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OREGON VOICES

At War Over the Espionage Act in Portland

Dueling Perspectives from Kathleen O'Brennan and Agent William Bryon

by Adam J. Hodges


IN SEPTEMBER 1918, THE U.S. attorney for Portland, Bert Haney, wrote a report to the attorney general on Kathleen O'Brennan, an Irish nationalist on tour from Dublin who had recently arrived in the city. She was "engaged in spreading Irish propaganda," he reported, and was "the daily consort of I.W.W. [Industrial Workers of the World] leaders and speakers in this city."1 Haney may have intended to belittle her with the word "consort," but O'Brennan was an able speaker and had been in high demand since she had arrived that summer. She was also living and having an affair with Marie Equi, an anti-capitalist radical and lesbian who Haney referred to as "the most dangerous person at large in Oregon."2 1
      Haney warned the attorney general that O'Brennan had already complained to members of Congress about harassment by Military Intelligence and the Bureau of Investigation and that she "claims to have the personal acquaintance and the cordial support of Senator Phelan of California."3 Equi and O'Brennan both had powerful connections to bourgeois politicians and professionals, a resource unavailable to most radicals. Equi was a medical doctor who had been a Progressive activist, while O'Brennan was part of a nationalist movement that had prominent supporters in the United States. O'Brennan and Equi were also widely respected by both American Federation of Labor unionists and IWW radicals. It was the specter of a coalition of individuals and organizations that stretched to both poles of social class and opinion on the war that made these two women "dangerous" to federal and local officials. 2
      The Espionage Act of June 1917 outlawed speech and actions that interfered with mobilization of the armed forces, and expansion of the law in May 1918 criminalized criticism of government. This revision gave sweeping power to officials who wished to silence their critics.4 That same month, police arrested Equi while she was making a purportedly anti-war speech at the Portland IWW hall. Haney indicted her in late June, but she was not held in jail. Ironically, Equi's trial did not begin until November, the month the war ended.5 3



 
Figure 1
    Marie Equi was briefly jailed during public protests on behalf of an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) cannery strike in 1913, galvanizing her radical career and gaining her close ties with the organization. The IWW, the most prominent revolutionary union in the Pacific Northwest at the time, organized mainly itinerant logging and agricultural workers.

