Justus Ebert.

The trial of a new society, being a review of the celebrated Ettor-Giovannitti-Caruso case, beginning with the Lawrence textile strike that caused it and including the general strike that grew out of it online

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Trial of a new society,

3 T153 DDSM5MS2 D



The Trial of a New

Being a Review of The Celebrated Ettor-
Giovannitti-Caruso Case, Beginning with the Law-
rence Textile Strike that caused it and including
the general strike that grew^ out of it.


Illustrated with
Portraits, Posters and Cartoons

Published by


112 Hamilton Ave., Cleveland, Ohio

Price 75 cents a copy


To the Solidarity of Labor, that freed Ettor,
Giovannitti and Caruso; especially to the New
England Textile Workers who made the
Lawrence Strike memorable and the city histori-
cal, this book is dedicated with pride in their
epoch-making achievements.



CHAPTER 1. p^^P^
The Industrial Democr.acv Arrives 9

The Industrial Democracy Gets Into Action 33

The Ixdi;strial Democracy Overcomes All Opposi-
tion 4-8


Tmk TN!)rsTRi.\L Democracy Re-Asserts Itself 8-1

Till'. L\i)rsTKL\E Democracy Triumphs In Court... 102

Will. TIM'. Industrial Democracy Endure 152

Appendi \ 159


The Ettor-Giovannitti-Caruso trial at Salem,
Mass., was not a trial of three men for murder. Nor
was it merely the result of a conflict between capital
and labor. It was the trial of a new society that
is growing out of the old society now prevailing.

Many are the proofs of this fact. The most
striking is the able address of District Attorney
Henry C. Atwill. He appealed to the jury to
choke in its inception the new society as represented
in the organization of which the three defendants
are members. To hear Atwill, one was convinced
that it was not Annie Lo Pizzo the three defen-
dants were accused of having conspired to kill, but
modern civilization, as represented by the good old
commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Other proofs as to the real nature of the trial
were the remarkable series of events which attended
it. It was felt and dimly recognized that the trial
marked a new period in American history, and that
it accordingly had to be decided by new means. The
general strike was urged to this end. This ad-
vocacy created in the labor world a division of sen-
timent reflecting the new conditions. Some work-


ingmen would rely on the courts, and regard the
trial from a legal standpoint, despite their knowl-
edge of the control of courts by the capitalist class.
Both sentiments were felt to the very end, with the
general strike as the greater power.

This same condition of affairs was reflected
among the able lawyers employed by the defense.
Some favored a strictly technical murder trial;
others were for making it a social issue. The judge
tried to restrict the trial to the former limits. He
favored the legal fiction that a simple murder had
been committed, for which personal responsibility
must be fixed ; that was the sole and only issue, in
his learned estimation.

But the development of the trial made it a so-
cial issue. The able addresses to the jury of At-
will, Ettor and Giovannitti were but the fitting
climax to a series of events that made plain that,
not murderers, but idealists, were on trial, and that
with them rose or fell a new conception of society.

The verdict of not guilty rendered by the jury
is a verdict of which they may well be proud. It
is a verdict that makes progress possible without
a sacrifice of the fundamental rights of free speech,
free assemblage and free organization. It is a
verdict in keeping with the best spirit of the times.

It would indeed be monstrous to think that
twelve men could be found to repeat history at
Salem. We no longer live in an age of witchcraft


and persecution. We live in an age of discontent
and progress — of invention and combination. Capi-
tal and men are massed together in producing
wealth primarily for the profit of private capital-
ists. The many toil for a few, instead of for them-
selves. They are beginning to revolt. They aim to
toil for themselves and themselves alone. They
believe that the labor problem can only be solved
by the laborers themselves. They are accordingly
organizing as they are employed, within industry,
for the purpose of making industry their own.
They propose to evolve an industrial democracy
out of industry; where now capitalist depotism
and financial autocracy rule. In this they are in
accord with industrial development in this coun-
try, and advanced countries everywhere.

This industrial democracy was on trial at
Salem. Its influence is felt throughout the modern
world. It was felt in the court-room, and helped
to rid the historic city of a reputation for persecu-
tion that is no longer deserved. Salem, once
synonimous with black arts and foul reaction, now
stands vindicated — abreast of the trend toward
democratic industrialism.

All this will be made clearer in this book on
the Ettor-Giovannitti-Caruso trial, its leading
events and origin.

