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Letter from William Haywood to Arthur Le Seuer concerning a protest against the war and conscription. The letter was originally used in the trial of the United States vs. William D. Haywood, et al. This exhibit was part of the deposition of John W. Hughes for the Michael Simmons vs. the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Company.

UA Special Collections AZ 114 box 1, folder 1, exhibit 40


June 13, 1917.

Arthur Le Seuer,
Peoples College,
Ft. Scott, Kansas.

Dear Le Seuer;-

            On June 5th between forty and fifty members of the I.W.W. with Socialists, numbering in all 135 refused to register at Rockford, Illinois.

            These men marched in a body to the jail and gave themselves up to the sheriff saying they declined to register and had come to go to jail for the offense.

            They were locked up. Later I understand a number were badly beaten by deputy sheriffs and jail guards.

            I learned this morning from a Scandinavian Socialist here in Chicago that the cases are coming up on June the 19th. The Socialists have asked us to co-operate with them giving the men a defense to which of course they are fully entitled to.

            The man who telephoned me mentioned Stedman of Chicago as a possible lawyer. I told him that if we were going in on the case, I much preferred you to represent the interest of our boys, and I would write you to see if you would handle the case.

            Will it be possible for you to look after the interests of these members, and what would be your fee?

            As the case now stands, it is, I believe, merely a misdemeanor, though they have one man, George Cully, under arrest charged with conspiracy, and of course there is no telling how serious the other cases may develop.

            Let me hear from you soon.

            With best wishes, I am

            Yours for Industrial Freedom,

            Gen. Sec’y-Treas.