    OHS neg., OrHi 60822
 


 
      O'Brennan managed the public campaign for Equi's appeal, and Portland's union workers participated actively. Even before she arrived in Portland and met Equi, O'Brennan had spoken to labor groups and FBI agents had filed reports on her at the request of British authorities. In August 1918, an agent in Portland observing an O'Brennan lecture reported that he "heard nothing, either from the platform or the audience, which could be construed as seditious." In fact, he claimed O'Brennan was heavily criticized by some in the audience for not being strongly anti-capitalist, for supporting the Catholic Church, and for praising Irish Americans fighting in the war.6 Her association with Equi proved to be a politically transformative experience. By October, Margaret Lowell Paul, the Bureau of Investigation spy who had befriended both women, reported that O'Brennan's approach had changed: "Miss O'Brennan further told me the thing that had first ardently interested her in the labor question was the great abuse that Dr. Equi had been subject to at the time of her imprisonment." Although these kinds of reports are often suspect, since a spy's continued employment depended on witnessing incriminating admissions, O'Brennan's relationship with Equi did seem to be influencing her ideology. Now, the spy said, she believed the war was precipitating revolution in America and Britain and discoursed on the matter at length. A speech she gave in Boston in June 1920, a Bureau of Investigation agent reported, differed markedly from her Portland address two years earlier in its emphasis on "the emancipation of the Working Class in Europe and in America."7 4
      O'Brennan's radicalization made her a prime target, along with Equi, for both Haney and Agent William Bryon, head of the Bureau of Investigation office in Portland. The confrontation between Bryon and Equi was rather explosive. When Equi left the courtroom after being sentenced to three years in prison in December 1918, Bryon reportedly said: "Well, I got you." When she replied: "I hope you're satisfied," he "struck her behind the ear and attempted to choke her, at the same time calling her a low, foul name." When Harriet Speckart — Equi's partner from 1906 until her affair with O'Brennan — got between them, Bryon struck and knocked her down.8 At its January 1919 annual convention, the Oregon State Federation of Labor unanimously passed a resolution demanding the removal of Agent Bryon from his post and requesting a reassessment of Equi's case. Appeals and delays kept her out of San Quentin for nearly two years. Finally, in October 1920, Equi began a year of prison time.9 5
      As soon as the trial began, O'Brennan was increasingly in danger because her unwitting friendship with Margaret Lowell Paul had already served its purpose. The day after the verdict, the government issued a deportation warrant for O'Brennan, and agents served it while the she and Equi were sleeping at the Oregon Hotel in downtown Portland. Although Equi was "disrobed," Agent Bryon reported, she "drove the officers out of the room." Despite O'Brennan's political and social connections, her association with convicted Equi left her on shaky ground, and the Bureau compounded her difficulties by claiming that both women had become IWW members on Christmas Day 1918.10 The government postponed its case against O'Brennan to strengthen the evidence. 6
      In early 1919, the boilermakers and shipwrights unions passed resolutions opposing O'Brennan's potential deportation and decrying government "attempts to defame" her.11 In April, she won a six-month delay, during which immigration authorities had her watched closely by the Bureau. In June, Agent Kelly in San Francisco reported that she was agitating in advance of Equi's appeal in October, and he forwarded a copy of the passionate pamphlet he said she had created and was distributing, "WORKERS UNITE." With a picture of Equi on the cover, the pamphlet was a call to arms to free the radical doctor and other "class war prisoners." 7
      The Portland Telegram reported in September that the Affiliated Irish Societies of Oregon had refused to support any more of O'Brennan's talks and the city council unanimously denied her access to the city auditorium, a tactic often used to limit the number of people radical speakers could address.12 At about the same time, she was well received at meetings of the Central Labor Council, and she led a thousand ironworkers in the city's Labor Day parade. The group carried a banner and wore sashes proclaiming Sinn Fein, the Irish political movement that was calling for independence from Britain. The Portland reception committee for Eamon DeValera, a leader of Sinn Fein, asked O'Brennan to act as the organization's secretary.13 Among Irish and anti-capitalist radicals she was still with friends, but nationwide mass arrests of radicals in late 1919 and early 1920 depleted their ranks. 8
      The following documents include an initial report by F.W. Kelly; Agent Bryon's final report on O'Brennan in September 1919, just prior to Equi's failed appeal; and O'Brennan's summer 1919 brochure building support for that appeal. All were products of a dramatic year in United States history. Radical unrest percolated worldwide in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the end of the disillusioning carnage of World War I in 1918. The year 1919 began with a general strike in Seattle and the formation of a Portland soviet modeled on the revolutionary local councils that emerged in Russia to supplant traditional authority. The year ended with a new annual record for strike activity in the United States. The two documents written by Kathleen O'Brennan and Agent William Bryon amidst this tumult are overtly biased and each was intended to vindicate its author, though neither is merely a fabrication. The authors' interpretations of each other's motivations and ideals are untrustworthy, but much of the sensational Equi trial became part of the public record. Although the documents recount the Equi case very differently, together they offer more depth than press reporting. From their divergence, we can also learn more about the polarizing power of war and revolution during the late 1910s and how wide the gulf appeared to two partisans in Portland.
REPORT MADE BY: F.W. Kelly PLACE WHERE MADE: San Francisco
PERIOD FOR WHICH MADE: 6/2/19 TITLE OF CASE AND OFFENSE CHARGED OR NATURE OF MATTER UNDER INVESTIGATION:
9
      In Re: KATHALEEN [sic] O'BRENNAN, Alien Adjutator [sic]... Attached to each copy of this report is a pamphlet entitled "Workers Unite" and purported to be a representation of the case of Dr. Marie D. Equi. This pamphlet was written by subject on behalf of Dr. Equi.... Agent has been advised by Mr. Broad, who printed this pamphlet that the manuscript and corrections were made by subject. As will be noted this review of the Equi case is grossly exaggerated and highly colored and distorted. The censorship of subjects mail under the authority of Search Warrant has so far disclosed no communications of an incriminating nature and her associations in this city, with the exception of the intimate relations with the degenerate, Dr. Marie Equi, have wholly been with people who have a reputation for marked patriotism and whose revolutionary tendencies are limited to sympathy for the so-called "Irish Cause." 10
      Surveillance of subject will be continued while she is in this city. 11
      Case open.

