July 31, 1917

I.W.W. Threatens Wilson With Nation-wide Strike


Chicago Leader of I.W.W. Telegraphs President Harvest Fields, Lumber Industry and Mines Will Be Tied Up; Action Follows the Deportation of Attorney Moore From Copper Camp

(Associated Press Leased Wire)

      CHICAGO, July 31. – Miners, harvest hands and lumbermen of the Middle West threaten to go on a sympathetic strike unless deported I.W.W. members are returned to their homes in the Warren district of Arizona.  A telegraph voicing the intention of a walkout of more than a quarter of a million men was sent from Chicago to President Wilson late yesterday by W. D. Haywood, Secretary or the Industrial Workers of the World.

      The message to President Wilson said that miners in Michigan had begun a general strike, that Minnesota miners would follow and that harvest hands in North and South Dakota would fall into line unless the men deported from their homes are returned.

      The move on the part of Mr. Haywood was the result of the summary dismissal from Bisbee, Arizona of his attorney, Fred H. Moore.

      When asked what he proposed to do about the deportation of Mr. Moore, Haywood said:

      “What else is there to do but accept the deportation?  Can you tell me any way to beat their game?  If Arizona can stand the domination of high-handed officials, I guess the Industrial Workers of the World will be able to endure it. 

      “I have been forced to wire President Wilson that a general strike will be called in the middle west unless the men of Arizona are brought back to their families.  When all the members and sympathizers walk out, 250,000 men will be idle.  As yet I have received no reply from Washington.”

      Suspension of harvest work, the I. W. W. leaders declare, would mean the loss of thousands of dollars to the farmers and inactivity in the mines would prove a serious impediment.


      DOUGLAS, July 31. – Fred H. Moore, of Los Angeles, retained as legal representative by the I. W. W.’s has arrived here from Bisbee, whence he was deported late yesterday, after remaining about six hours, having been ordered to leave there by the committee of the Loyalty League and later, he said, forcibly placed in an automobile, taken to Osborn Junction, nine miles south of Bisbee, and placed aboard an east bound train.

      “I came to Columbus, New Mexico, Saturday, July 21, direct from Chicago, and while there talked with many of the deported men,” he said. “A number of them game me letters from their wives asking for assistance and information. I promised that when I was in Bisbee I would see their wives and families.

      “On July 26 I interviewed Governor Campbell in Phoenix and received two letters of introduction, one to Harry C. Wheeler, sheriff of Cochise county, the other, to Jacob Brickson, mayor of Bisbee. The letters were substantially the same.

Letter to Sheriff

      After informing him who I was, the letter to the sheriff said: ‘In behalf of Mr. Moore, I know I can command your best co-operation as to the purpose of his visit, and I beg to thank you in anticipation of affording him all the privileges in the Warren district, which are his due as a law abiding citizen.’

      “I did not arrive in Bisbee until about 2:30 p. m. last evening. I registered at the Copper Queen hotel from Chicago. I was told that Sheriff Wheeler’s office was in Tombstone. I made inquiry for the mayor at the city hall and was told that he was at work, but would be in his office at 4:30. I introduced myself to the city judge and was talking with him when a Mr. Vucovich came in. He told me his brother had been among the deported men, but had returned and had been ordered to appear before the committee and then was before the committee. I decided to go before the committee to advise them of my presence and to see what could be done in behalf of Vucovich.

Meets With Committee

      “On arriving at the committee room I asked for some member of the committee and on one of them coming out I told him who I was and what my business was. After some delay I was ushered in to the presence of between 25 and 50 men. Most of the talking was done by four or five. I repeated to them who I was.

      “One of them questioned the existence of the governor’s letter and I showed them. Both letters were read by the chairman of the committee. Then I was informed the sheriff was out of the state.

      “I was also told laughingly, when I said I expected to see the mayor at 4:30, that I wouldn’t meet with him, that they would take care of him. I could get no information about Vucovich or Rachael Johnson, a woman who had telegraphed me while in Phoenix, asking my good offices.

      “Then I was told my presence in Bisbee was highly undesirable; that they feared my presence would give moral support to the men and women who sympathized with the deported men. The committee was very frank, one member saying my very presence was a menace to them. I was told to return before the committee at 4:30.

Telephones to Governor

      “I went to the telephone office and called the governor. I succeeded in getting him at 4:30. I told him of developments and asked that he call the committee before which I was to appear, as I believed if he would call before I got there. On stepping out of the booth I was met by a man who told me the committee wanted me.

      “When I walked into the committee room the chairman was talking over the telephone with some one, his conversation being consisting mostly of monosyllables; just as he hung up the telephone he said he had not seen the party and know nothing about him.

      “I thought he was talking with the governor, but he denied this to me. Shortly afterward he left the committee room. I then was advised to leave on the 5:30 train. I insisted that out of common courtesy to the governor they should telephone him, but they refused. They again addressed me to leave as they could not answer for the consequences should I remain. They offered to accompany me and help pack my grip, but I refused, telling them my plans were not decided.

Meets Mrs. McKay

      “On reaching my hotel I was met by Mrs. Rosa McKay, a member of the state legislature, who was waiting for me. I talked with her only two or three minutes, when three men, one of them armed, entered the hotel and informed me I would have to go. They shoved me toward my room and after I had packed my suit case, accompanied me down stairs. As I passed through the lobby, I called the attention of the clerk to the fact that I was a guest and being forcibly ejected without reason. He made no comment. I then was taken to Osborn where I bought a ticket for Douglas.

      “A Mr. Loomis accompanied me as for as Douglas, saying his instructions were to turn me over to the Douglas committee.”

      Mr. Moore said he had decided upon a course of action, but refused to make any statements. Following his arrival here he sent telegrams, one of them being to the headquarters of the Industrial Workers of the World in Chicago, advising them of what had occurred.


      PHOENIX, July 31. – According to Malcolm Frazer, the governor’s secretary, Governor Campbell, learning over the telephone of the threatened deportation of Attorney Moore from Bisbee, called a member of the Loyalty League in Bisbee by telephone and urged that such steps be not taken. The governor is said to have represented that Moore was apparently in Bisbee on a legitimate mission which he should be permitted to carry out.

      There was a close relation of time as concerns the conversation over the telephone with the governor and the spiriting away from Bisbee of the attorney.


      LOS ANGELES, July 31. – Fred H. Moore, an attorney of this city, was one of counsel in the trials of several members of the I. W. W. at Everett, Washington, on a charge of murder. He was attorney for the organization in San Diego a few years ago. Acquaintances here described him as prominent in labor circles throughout the country.