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Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century

At the dawn of the twentieth century, the fierce passions of class warfare crackled through the mining camps of Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Montana.

This social and economic whirlwind eventually felled one of Idaho's favorite sons, former Governor Frank Steunenberg.

The ensuing trial thrust Idaho into the spotlight, as two of the West's sharpest lawyers, James Hawley and William Borah, clashed with the legendary Clarence Darrow in a "struggle for the soul of America."

Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century

Famous attorneys James Hawley and William Borah presented their case in a Boise courtroom in 1907.

The Trial

In the summer of 1907, a battle between workers and capitalists, that had been developing for decades, finally played out in a Boise, Idaho, courtroom.

William D. "Big Bill" Haywood stood charged with hiring hitman Harry Orchard to assassinate former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg on December 30, 1905. Haywood was the secretary-treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners, a union with a reputation for violence. Although the union leader was not even in Idaho when Steunenberg was dynamited, Idaho's Governor Gooding was convinced the labor union was behind the murder.

The ensuing trial, which lasted from May 9th until July 28th, was one of the most significant events in the history of Idaho. It was also one of the most famous criminal trials in the history of our country.

Through the reporting of more than fifty national and international journalists, the world followed this courtroom confrontation of the working class and the capitalists day by day. Orchestrating the drama were some of the legal giants of the era, including: James Hawley, reputedly the best criminal lawyer in the West; William Borah, newly elected United States Senator from Idaho; and Clarence Darrow, the legendary "attorney for the damned."

The Not Guilty verdict surprised everyone, even Darrow. There are those who think justice was not served, that the judge's instructions to the jury regarding corroborating evidence made a confession virtually impossible. But others point to this trial as one of the best examples in American jurisprudence of justice under the law.

Key Players

Frank Steunenberg came to Idaho from Iowa in 1886, settling in Caldwell, where he was involved in publishing a newspaper with his brother. He served as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1889 and was a member of the Idaho House of Representatives in the first state legislature from 1890 to 1893. In 1896, he was elected Idaho's fourth governor, was re-elected in 1898 for another two-year term. He was a Democrat, who gained the top office in state government with Silver Republican, Populist, and labor support.

In 1899, striking miners in the Coeur d'Alene mining district of north Idaho blew up the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine concentrator, and there was virtual armed warfare in the mining community. Governor Steunenberg declared martial law. Because the Idaho National Guard was in the Philippines, because of the Spanish-American War, Steunenberg called on President McKinley to send in federal troops to reestablish law and order.

The federal troops arrested a large number of the striking miners and herded them into "bull pens," which were lacking in proper sanitation, poorly equipped, and caused the miners to become very agitated. The Western Federation of Miners, a union that represented the striking miners, blamed Steunenberg directly for this humiliation and for the harm to their members.

On the evening of December 30, 1905, Steunenberg was assassinated by a bomb placed at the gate to his residence in Caldwell.

Albert E. Horsley, alias Tom Hogan, alias Harry Orchard

Within a few hours of Steunenberg's death, suspicion began to focus on a man who had been in Caldwell only a few weeks, and whose only apparent reason for being there was his self-proclaimed business as a sheep buyer. Yet, there was no appearance that he had purchased any sheep during his stay. He was registered at the Saratoga Hotel as "Tom Hogan," but during the investigation that followed the assassination, he was recognized as a man named "Harry Orchard" who had been a miner in north Idaho in 1899.

Using a pass key obtained from the hotel, a friend of Steunenberg searched Hogan's room and found evidence of what appeared to be the makings of a bomb similar to the one that killed the former governor. Fragments of plaster of Paris like the foundation of the bomb and fish line identical to the trip string attached to Steunenberg's gate, seemed clearly to implicate Hogan, or Orchard as he became known, and he was arrested.

Eventually, James McParland of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which had been brought into the case by the State of Idaho, secured a confession from Orchard, that Orchard had set the bomb that killed Steunenberg and that the "inner circle" of officials of the Western Federation of Miners had hired him to kill the former governor.