300#

WORKERS UNITE
DEMAND RELEASE OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS
DEMAND RELEASE OF THE CLASS WAR PRISONERS

A Presentation of the Case of
DR. MARIE D. EQUI

12
Dr. Marie D. Equi, of Portland, Oregon, is a woman who has, by her unselfish activities in the interests of suffering humanity, earned the love and respect of all who possess a keen sense of social justice. Because she has uncompromisingly stood for the rights of workers to organize for their own protection and has fearlessly and consistently spoken in behalf — and for funds for defense — of the class war and political prisoners, the INTERESTS considered her "dangerous." They decided she must be locked up — like Debs and others who have stood for human rights!14 13
      Accordingly, two agents of the Military Intelligence Bureau of Portland were set on her trail. It is well known that this Bureau worked in conjunction with the Loyal Legion of Loggers, an organization which is alleged, was used by the lumber interests to disrupt the lumber workers unions.15 After many weeks of strictest surveillance, during which time these spies were not able to get any bona fide evidence against the doctor, they finally, on June 27, 1918, on manufactured evidence, charged her with violating the Espionage Act. The specific charges were that she slandered and ridiculed the army of the present war while addressing an audience of working men on economic conditions in the hall of the Industrial Workers of the World. 14
      The following day she was SECRETLY INDICTED, and on June 29 was arrested and held for trial on ten thousand dollars bail. On November 8 she was taken out of a sick bed even after the government doctors said she was unable to go and brought through a most bitter trial on crudely framed up evidence — practically the same as was used in the case of Kate Richards O'Hare, Flora Foreman and Floyd Ramp — and convicted.16 December 31, 1918, Dr. Equi received her sentence. THREE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON AND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FINE.... 15



 
Figure 2
    Many socialists opposed World War I, viewing it as a capitalist conspiracy to profit while pitting workers of differing nations against each other. The pamphlet Kathleen O'Brennan wrote in Marie Equi's defense connects "political prisoners" who resisted WWI to "class war prisoners" of the revolutionary socialist movement.

