Writings and Speeches of Eugene V. Debs

By Eugene V. Debs | Go to book overview

Another prisoner who had been a small tradesman, married and the father of eight children, also broke into a freight car. It was his first offence. He got five years. He showed me a letter from his wife saying there was no food in the house and no shoes for the children. The landlord had threatened them with eviction. That man was thirsting for revenge. Society had robbed his family of the breadwinner. The mother had too many children to leave them and work herself. If society deprives a family of their provider should it not provide for the family? It would have been more humane to have sent the whole family to prison.

Another young man, aged 25, showed me a letter from his wife. He was married a little while before he was convicted. His wife was pregnant and was living with the prisoner's invalid mother. She had written to him saying that unless she got relief from somewhere both herself and his mother had made up their minds to commit suicide. They were destitute. They had been refused further credit. They could endure the misery no longer.

Many men attempt suicide in prison. One of the most damaging influences in prison life is the long sentence. It produces a reaction in the heart and mind of the man who receives it that defeats its intended purpose.

Every prison of which I have any knowledge is a breeding place for evil, an incubator for crime. This is especially true about the influence of the prison upon the youth and young man.


MY 1920 CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENT1

It may or may not, according to the point of view, be an enviable distinction to be nominated for the high office of President of the United States while in the garb of a felon and serving a term as such in one of its penitentiaries.

I am reminded of an editorial paragraph appearing in one of the eastern dailies at the time of my imprisonment at Moundsville which read something like this: "Debs started for the White House, but he only got as far as the federal prison." I was not the least perturbed by this comment for I knew in advance that my course led, not to the presidential mansion, but through the prison

____________________
1
From Watts and Bars, Chap. 7.

-463-

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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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