Orchard also admitted he had killed at least seventeen others besides Steunenberg in support of the activities of the Western Federation of Miners in Colorado and Idaho.

Orchard also admitted that his true name was Albert E. Horsley, that he had come to the United States from Ontario, Canada in 1896, and that he had left a wife and daughter in Canada. During his incarceration, he converted to the Seventh-Day Adventist faith, after Steunenberg's widow, Belle, publicly forgave him for murdering her husband.

In 1907, Orchard testified against William D. "Big Bill" Haywood, the secretary-treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners in a trial in Boise.

In 1908, Orchard testified against George Pettibone, an adviser to the Western Federation. Both Haywood and Pettibone were acquitted of the charges against them for allegedly hiring Orchard to kill Steunenberg.

In 1908, Orchard pled guilty to murdering Steunenberg, and was sentenced to be hanged, but the Idaho Commission on Pardons and Parole commuted the sentence to life in prison.

Orchard served forty-six years in the Idaho State Penitentiary, dying in 1954, after having survived all the others who were participants in the Haywood trial.

William D. "Big Bill" Haywood was secretary-treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners, in the early 1900's and one of the founding members of the most aggressively violent union in the United States, the Industrial Workers of the World, the I.W.W., or the "Wobblies," as some people called them.

After Harry Orchard implicated him and the other members of the "inner circle" of the Western Federation of Miners, Haywood was kidnapped from Colorado to Idaho and stood trial in 1907 for hiring Orchard to kill Steunenberg.

Haywood was acquitted, left the Western Federation, and became president of the I.W.W.

During World War I, Haywood was convicted of sedition for opposing the war. While he was on bail awaiting his appeal, he fled to Russia, where he died a few years later. Part of his ashes are in the Kremlin, the rest in Chicago.

McParland was the most famous of the Pinkerton detectives and was enlisted by Governor Gooding to interrogate Orchard. McParland had been the one who broke up the miners' union in Pennsylvania known as the "Molly Maguires" in the 1870's.

At McParland's direction, Orchard was taken from the local jail to the Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise, where he was placed in solitary confinement for ten days before McParland commenced his interrogation. During his first session with Orchard, McParland made it clear to Orchard that the state had sufficient evidence to convict and hang Orchard without any confession from him.

McParland did, however, tell Orchard that if Orchard would implicate the Western Federation of Miners, McParland would see that Orchard didn't hang. McParland said he knew already that Orchard had been employed by the "Inner Circle" of the union to kill Steunenberg, although McParland at that time had no evidence to support this theory.

At the second session with McParland, Orchard probed McParland to establish McParland's ability to save Orchard's life. Then, Orchard, not so surprisingly, "confessed" to killing Steunenberg and said he had been hired to do so by officials of the Western Federation of Miners, specifically Haywood, as well as the union president, Charles Moyer, an advisor to the union, George Pettibone, and another union operative, Jack Simpkins.

James Hawley, who by many observers was considered to be the best criminal lawyer in the West, had come to prospect for gold in the Boise Basin, northeast of Boise, as a teen-ager in the early 1860's, was appointed as a special prosecutor to prosecute Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone. He had become co-owner of a rich silver claim, which he and his partner sold in the mid-1860's.

With his substantial profits, Hawley went to San Francisco, where he studied in college for two years. After a sojourn as a seaman and adventurer in the Far East, Hawley returned to Idaho, where he served in the territorial legislature, then studied law, became a lawyer, federal prosecutor, and a very successful defense lawyer. It is said he was involved in 300 murder cases during his career.

In 1910, he was elected governor of Idaho on the Democratic ticket and served two years.

In 1927, he spoke at the dedication of a statue of Steunenberg in front of the Statehouse in Boise. It is said he was the one who convinced those in charge of placing the statue to have Steunenberg face the Statehouse, instead of looking south on Capitol Boulevard. It is said the reason for this was so that the elected officials in the Statehouse would know that the former governor was keeping his eye on how they were governing the state.