The author herewith expresses his thanks to
Geo. E. Roewer, Jr., Leon Mucci, Gilbert Smith,


Archie Adamson, Wm. Yates and others for as-
sistance in gathering the data used in this work.
He only hopes that he has proven competent to
'properly present the material so faithfully col-
lected by them.
April, igij.

From New York Call





On the morning of the 12th of January, 191 2,
the riot call was sounded on the bells of the City
Hall at Lawrence, Mass. It was the first time in
nineteen years that the call had been heard; and
then only as a test. The call required the presence
of every police officer in the city; regular, special
and reserved ; plain-clothes men, nightmen, in fact,
all the guardians of peace and property.

The call came like a thunderbolt from a clear
sky. There had been no previous indication of
any need for the entire police resources of the
community. Lawrence was, apparently, a peaceful
and prosperous city, too active to be riotous, and
too contented to be destructive. All its classes
were, to all appearances, living in mutual harmony
and accord. Why then this riot call? Why this
hurry and scurry, this rush from all directions.



this reporting at headquarters, of all its police,
armed and ready for every posible affray?

The answer is one typical of the times.

Lawrence is renowned as a textile center. It
outranks any other city in the nation in the pro-
duction of woolen and worsted goods. In addi-
tion, its cotton industry is important. Lawrence
is situated on the Merrimac River, whose im-
mense water power has made it a favorable loca-
tion for big mills.

In Lawrence, the hand loom of the early New
England farm and the small mill of the last century
with its tens of thousands of capital, have both
been replaced by the Woolen Trust, the Whit-
man-Morgan combination of cotton and woolen
interests, and other powerful organizations of
capital, with their tens, nay, hundreds of millions
of financial backing. Lawrence is, accordingly, a
city dependent on corporate wealth. The mill
corporations are its chief tax-payers and the chief
employers of its inhabitants. Of the 85,000 popu-
lation of Lawrence, over 35,000 are enrolled in
the army of mill employees. They have no prop-
erty rights in the mills; and are, for the most part,
mere tenders of machines, without skill, and princi-
pally of foreign birth, as were the Pilgrim fathers
who preceded them; and who murdered the na-
tive Indians who opposed their coming. These
armies toil for the enrichment of stockholders who


do not live in Lawrence and who take no part in
its production of textile goods; who, in brief, are
far more foreign to Lawrence, than are the most
recent arrivals from abroad. Under the benign
protection of Schedule K of the tariff laws of this
country, they exact exceptional dividends, with
more ferocity than Shylock exacted his pound of
flesh. In all of which, they do not differ from the
capitalist class in general, whose riches and fame
are primarily due to the surplus values, that is,
the wealth stolen from Labor in the form of profits,
interest and rent/

Let us look at these mills, therefore, a little
closer; for, in looking at them, we are looking at
the real Lawrence. They are the basis of its pros-
perity, its heart and soul! Just as the shoe and
electric industries are the material basis and the
heart and soul of Lynn; or the industries of any
place and time are the basis of the material, legal
and moral institutions — the heart and soul — of
that place and time.

The principal mills in Lawrence are those of
the American Woolen Company. This company
is the largest single corporation in the textile in-

(i) For a more exhaustive study of textile evolution in New
England see chapter on "New England," in Turner's "Rise of the
New West," American Nation Series; "The Record of a City," by
Geo. F. Kenngott; and the Citizens Committee's Report on the
Lawrence Strike, Boston American, March 18, 1912.


dustry. It is a consolidation of 34 mills, located
mostly in New England. For these reasons it is
known as ^'the Woolen Trust." The American
Woolen Company does about one-ninth of the
Woolen and worsted manufacturing in the United
States. Its 191 1 output was valued at $45,000,000.

The Wood Mill of the American Woolen Co.,
located in Lawrence, is claimed by the company
to be ^'the largest worsted mill in the world." It
is 1,900 feet long, 300 feet wide and contains 1,300,-
000 square feet of floor space. The output for 191 1
is said to be valued at $9,000,000. The Washing-
ton and Ayer Mills adjoin the Wood Mill. They
supply the raw material to the other mills of the
company, located outside of Lawrence.

