisoners about to be transfered.

The note read:

“What action should we take on the outside? Give the answer to the girl in red.”

Deputy Marshal Hart hurried outside and found a 16-year-old girl near the jail entrance. She wore a red dress and he placed her under arrest.

Federal officials believe that a break for freedom was planned by the I. W. W. prisoners while they were being transferred.

Call Big Convention.

Omaha Nov. 10.-A general convention of the Industrial Workers of the World has been called to meet in Omaha, Monday and Tuesday, November 12 and 13, according to circulars distributed here. Local leaders of the I. W. W. claim that between 4,000 and 5,000 members of the organization will be in Omaha at that time. The name given in the circular is Construction Workers’ Industrial Union, but is said to be one of the titles of the I. W. W. organizations.


[Photographs added.]


The Leavenworth Weekly Times
(Leavenworth, Kansas)
-Nov 15, 1917

WWIR, IWW Flog Tar Feather, Morn Tulsa Dly Wld, Nov 10, 1917
WWIR, IWW, Andreytchine Red Sweetheart, Chg Tb Nov 11, 1917

See also:

Hellraisers Journal, Monday November 12, 1917
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Fellow Workers Face Night of Terror
Night of Terror in Tulsa: IWWs Taken From Jail, Whipped & Tarred by “Knights of Liberty”

Hellraisers Journal, Tuesday November 13, 1917
Cook County Jail, Illinois – “Girl in Red” Detained
“Red Sweetheart” Taken into Custody While Visiting With FW Andreytchine at Cook County Jail

Note above: The story of the so-called “jail delivery plot” was sensationalized on the front page of the Chicago Tribune of November 11th, and, in the following days, was reported in papers across the nation (per search at Newspapers dot com: “I. W. W.” + “jail delivery” + Nov 1917).

Page 4 of the Nov 13th edition of the Chicago Tribune reported that Russell and “the girl in red” were questioned and released. Genevieve Semashko, “the girl in red,” had been delivering love notes to FW George Andreytchine, and Russell had been delivering food to the IWWs locked up in the Cook County Jail. (Scroll down at link above.) I could find no evidence that papers across the nation updated their reporting to report that Miss Semashko and Russell had been questioned and released, and that there had never been any such “jail delivery plot.”

Note below: The Cook County Jail class war prisoners mocked the “Jail Delivery Plot” in The Can Opener of November 15th:

Hellraisers Journal, Friday November 16, 1917
Cook County Jail, Illinois – Class War Prisoners Publish Newspaper
From the Cook County Can: The Can Opener Reports Jail Delivery Plot Nipped in the Bud


All Hell Can’t Stop Us – Twin Cities Labor Chorus
Lyrics by Ralph Chaplin