    Courtesy of the author
 


 
      The men who made the charges against Dr. Equi on which she was indicted and convicted were Sitton Linville and James P. Brady, employees of the Military Intelligence Bureau at Portland, Oregon and evidently tools of the lumber interests. As these men were well equipped to carry out the intentions of their backers, ostensibly for the purpose of watching for enemy spies, these two agents attended all working men's meetings. They were dressed as working men and carried cards in a working class organization.... 16
      The report Linville and Brady turned in on Dr. Equi's address to the working men was false. They accredited her with statements which she did not make and which she unqualifiedly denies.... 17
      Sitton Linville ... told a young woman in Portland that he "had orders to get the doctor." He further told her that if they did not get the doctor on the evidence submitted in this case they would "get her on something else." Outraged at this method of hunting and downing "selected" victims, this young woman voluntarily went on the stand and testified to the statements of Linville. Because she testified in behalf of Dr. Equi ... she was arrested and held in detention sixty five days, and since her release her life has been made miserable and unbearable. Finally she was practically hounded out of Portland by secret service agents. 18
      Although a number of the most respectable and highly esteemed citizens of Portland voluntarily went on the stand and testified to the Doctor's loyalty and character — one, for instance, a well known judge on the bench — their testimony was not given weight and her defense was absolutely shut off by the prosecutors. Men on her defense committee were arrested and rearrested — one man three times and another five. Those who were not aligned with the labor interests were not arrested, although bitterly maligned and upbraided by the prosecutors. Her announcement for the press in refutation of the much false evidence given against her was denied publicity by orders of the Federal District Attorney. Her paid advertisement was "lifted" from one paper while the Oregonian was threatened with a law suit if the statements were published. At the same time the multi-millionaire Albers also convicted under the Espionage Act was given large page ads in the same newspapers.17
...
19
      Although the prosecutors Bert Haney and Barney Goldstein had secured the indictment on the report of Linville and Brady, from the date of her arrest in June until the opening of her trial on the 8th of November, the doctor was submitted to a system of spying and tyranny by secret service men.... Relays of detectives, the setting up of dictaphones in her rooms, tapping her private office wire, were part of this system of attempting to procure evidence to bolster up the statements charged to her, which proved conclusively that there was no evidence against her loyalty or this expenditure of public service money would not have been necessary.
...
20
      After these most cowardly and indecent methods had been used and much to the consternation of the Intelligence Bureau had been discovered by the doctor and knowing that ... these methods were unlawful in the State of Oregon, they retired to cover and after a consultation decided to put in the field a woman detective. Through their agent, William R. Byron, these secured the services of one Madge Tyrome Paul, a second rate actress, ... to "get" the much needed evidence to "make" the case copper-riveted. This woman was lazy and luxurious of the truly parasitical type, myriads of which sprang into existence during the war and under the guise of patriotism fed and fattened upon the product and toil of the workers. She was educated in Germany and ... was employed by this government at first as a translator during the war. Her husband, one of the Steel Pittsburg Pauls, did not object to her work as a translator but when he found his wife had become a "tool" and a "common stool pigeon" he made every effort to have her withdraw from the service. This he was prevented from accomplishing, he claims, through the interference of Agent Bryon who threatened him with bodily damage. 21
      It became known to the prosecutors at the beginning of Dr. Equi's trial that the defendant had been aware of Madge Tyrome Paul's assignment to the case, therefore with the telephone tappers and dictaphone operators she was not put on the witness stand. The woman broke down, confessed and begged for mercy. It was impossible after these discoveries to use the procured evidence. 22
      New Year's Day, 1919, the morning after sentence had been passed ... the Morning Oregonian — the leading paper of Portland, gave the following account of the disgraceful and brutal finale of Dr. Equi's trial ... 23
      "... She denied emphatically that she had given utterance to the statements ... and that at the same time she was being tried, her nephew, a boy she had raised, was dying of wounds received in France while fighting for the United States." 24
      "Coming out of the court room Dr. Equi was accosted by a man. William R. Bryon, head of the Department of Justice detectives, who according to witnesses of the affair, said to the doctor, 'Well, I got you,' to which she replied, 'I hope you're satisfied.' Then Bryon struck her behind the ear and attempted to choke her, at the same time calling her a low, foul name. A woman spectator rushed in between the doctor and her assailant and was promptly knocked down by Bryon, who then made for the elevators, but not before he was recognized by all present. Bryon refused to apologize and in true Prussian style defied everyone present." 25
      The hatred of the interests behind the prosecution has not abated. They are ... leaving no stone unturned to unfavorably affect her appeal. In March, 1919, immediately after the Syndicalist Act had become law in Oregon, she was again arrested and held over night and released the next day.18 ... 26
      At the close of her trial one of the jurors states that there was no evidence that the defendant had violated the Espionage Act but that "she had affiliated herself with migratory workers." ... Must she be locked up for this?...

LABOR CONDEMNS WILLIAM R. BRYON

27
      The following resolutions were submitted to the Oregon State Federation of Labor and were unanimously adopted without reference to a committee: 28
      "We protest against the unbecoming conduct of an official of the Department of Justice, William R. Bryon, who so brutally struck Dr. Marie Equi after her conviction on December 31, and when she was facing three years' term in the penitentiary, and, whereas, the said William R. Bryon was responsible for procuring the evidence, full of passion and prejudice, which was presented, and which was palpably false and convicted Dr. Equi, be it resolved further that the State Federation of Labor of Oregon ask the Department of Justice at Washington, D.C. for the removal of Operative Bryon and demand an investigation of the case of Dr. Equi." 29
      Read this roll call. It contains the names of other intrepid women who have been active in the working class movement and who believe that every man, woman and child has a RIGHT TO LIVE! These and other women are now in jail or facing jail for terms varying from two to twenty years....
Mollie Stimer Flora Foreman
Louise Olivereau Emma Goldman
Rose Pastor Stokes Marie D. Equi
Kate Richards O'Hare Theodora Pollok
Elizabeth Baer
30
      Working men and women of the United States, you cannot afford to allow such persecution to exist in your midst. Your sons have freely given their lives for the great ideals of Liberty and Democracy. You must be the spirit incarnate of those ideals at home, or your sons have died in vain. Their supreme sacrifice a mockery! Never! Wrong shall not triumph and Right perish. You, the workers, will demand and secure justice for your men and women prisoners. You have the power. Dr. Equi's case will be heard in the Federal Court of Appeal in San Francisco on June 5th, 1919.

