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

By William D. Haywood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII
WITH DROPS OF BLOOD

IN behalf of those of us who had been convicted in Chicago an application for a new trial was filed in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. It was supported by a voluminous brief and argument by Vanderveer and Christensen.

Judge Landis in the meantime made a visit to the Leavenworth penitentiary. We never knew just why he came, unless it was to gloat over his victims. The I.W.W. case was the last one of note over which Landis presided, as he shortly after resigned the judgeship to act as baseball commissioner at $45,000 a year, which has since been increased to $60,000 a year. They put the dollar sign on him and he quit.

Our trial had been a great hardship on the Judge, because during that season his time was much occupied and he could not go to as many ball games as had previously been his custom.

When Landis was at Leavenworth, he did not take a place in the gallery over the music stand where the visitors usually sat, but stuck his head in the door and looked furtively over the prisoners. He probably wanted the satisfaction of seeing for himself that we were really there.

Five Socialists had been convicted in his court at Chicago. They were Berger, Germer, Tucker, Engdahl and Kruse. They had each been sentenced to 20 years in Leavenworth, but the Judge had fumbled when he refused to grant them a change of venue. His decision was reversed by the Appellate Court and they were never tried again. It would have been the irony of fate if Berger had landed in the Leavenworth penitentiary under a 20-year sentence, there to mingle with the I.W.W.'s whom he had so brutally traduced at his own trial in patent effort to escape conviction.

The monotony of prison life was bearing down heavily upon me. I was beginning to realize what was meant by "prison blues." In

-339-

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