William E. Borah came to Idaho as a young lawyer in 1890. He quickly became prominent both as a lawyer and politician in the Republican Party. Borah was a friend and political colleague of Steunenberg, even though they were members of different political parties. He delivered the eulogy at Steunenberg's funeral.

In early 1907, Borah was elected by the Idaho legislature to be the new U.S. Senator from Idaho. This was before the Seventeenth Amendment, and just a few months before the Haywood trial began. Borah delayed taking his seat in the Senate so he could help try the Haywood case.

It is noteworthy that Borah opposed trying the officials of the Western Federation of Miners in Idaho, preferring to try only Orchard, and leaving the prosecution of the union officials to Colorado. But, other Idaho officials felt differently and prevailed.

A complicating factor for Borah was that during the pendancy of the Haywood case before trial, he was charged in federal court with timber fraud, based on his being the general counsel for the Barber Lumber Company, which had allegedly acquired timber claims in violation of federal law. Coincidentally, Steunenberg was one of the principals of the Barber Lumber Company. Through the intervention of President Teddy Roosevelt, Borah's trial was postponed until after the Haywood trial. Borah was tried shortly after Haywood was acquitted in 1907. He was defended by Hawley and was himself quickly acquitted.

After he took his seat in the U.S. Senate, Borah quickly became a respected member of that body. From 1924 to 1933 he was chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 1936, Borah, "the Lion of Idaho," was an early contender for the Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States, but did not get the nomination.

Darrow was one of the two leading defense attorneys who represented Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone. He began his legal career in Ohio, then moved to Chicago where he became a lawyer for the city. He moved on to represent the railroad. At the time of the Pullman Strike in 1894, he asked management of the railroad that he not be required to oppose the striking railroad workers. He was released from doing so, and represented Eugene Debs, the President of the American Railway Union. In 1904, he helped the anthracite coal workers in Pennsylvania during the federal arbitration that resolved their strike.

In 1906, he was hired to assist in the defense. Even some of his fellow defense attorneys called him "Old Necessity," after the legal adage: "Necessity knows no law." But, Darrow did know human nature and was a past master of winning juries over to his client's side of the case, as he did in both Haywood and Pettibone's cases.

More importantly, Darrow defused the prosecution's case against Haywood by convincing the prosecution's key witness for corroboration of Orchard's testimony implicating the "inner circle" of the Western Federation of Miners to renounce his confession. This prevented the state from calling this witness, Steve Adams, to testify against Haywood and Pettibone, when they were tried.

Edmund Richardson, the other lead defense attorney, was general counsel for the Western Federation of Miners. He was a very experienced and capable lawyer, but he and Darrow had different approaches to the case, and they quickly became at odds, although they both continued to share space at the defense table during the two and one-half months of trial.

He cross-examined Orchard for twenty-six hours over five days, without gaining any concessions from Orchard that would weaken his incrimination of Haywood and the other officials of the Western Federation of Miners.

Judge Fremont Wood

Judge Fremont Wood had been the U.S. Attorney in Idaho in 1892 who prosecuted the striking miners in the Coeur díAlenes for criminal conspiracy that year. He was a district judge from Ada County and was assigned to the case because the district judge in Canyon County had a conflict of interest. Wood transferred the venue of the case to Ada County for better security and to accommodate jury selection.

His concern to not let his own prejudices in the case influence the jury might have led him to deliver instructions to the jury that left them little choice but to acquit Haywood.

Charles Moyer

He was president of the Western Federation of Miners in the early 1900's. Orchard implicated him in the assassination of former governor Steunenberg. He was also kidnapped from Colorado to Idaho and awaited trial in jail in Boise.

After Haywood and Pettibone were tried and acquitted, the prosecution dismissed the case against Moyer.

George Pettibone

He was an adviser to the officers of the Western Federation of Miners in the early 1900's. He was famous for developing a high powered bomb called variously "Pettibone Dope," "Greek Fire," or "Hellfire," which was similar to the bomb with which Orchard killed Steunenberg. He was kidnapped from Colorado to Idaho in 1906. In 1908 Pettibone was tried and acquitted for hiring Orchard to kill Steunenberg.

