Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs

By Eugene V. Debs | Go to book overview


In the month of December, 1893, something over eleven years ago, a federal injunction was issued that broke all the records up to that time and stirred up the whole country. This injunction was issued by James G. Jenkins, judge of the United States Circuit Court, and restrained the employees of the Northern Pacific railway from quitting the service of that company under penalty of being found guilty of contempt and sent to jail.

The facts in the case, which are recalled by a recently published interview with Judge Jenkins, who has retired from the bench, were as follows:

The Northern Pacific, robbed and wrecked by the knaves who had control of its affairs, applied to the federal court in the person of Judge Jenkins for a receivership, which was promptly granted. Following this order of the court and the appointment of the receivers, the latter petitioned the court for an order making sweeping reductions in the wages of employees, and fearing that a strike might follow, the receivers asked the court at the same time to issue an order restraining the employees from leaving the service of the company, and this was also promptly granted. It was this latter order that aroused the storm and it raged fiercely for some months. Indignation meetings were held by labor unions, notably in Chicago, where a mass meeting was called for the special purpose of denouncing Judge Jenkins and demanding his impeachment. Obedient to the indignation and clamor of organized labor, Congressman McGann, of Illinois, introduced a resolution in Congress looking to the investigation of the affair by the judiciary committee, but, of course, nothing came from it, and it was not long before the judicial crime, for such it was, was forgotten.

The strange thing about it was that the employees did not strike under such extreme provocation, and this was due to the fact that their leaders, the national officers of the unions, urged them not to do so, and united in a letter to the general manager accepting the order of the court and acquiescing in the situation. The writer, who was then organizing the American Railway Union, tried to have the employees resent the despotic decree of the court and quit in a body from end to end of the line, but other counsels prevailed and they remained at work. It would have been interesting to see the ten or twelve thousand employees quit as one and defy the outrageous order of the court, and then see Jenkins make good his order and send them

Social Democratic Herald, May 6, 1905.


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Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xv
  • Proclamation to American Railway Union 1
  • Labor Omnia Vincit 4
  • Liberty 6
  • The Martyred Apostles Of Labor 20
  • Prison Labor - Its Effect on Industry and Trade 24
  • Outlook for Socialism in the United States 34
  • Martin Irons, Martyr 41
  • How I Became a Soclialist 43
  • Stopped the Blacklist 47
  • What's the Matter with Chicago? 50
  • The Western Labor Movement 54
  • The Negro and His Nemesis 66
  • The rape-fiend? Horrible! 73
  • The American Movement 76
  • Unionism And Socialism 95
  • The Socialist Party and The Working Class 125
  • The Federal Government and the Chicago Strike Reply to the Article on "The Government in the Chicago Strike of 1894" in Mcclure's Magazine, July, 1904, by Grover Cleveland, Ex-President of the U. S. 140
  • An Edeal Labor Press 161
  • Labor Day Greeting 163
  • Childhood 165
  • The Crimson Standard 166
  • Growth of the Injunction 167
  • Craft Unionism 171
  • Class Unionism 189
  • Revolutionary Unionism1 209
  • You Railroad Men 242
  • Arouse, Ye Slaves! 256
  • The Growth of Socialism 259
  • Open Letter to President Roosevelt 268
  • Prince and Proletaire 271
  • Roosevelts Labor Letters 274
  • December 2. 1859 279
  • John Brown: History's Greatest Hero 280
  • Looking Backward 281
  • Mother Jones 285
  • Thomas Mcgrady 286
  • Revolution 291
  • The Issue 293
  • Railroad Employees and Socialism 311
  • The Socialist Party's Appeal 317
  • Industrial Unionism 323
  • A Letter from Debs 326
  • A Letter from Debs on Immigration 326
  • Industrial Unionism 328
  • Working Class Politics 331
  • Danger Ahead 333
  • The Crisis in Mexico 337
  • Labor's Struggle for Supremacy 340
  • The McNamara Case And The Labor Movement 343
  • Sound Socialist Tactics 350
  • This is Our Year 358
  • Speech of Acceptance 361
  • Revolt of the Railroad Workers 373
  • Homestead And Ludlow 378
  • The Gunmen And The Miners 383
  • The Knights of Columbus 387
  • The Prospect for Peace 391
  • Fantine in Our Day 392
  • Letter Of Acceptance 395
  • Politicians and Preachers 398
  • Ruling Class Robbers 399
  • The Class War And Its Outlook 400
  • Tom Mooney Sentenced To Death 403
  • The I. W. W. Bogey 405
  • John Swinton: Radical Editor and Leader 409
  • The Canton, Ohio Speech 417
  • Address To The Jury 433
  • Statement To The Court 437
  • The Day of the People 440
  • Serving the Labor Movement 443
  • Sacco and Vanzetti 450
  • Woman--Comrade And Equal 453
  • The Relation of Society to the Convict 456
  • My 1920 Campaign for President 463
  • Leaving The Prison 468
  • Capitalism and Crime 473
  • Poverty and the Prison 477
  • Socialism and the Prison 481
  • Bibliography 485


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