300#

REPORT MADE BY: Agent Bryon PLACE WHERE MADE: Portland, Ore.
PERIOD FOR WHICH MADE: Sept 3–19 TITLE OF CASE AND OFFENSE CHARGED OR NATURE OF MATTER UNDER INVESTIGATION:
31
      In re Kathleen O'Brennan, Alien Agitator and IWW Kathleen O'Brennan arrived in Portland, Oregon, about July 25 or 26, 1918, and registered at the Portland Hotel. At the same time this office received a telegraphic request from the Seattle office of the Bureau to keep Kathleen O'Brennan under surveillance.... A woman called Chandler, an operative of the Police Department, was lent for the purpose of cultivating the acquaintance of this woman; however, she proved unsatisfactory and [the Bureau] employed a woman, who reported from about August 1, 1918, to about January first, 1919, on Kitty O'Brennan and Dr. Marie Equi.19 This woman reported to the Bureau and signed her reports as Informant #53.... The woman who made these reports is an educated woman, a believer in the freedom of Ireland and an intensely loyal and patriotic citizen of the United States. No. 53 was introduced to Kathleen O'Brennan by Thomas Mannix, an attorney of Portland, Oregon, who is ... one of the recognized leaders of the affiliated Irish societies of Oregon.... This introduction, of course, was arranged by subterfuge, and Mannix, Kathleen O'Brennan and No. 53 for a day or two discussed the affairs of Ireland and nothing else. In a day or two, Kathleen O'Brennan, who is nothing more than a professional agitator without creed, flag or country, brought Dr. Marie Equi into the presence of No. 53 and introduced her. Dr. Marie Equi was then under indictment for a violation of the Espionage act.... 32
      ... [O'Brennan's] alleged interest in the freedom of Ireland is merely a subterfuge to permit her to go about the country, living off the misguided contributions of others. It may also be added that it makes not the slightest difference to her from whence the contribution comes, just so it reaches her in the form of funds to spend in luxurious living.... 33
      Kathleen O'Brennan, who was born in Ireland November 20, 1886, came to the United States October 30, 1914, traveling first class ... she had been a correspondent for the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Manchester Guard, and the London Times.... she purposed to lecture on Irish literary renaissance.... She made two trips back and forth across the United States and was evidently not very successful in connecting herself with any paying or substantial enterprise until she found Dr. Marie Equi, with whom she immediately established herself in July 1918 ... and with whom she has continually operated since that time.
...
34
      The Military Intelligence service then existing in Portland, Oregon ... sent two soldiers, one named Brady ... born in Ireland ... worked in the logging camps in Maine and ... enlisted and was sent to the Pacific Coast into the Spruce Division where, when volunteers were called upon to report on the IWW and their activity, Brady volunteered and made a careful report on the speech which Dr. Equi made in the IWW hall at 240 Couch Street, Portland, Oregon, which was the basis for the indictment.20 ... He stood a cross examination at the Equi trial by George Vandeveer.21 ... Sitting in the court room at the same time, sneering and making remarks, some of which she addressed to this agent, was Kitty O'Brennan, a so-called advocate of freedom, the direct and positive antithesis of Brady, who was Irish born. 35
      The other witness, Linville, was the son of a former sheriff born at Astoria, Oregon, and who with Brady procured the indictment before the grand jury at the solicitation of the Military Intelligence of Dr. Marie Equi, and with all of which this agent had nothing to do. 36
      When this office first took up a surveillance of O'Brennan ... there were to this agent's knowledge five or six military men shadowing Equi. They planted a detectaphone in the room at the Portland Hotel occupied by O'Brennan and Equi. This the O'Brennan woman found and immediately took the instrument with her to Tacoma, where she delivered a public address, waived the detectaphone to her audience and declared that it was the work of the British government, and did everything in her power to inflame the people of this country against its ally, Great Britain. 37
      Just previous to these events, this agent ... reported the disappearance of Irene Berg, who was a domestic in the United States Attorney's home ... some 10 or 15 privates and officers of the Spruce Division of the United States Army were involved with this young girl and her associates, chief among whom was a girl named Llewellyn, who was a reform school girl and a natural outlaw about 22 or 23 years of age. She it was who assisted in inducing Irene Berg to leave her employment. On several occasions this woman was loitering along the sidewalk and made it her business to be friendly with this agent at 11 and 12 o'clock at night when this agent would leave the office to go home. It was not long before this agent devined her purpose of compromising the witnesses Brady and Linville so as to embarrass them in the court room at the trial of Equi, and this agent promptly reported the same to United States Attorney B.E. Haney and also requested [him] ... not to disclose to the Army Intelligence office the source of his information, this agent fearing the inherent jealousy of these ... fellows more than he does any other thing on earth, and it being the fact that the Military Intelligence had only these two witnesses against the woman at that time, the United States Attorney immediately sent for ... Brady and Linville and also their chief and cautioned them.... and on the morning that Brady took the witness stand, asked him if he was clear of any entanglement, to which he vociferously replied that he was, after which he went into the court room under cross examination by George Vandeveer [sic] and admitted the contrary when confronted by the Llewellyn woman.... 38
