Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood

By William D. Haywood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV
FAREWELL, CAPITALIST AMERICA!

OUR application for a new trial had been denied by the United States Court of Appeals, though that court overruled one of the counts under which we were convicted and eliminated the fines that had been imposed upon us by Judge Landis.

It is evident, however, that the Court did not review the testimony. As for example, Clyde Hough, a young machinist from Rockford, Ill., was convicted with us though he was in prison at the time the Espionage Law was passed and remained there until finally sent to Leavenworth. He had had no chance to violate the law under which he was convicted, even had he wanted to. Then there was Walter T. Nef, who at the time of his arrest was secretary of the Marine Transport Workers at Philadelphia. Nef was a Swiss by birth, and felt a bitter antipathy towards the Kaiser and everything German. He was a protagonist of the war and had never hesitated to say how he felt about it. His appeal, like that of the rest of us, was denied.

Our next move and last hope was to take the case to the United States Supreme Court, where it was pending when I left the country. The decision of this august body would determine whether or not we should return to Leavenworth prison, and with those who were still there, whether we should serve out the time of our sentences.

I learned that President Harding was interviewed by Meyer London, Socialist congressman from the State of New York, and was told by the President that the I.W.W. members would be pardoned with the exception of Haywood, whom they were going to hold.

It was good news when I learned in 1924 of the downfall of William J. Burns, the Director of the Department of Justice, who had been handling the affairs of this government Department in the interests of his private detective agency.

The I.W.W. "came into possession" of personal documents of William J. Burns, which they printed in their official organ. As a

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