Hellraisers Journal: George Pettibone Found “Not Guilty” & Case Against WFM President, Charles Moyer, Discharged


There are no limits to which
powers of privilege will not go
to keep the workers in slavery.
-Mother Jones
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Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday January 8, 1908
Boise, Idaho – George Pettibone Finally Freed from Behind Bars

After almost two years of confinement George Pettibone is finally a free man. He was found “not guilty” of the murder of ex-Governor Steunenberg on Saturday, January 4th. Following the acquittal of Pettibone, the case against Charles Moyer was dismissed. The rejoicing over this welcomed news, however, is muted by the realization that Mr. Pettibone leaves his prison cell seriously ill and may not live long enough to enjoy his newfound freedom.

From the Globe Daily Arizona Silver Belt of January 5, 1908:

HMP, Pt Acquitted My Discharged, Dly AZ Slv, Jan 8, 1908

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HMP, Pettibone day of acquittal, crpd, Colliers Jan 25, 1908

BOISE, Idaho, January 4.-The end of the prosecution of the men charged with the murder of ex-Governor Frank Steunenberg, except the cases of Harry Orchard and Jack Simpkins, came today with the acquittal of George A. Pettibone.

Charles H. Moyer, president of the Western Federation, was formally released this afternoon and will return with Pettibone in a few days to Denver.

The case of Orchard is in the hands of Prosecuting Attorney Van Duyin of Canyon county. No statement of further procedure in the case has been made, but it will be called during the next session of the court at Caldwell, when it will probably be finally disposed of.

Simpkins, a member of the executive board of the Western Federation, who is charged with complicity in the crime, is a fugitive from justice and the charge against him will stand.

When the Moyer case was called this afternoon, James H. Hawley, representing Van Duyin, signified his desire to have the order of dismissal entered. At the request of the state, the case against Dr. Magee and C. W. Aller, charged with perjury, by reason of testimony given by them in the Haywood case, was also dismissed.

Although the Pettibone jurors agreed that their deliberations would be kept secret, the first ballot stood eight to four, the majority for acquittal, the second nine to three and the third ten to two. It remained thus all through the night, but the two holding out for conviction were finally won over.

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COMPLETE VINDICATION, SAYS SECY. HAYWOOD
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HMP, Pettibone Jury, Colliers Jan 25, 1908

DENVER, Colo., January 4.-William D. Haywood, secretary of the Western Federation of Miners, arrived in Denver tonight from the northwest. When shown the Associated Press dispatch telling of the acquittal of George A. Pettibone at Boise, he said:

I feel like I had been acquitted again. This is a more complete vindication than that of the previous trial. There was no evidence introduced and no argument was made by the defense. The prosecution was cognizant of everything we had and it had months to strengthen its case.

It affirms what has always been contended by the federation, that there was a conspiracy afoot engaged in by the mine owners to convict us, and thereby weaken organized labor.

I am equally jubilant at Pettibone’s acquittal as at my own; notwithstanding the reiterated statement of Gooding, it is now safe to presume that we will all leave Idaho alive.

Haywood said that Pettibone would probably go to the coast for his health. The action of the state in dismissing the case against Moyer he said was just what he expected.

[Photographs added.]

From The San Francisco Call of January 5, 1908:

DARROW IS PLEASED
—–
Wires Congratulations to
Pettibone in Boise

HMP, Clarence Darrow, CdA Prs, July 25, 1907

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4.-Clarence S. Darrow, the Chicago attorney who directed the defense of Haywood and Pettibone, sitting today in a rocking chair beside his bed at the California hospital and wrapped in bedclothes and bandages, received the verdict of the jury in the Pettibone case with the greatest pleasure.

Darrow sent the following message to George A. Pettibone:

Congratulations; come here. I have flowers enough for two funerals.

Commenting on the result Darrow said:

There was never anything to these cases but Orchard. He related a weird, fantastic and exciting story, but there was no corroboration. It was not safe to take the life of any man on such testimony.

Darrow said that the had had nothing to do with the direction of the Pettibone case after he was taken sick. He spoke of the disadvantage under which the defense labored, with both himself and Wilson ill.

[Photograph added.]

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SOURCES

Daily Arizona Silver Belt
(Globe, Arizona)
-Jan 5, 1908
https://www.newspapers.com/image/39796860/

The San Francisco Call
(San Francisco, California)
-Jan 5, 1908
(& see also from this issue:
-“Pettibone Not Guilty; Moyer Too Is Freed”)
https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1908-01-05/ed-1/seq-25/

IMAGES
HMP, Pettibone day of acquittal, Colliers Jan 25, 1908
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=yV8wAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PA148-IA40
HMP, Pettibone Jury, Colliers Jan 25, 1908
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=yV8wAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&pg=GBS.PA148-IA39
HMP, Clarence Darrow, CdA Prs, July 25, 1907
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88056096/1907-07-25/ed-1/seq-1/

See also:

For more on the Pettibone Trial:
The Cripple Creek Strike:
a History of Industrial Wars Colorado

By Emma Florence Langdon
(Note: this would be the 1908 edition
since it is pub’d with Appendix.)
CO, 1908
http://www.rebelgraphics.org/wfmhall/langdon00.html
Pettibone Trial
http://www.rebelgraphics.org/wfmhall/langdon35.html#thepettibonetrial

For more on illnesses of Darrow and Pettibone:
The Story of My Life
-by Clarence Darrow
(search: pettibone)
Lulu.com, Jul 28, 2015
https://books.google.com/books?id=rxosCgAAQBAJ

“George A. Pettibone”
From The Miners’ Magazine of November 1901
http://moses.law.umn.edu/darrow/documents/George_Pettibone_Miner_s_Magazine_1900.pdf

Tag: George Pettibone
http://www.weneverforget.org/tag/george-pettibone/

George Pettibone ab 1901, Miners Mag Nov 1901
http://moses.law.umn.edu/darrow/photo.php?pid=777

George Pettibone ab 1901, Miners Mag Nov 1901

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