      The Llewellyn woman was also known by the name of Beryl Grayson. At a joint meeting of the IWW branches called to order December 7, 1918, ... a motion was made and carried that Beryl Grayson's bills be allowed and paid.... It is simply an organized pre-arranged plan led by an alien woman, namely: Kathleen O'Brennan, to thwart and defeat the law and the court of the United States by intimidating, compromising and blackmailing witnesses like Linville and sneering at witnesses like Brady....
...
39
      Kathleen O'Brennan went before the Labor Council and introduced Otto Hartwig, President of the State Federation of Labor, and E.J. Stack ... to go before the United States Attorney and demand a dismissal of the case against Equi.22 This they did and at the same time Kathleen O'Brennan accompanied them and took Informant #53 with them.... It is a fact that Kitty O'Brennan so inflamed these labor unions ... that they really believed Dr. Equi would not have a fair trial in the United States courts. In addition to this, they called upon Oswald West, ex-Governor of the state, a prominent politician and a then candidate for United States Senator, and it is a fact that he called on the United States Attorney on Dr. Equi's behalf. It is a further fact that the public prints in this city record ... a time when Mr. West was Governor of this state, when he was compelled in the interest of law and order to engage in a public altercation with this woman Marie Equi. It is a further fact that sitting in the court room at the time of the trial, Marie Equi sent Kathleen O'Brennan to the telephone to call Mr. West as a witness in her behalf. Kathleen O'Brennan returned to Marie Equi and said: "He is very friendly", to which Dr. Equi replied: "Friendly, Oh, H___; tell him to come and testify for me. If he doesn't we will expose him". Mr. West arrived within 20 minutes and took the witness stand. It resulted in ill feeling between West and men who had been friends of his.... 40
      On November 22, 1918, a deportation warrant ... was issued ... for the arrest and deportation of Kathleen O'Brennan, the same charging that she was a person likely to become a public charge at the time of her entry into the United States.... 41
      Just previous to this date Kathleen O'Brennan had gone on a tour of trouble making to San Francisco. She eventually returned and was arrested on January 14, 1919, at 11 a.m ... The arrest took place at the Oregon Hotel and at the time of the arrival of the officers, Miss O'Brennan's effects were scattered between a room on the second floor and a room on the fifth floor, the room on the fifth floor being under direct control of Dr. Equi and in this room the two women slept. This agent knows it to be a fact that they had the other room for the purpose of keeping their effects away from the Military Intelligence. When the officers found Kitty O'Brennan, they found her in the room on the second floor and after gaining admission they were assaulted by Dr. Equi, who came from the bathroom, disrobed, and who finally secured a blanket in which she wrapped herself and then drove the officers out of the room. The purpose of this was unquestionably to conceal the evidence sought by the officers, namely: IWW membership.... This agent was advised by the Immigration office that if it could be successfully shown that Kathleen O'Brennan was an IWW that her deportation was assured.... Agent accordingly determined from a confidential source that the original signed application blanks signed by these two women were mailed to ... the IWW at Chicago, Illinois, and urgently requested that the Chief of the Bureau direct the Chicago office to procure the evidence of the admission of this couple to membership in the IWW.... Concerning the last above stated request, nothing has ever been received by this office. 42
O'BRENNAN LEFT FOR THE EAST Coast after Equi's conviction was upheld on appeal, and interest in her waned as the federal government focused more on Communists than the fading IWW. The Bureau of Immigration cancelled her 1918 deportation warrant in July 1920.23 Equi began her sentence at San Quentin in October 1920, where she was imprisoned until September 1921. She then returned to Portland, diminished in health but unbroken in ideals. She never really recovered from a heart attack in 1930 and lacked the physical vigor to participate actively in the radical revival of the ensuing decade of the Great Depression, although she survived to turn 80 in 1957.24 43


Notes

1. See Robert Tyler, Rebels of the Woods: The I.W.W. in the Pacific Northwest (Eugene: University of Oregon Books, 1967).