All three mills — Wood, Washington and Ayer
— are situated on the South side of the Merrimac.
They are modern brick structures, six stories high,
almost a half-mile long altogether; and surmount-
ed by an ornate clock-tower. A bridge at Union
Street connects them with Lawrence proper. 16,500
persons, or almost one-half of the mill workers
of Lawrence, are employed by the American Wool-
en Co. Its general offices are in Boston.

The American Woolen Co. always pays 7 per
cent on its capitalization of $70,000,000. This is
said to be largely water. It is alleged in some
quarters that its entire plant can be replaced at a


cost ranging from $10,000,000 to $20,000,000. It
is a well-known fact that its leading officers and
stock-holders are connected with mill machine and
construction companies that batten on its resources.
William Wood, the president, owns two palatial
residences. When asked in court, "how many auto-
mobiles have you," he replied, "I don't know. I
haven't any time to count them." Necessity doesn't
require that he should take time to count his wealth.
He has so much of it, as to render the performance

Another noteworthy corporation on the South
side of the Merrimac, is the Lawrence Dye Works.
This is the leading corporation in the consolida-
tion of four mills known as the United States
Worsted Co., whose properties it owns, besides its
own. This $2,500,000 corporation makes a spec-
iality of dyeing and finishing worsted goods.
From 1884 to 1900 over 100 per cent was paid
from its profits. Since then, the average yearly
dividend has been nearly 20 per cent. The stock-
holders of the Lawrence Dye Works now receive
in five years that for which they formerly had to
wait seven. The United States Worsted Co. it-
self pays 7.37 per cent annually. It manufactures
fancy worsted and woolen goods in a six-story
modern brick and concrete weaving mill over-
looking the power dam at Lawrence.


Next in rank to the Woolen Trust mills are the
Pacific Mills, located on the North side of the
Merrimac, in Lawrence prqper. This company
manufactures cotton and worsted dress goods. Its
attorney, James R. Dunbar, is also attorney for
the Morgan railroad interests in New England.
Men conspicous on the boards of directors of these
railroad interests are also conspicuous on the
board of directors of the Pacific Mills. The Pa-
cific Mills is erecting new mills at South Law-
rence, east of the Wood Mill, whose total capacity
is said to exceed that of the latter. Its employes
number 6,000.

The Pacific Mills has a capital stock of $3,000,-
000; and a surplus of $5,141,817. Its assets in
two years — 1909-1911 — increased from $11,015,-
281 to $12,838,279, or a total of $1,822,998. This
corporation paid dividends: 1907, $320; 1908,
$120; 1909, $160; 1910, $120; 1911, $120; this is
on non-taxable shares with a par value of $1,000.
The total return to investors, in ten years, was 148
per cent. This is an average yearly return of 15
per cent. In other words, in ten years, the share-
holders of the Pacific Mills not only ate their cake
more abundantly than they made it, but they also
have it now more abundantly than ever before. This
is due to the kindness of the present system of capi-
talism, which takes from labor all it produces; giv-
ing in return therefrom wages, that is, enough of la-


bor's product for labor to subsist on and reproduce
more labor."

After the Pacific Mills, in importance, come
the Arlington Mills, owned by the Whitman in-
terests, so-called after William Whitman, its presi-
dent and principal stockholder; who is also a direc-
tor in six textile corporations, closely allied to the
one over which he presides. Whitman is credited
on inside circles with being the father of Schedule
K; also with having Morgan backing.

The Arlington Mills is capitalized at $8,000,-
000. Its annual output reaches the total value of
$15,000,000. Its dividends were six per cent from
1877 to 1903, eight per cent from 1903 to 191 2.
In 1905, the Whitman Mills also declared a stock
dividend of thirty-three and one-half per cent.^

Its mills in Lawrence employ over 5,000 opera-
tives; and are continually expanding in size and
importance. Like many other New England
mills, the Arlington Mill is increasing its capacity
out of its earnings. Dividends grow and so does

(2) See Special Weekly Circular, Sept. 7, 1912, Wagner,
Dickerson & Co., bankers and brokers, N. Y. ; Special Stock, Bank
and Trust Company Circular, February, 1912, Turner, Tucker &
Co., Bankers, Boston, Mass.; and articles on "The Great Textile
Interests," Business Supplement, New York Sun, April 28, 1912,
for statistics on dividends, capital, floor space, etc., of Lawrence Mills
herein specified.

(3) These figures and facts are furnished by a reliable Wall
Street Journalist.


the value of the property producing them; thanks
to the productivity of Labor.