2. Bert Haney to Thomas Gregory, September 26, 1918, United States Attorney (Oregon) collection, MSS 1704, box 7, vol. 33, Oregon Historical Society Research Library, Portland [hereafter U.S. Attorney collection].

3. Haney to Gregory.

4. For a comprehensive list of Espionage Act cases, see Stephen Kohn, American Political Prisoners: Prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Acts (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1994).

5. Haney's brief narrative of the Equi case to the Attorney General, November 22, 1918, U.S. Attorney collection, box 7, vol. 33.

6. Report of Special Employee Fitzgerald, June 22, 1918, file 209551, reel 619, "Old German Files," RG 65 [Bureau of Investigation], National Archives, College Park, Maryland [hereafter NARA, OGF]; Report of 144005 A.P.L., August 19, 1918, NARA, OGF.

7. Report of Informant 53, October 11, 1918, NARA, OGF; See Adam Hodges, "The 1913 Oregon Packing Company Strike and the Industrial Workers of the World," (M.A. thesis, Portland State University, 1996); Agent Unknown, June 22, 1920, NARA, OGF.

8. Oregonian account reproduced in O'Brennan pamphlet for Equi appeal, "Workers Unite," included in report of F.W. Kelly, June 19, 1919, NARA, OGF; Speckart is not identified by the Oregonian but her identity is confirmed in Kathleen Kennedy, Disloyal Mothers and Scurrilous Citizens: Women and Subversion during World War I (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), 99; and Nancy Krieger, "Queen of the Bolsheviks: The Hidden History of Dr. Marie Equi," Radical America 17:5 (September-October 1983), 67.

9. Newspaper clipping on OSFL resolution, January 9, 1919, folder 2140, box 12, RG 165 [War Department General and Special Staffs], National Archives, Seattle; Krieger, "Queen of the Bolsheviks," 66–68.

10. Report of Agent Bryon, September 6, 1919, NARA, OGF.

11. Kathleen O'Brennan to the editor, Irish Independent, February 17, 1919, NARA, OGF.

12. Acting Chief to E.M. Blanford, May 27, 1919, NARA, OGF; Kelly report, June 19, 1919; Telegram report from Agent Bryon, September 6, 1919, NARA, OGF.

13. Report of N.H. Castle, August 29, 1919, and October 2, 1919, NARA, OGF.

14. See Nick Salvatore, Eugene V. Debs: Citizen and Socialist (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1982), chap. 9.

15. See Harold Hyman, Soldiers and Spruce: Origins of the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen (Los Angeles: Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California, 1963).

16. Ramp, a socialist from Eugene, was the only one of these three convicted in Oregon after a September 1917 arrest for a remark made to troops on a transport train that they were fighting for John Rockefeller's money. See E. Kimbark MacColl, The Growth of a City: Power and Politics in Portland, Oregon, 1915 to 1950 (Portland: The Georgina Press, 1979), chap. 7.

17. J. Henry Albers, president of Albers Brothers Milling Company and a German alien, was arrested and removed from a train in Portland after drunkenly singing German songs. He appealed his case until it was dropped in 1921.

18. See Eldridge Dowell, A History of Criminal Syndicalism Legislation in the United States (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1939).

19. See Gloria Myers, A Municipal Mother: Portland's Lola Greene Baldwin, America's First Policewoman (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 1995), chap. 8.

20. The Spruce Production Division was the federal wartime agency that militarized logging in the Pacific Northwest and created the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen.

21. See Lowell Hawley, Counsel for the Damned: A Biography of George Francis Vanderveer (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1953).

22. Stack was head of the Central Labor Council in Portland, the local body that coordinated joint activity among the city's unions.

23. Assistant Commissioner-General [Bureau of Immigration] to Chief [Bureau of Investigation], July 20, 1920, NARA, OGF.

24. Krieger, "Queen of the Bolsheviks," 68–71.


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