In addition to the Pacific and the Arlington
Mills, there are in Lawrence proper, the Atlantic,
Pemberton, Everett, Kuhnhardt, Duck and 13
other mills, whose combined capital runs well up
above the Century mark. The brick buildings they
own are mostly of an older type than those of the
Woolen Trust, already described, and are built in
close succession to one another, making them look
as one. They are surmounted by belfries and smoke
stacks. Fences and walls surround them. En-
trance is through gates that are reached by bridges,
which cross a power canal running parallel with
the mills and feeding them. This canal cuts off
the mills from the city, just as the moats of a me-
dieval castle cut it off from the surrounding coun-

The mills arc on a private street called, very
appropriately. Canal Street. A railroad runs right
along side of them and pierces them in order to
get to a bridge crossing the river. All of which
helps along the isolation and fortification.

All the mills on the north side of the Merrimac,
thus isolated and fortified, are good dividend pay-
ers. The point is well illustrated in a story glean-
ed from the press and told by William D. Hay-
wood, about Mr. Turner, Prest. of the Duck Mill,
as follows : "Mr. Turner is a man of many wives


and some wards. He married the last ward after
he got rid of his wives. She lived in Brooklyn.
They took a honeymoon. It was to Chicago.
They had a palace train. Two Pullman cars were
reserved for the bride's dogs. When those two
carloads of dogs arrived in Chicago with their
mistress, they were taken to a fashionable hotel,
registered, assigned to private rooms and were fed
on the choicest cuts of meat; porterhouse steak."*

None but the extremely wealthy, like the
Woods, Turner and the textile barons of Law-
rence, can indulge in such wasteful extravagancies.
To even the moderately wealthy middle class, it is
not given to have more automobiles than one can
count; or to provide Pullman cars, fashionable ho-
tel suites and porterhouse steaks for the dogs be-
longing to one's latest of many brides similarly in-
dulged before. Such expenditures are only pos-
sible among those possessing multimillions, such
as come out of the mils of Lawrence.

Contrast now the wealth, expansion and luxury
of Lawrence's corporation magnates with the pov-
erty, degradation and misery of Lawrence's wealth

Despite consolidation, tariff, and perfected ma-
chinery, the wages and conditions of textile work-

(4) "Speech of Wm. D. Haywood on Case of Ettor and Gio-
vannitti, Cooper Union, N. Y.," pamphlet published by Ettor-Giovan-
nitti Defense Committee, Lawrence, Mass. p. 7.


ers show a steady decline. According to the United
States Census, from 1890 to 1905, textile wages
had decreased 22.0 to 19.5 per cent of the value
of the gross output. This is a difference of $53,-
686,035; a stupendous sum to these poorly-paid
workers, as will be shown further along.^

This decline is made possible by increasing the
number of looms to the worker, while at the same
time, reducing the pay, through the competition of
these thus displaced. In August, 191 1, a call was
isued for a general organization of all the textile
workers along the Merrimac River, in order to
more effectively combat the tendency to reduce
wages and intensify labor at one and the same time.

The appeal opens thus:

"One hundred cotton weavers are fighting
against the following conditions which the Atlantic
Mills are trying to impose upon them.

"Twelve looms instead of seven, at 49 cents per
cut,. instead of 79 cents; those are in a few words,
the conditions against which the weavers are re-

"Seven looms producing two cuts a week at
the rate of 79 cents per cut leaves a salary of $11.06
per week; 12 looms producing two cuts each per
week at the rate of 49 cents per cut gives a salary
of $11.76.

(5) Statement of Congressman Victor Berger, p. 8, Report of
House Committee on Rules, Lawrence Strike.


"Admitting that each weaver can make 24 cuts
each on 12 looms, which is practically impossible,
he will necessarily have to operate five looms, and
produce 10 cuts more each week for the sum of 70
cents; so that it is really a theft of $7.20 per week
which the corporation will make on each and every
weaver, and at the same time throw two employees
cut of five on the streets."^

This method of doing more work with less men
at less wages than formerly, was also introduced
into the Woolen Mills. Here also the employees
fought the two loom system, which meant a dou-
bling up of their toil and the cutting in half of their
numbers, with the inevitable reduction of wages
that the competition of the unemployed made pos-
sible. Numerous strikes were inaugurated to com-
bat this tendency. But all of them failed, because
they were partial and sporadic; fought by the
craft directly involved alone, while the other crafts
remained at work and scabbed on it, that is, as-
sisted the corporations to victory.*^ This tendency
was further emphasized by the speeding up, en-
couraged by the premium system, which added to
the nervous strain, while gradually lowering

(6) Appeal issued by Local 20, I. W. W., Lawrence, Mass.

(7) Report General Organizer James P. Thompson, 7th Con-
vention L W. W., Sept., 1 9 12, Chicago, 111.



Accordingly, wages in the Lawrence mills have
become mere pittances. The $11.76 per week for
weavers, specified above, are exceptionally good
wages. The report of Commissioner of Labor,
Charles P. Neil, shows that, for the week ending
Nov. 25, 191 1, 22,000 textile workers in Lawrence
averaged $8.76 in wages. This average is for a
good week only; and is inclusive of the wages paid
to all grades of labor. The commissioner reports
that almost one-third of the 22,000 earned less
than $7, while only 17.5 per cent earned $12 and
over for the select week in which the pay-roll was

It is pointed out in Lawrence that over 13,000
workers are not accounted for in the commission-
er's investigation. These certainly are numerous
enough to be considered. It is also claimed that
during the pay week preceding Jan. 12, 1912, the
pay-roll for 25,000 employees amounted to $150,-
000 or an average of $6 for the week. Thus the
commissioner's figures are to be taken with quali-
fications when put forth as representing actual con-

The actual wages paid in some of the mills
make startling reading. They recall the time in
the eighties when Henry Ward Beecher is alleged

(8) Report on strike of Textile Workers in Lawrence, Mass.,
in 1912. P. 19. Charles P. Neil, Commissioner of Labor, Washing-
ton, D. C.


to have said: "A dollar a day is enough pay for
any American laborer to live on" — a statement that
aroused furious opposition. In the American
Woolen Company's spinning, winding and beam-
ing departments and dye houses, wages were $5.10,
$6.05, $6.55, $7.15, and $7.55 per week in 191 1.
This is for a full week only; often, when work is
slack, such wages as $2.30 and $2.70 a week are
the rule.® The writer met in Lawrence weavers
who informed him that they averaged $5.00 a week
following the panic of 1907. And these were men
with wives and families.

Custom often reveals conditions where all else
may hide them. In Lawrence, it is the custom
to demand weekly rents for tenements occupied
by the working class. Where wages are small and
employment unsteady, it is realized that monthly
rents are difficult of accumulation and collection.
The rents vary from $1 to $6 per week. They are
higher on the average than in New York, Chicago,
Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, Buffalo and Mil-
waukee. In addition, Lawrence offers none of
the various social advantages of these larger cities.
Boarders or lodgers were found in 58 per cent of
the homes visited by Federal investigators. They
are necessary to the raising of rent.^°

(9) Report of House Committee on Rules, L&wrence Strike,
19x2. pp. 139-176.

(10) P. 25. Neil Report on Lawrence Strike.


Instalment houses also do a thriving business
in Lawrence. "Easy Payments" is the deceptive
means by which extortionate prices are made pos-
sible of payment by the workers who are already
badly fleeced in the mills.

Lawrence is also the scene of much experiment-
ing in co-operative enterprises, several of which
have been successful. Where wages are low, as
in Belgium and England, the economies and thrift
made possible by co-operative buying and selling,
becomes imperative. Especially is this true, in
view of the increasing cost of living. Lawrence
is by no means exempt from the latter. For in-
stance, anthracite coal was $10.50 a ton in Law-
rence during the winter of 1911-1912. The cost of
living is higher in Lawrence than elsewhere.

Congestion is worse in Lawrence than in any
other city in New England, Boston excepted.
Frame houses and rear houses are more numerous
than in the congested districts of Manchester, N.
H., Lowell, Salem, Fall River and New Bedford,
Mass. A terrible conflagration is always possible;
the construction being regarded as "extra-hazar-

In addition, the rear houses are entered by al-
leyways and long narrow passages leading from
them which make deadly flues and fire traps. These

(11) Ibid. p. 24.


alleyways and passages are also dirty and dark,

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Online LibraryJustus EbertThe trial of a new society, being a review of the celebrated Ettor-Giovannitti-Caruso case, beginning with the Lawrence textile strike that caused it and including the general strike that grew out of it → online text (page 1 of 9)