Jack Simpkins

He was the fourth member of the "inner circle" of officials of the Western Federation of Miners whom Orchard said hired him to assassinate Steunenberg. Simpkins was in charge of the operations of the Western Federation of Miners in Idaho. In 1905, he accompanied Orchard to Caldwell and was there with him until at least November.

Although the State of Idaho and the lawyers defending Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone tried to find Simpkins, no one was successful in doing so. He simply disappeared, and no one has found him since, even up to the present day.

He may well have been the key to resolving whether Orchard was hired to kill Stunenberg, and, if so, by whom.

Governor Frank Gooding

Governor Gooding was the governor of Idaho when Stuenenberg was assassinated. He was very much involved in bringing the Pinkerton Detective Agency into the case.

Closing Arguments

We have for ten weeks, gentlemen of the jury, been in continuous session in this court, giving our attention to this question. It is probably the most important criminal case that was ever given to a jury for its attention and consideration in these United States . . . .

We are not here to urge the conviction, gentlemen, of a man whom you believe is innocent or think under any circumstances can be innocent. We are not here, gentlemen, representing anyone except the state of Idaho.

We have been engaged here in making history, I might say; this case will be looked upon as one of the most important in the criminal annals of the country. It is important, therefore, that we do our duty fully and come to a correct conclusion.

The days pass and the Christmas season comes with all its thoughts — of peace and good will — the season when men live with their families, when people of the Christian faith rejoice, and if there is ever a time when all thought of fear should be laid aside then is the time. That is the season when love for mankind should rule, and exist if at all. That is the season when men should most feel safe from harm.

Just as the old year was fading — just as the new year was about to make its appearance — when all seems safe and peaceful, Orchard lays his bomb in front of Steunenberg's gate, and that night as the governor hastens home through the dusk to his family, in his mind the happy thoughts of the loving greeting in store for him . . . he is sent to face his God with out a moment's warning and within the sight of his wife and children. . . .

Now, I am not one of those that believe in death bed conversions . . .

Gentlemen, the conviction has been forced upon me in this case, as I believe it has been forced upon every man that heard the testimony of Harry Orchard, that some cause has impelled him to tell the entire truth. I think I understand what that cause is. I believe it is the religious training of his early youth awakened by those references that were made to him in the loneliness of his cell by the gentleman who approached him and obtained his confession . . .

And I believe that we are warranted in coming to the conclusion that it was the saving power of divine grace, gentlemen of the jury, working upon the conscience of this man that finally impelled him to make this confession that in all probability will bring to the bar of justice the worst set of conspirators that have ever infested any section of the United States.

I'll tell you this, gentlemen: If Orchard had killed anybody else besides Steunenberg or some man who had not acted contrary to the interests of the Western Federation of Miners — had not gained their enmity — you wouldn't have found Moyer and Haywood putting up any $1,500 or 15 cents for his defense. That money was not to defend Orchard. It was not put up to protect him so much as it was put up to protect their own necks. . . . .

Gentlemen, it is time that this stench in the nostrils of all decent persons in the West is buried. It is time to forever put an end to this high handed method of wholesale crime. It is the time when Idaho should show the world that within her borders no crime can be committed and that those who come within her borders must observe the law.

Gentlemen, I wish that I could look over this evidence and find some way of satisfying myself that this man here upon trial was innocent and that these other men associated with him in this indictment were also innocent of this offense. I have no desire, gentlemen, to have the scalp of any innocent man hanging at my girdle . . .

But we can come to but one conclusion, and that is that he is not only responsible for this atrocious murder but that for more than a score of other murders that have been proven here he is equally responsible.

I ask you to take this evidence and carefully consider it. I ask you to give it that weight and consideration that under the instructions of the court it will be entitled to. I ask you that you honestly, in your own good judgment, apply the law to the evidence and thus find your verdict. And I for one, gentlemen, will say in advance that with the utmost confidence in this jury and every member of it, I will be satisfied whatever that verdict may be. Gentlemen, I thank you for your attention . . . .

It had been Governor Steunenberg's fortune while governor of this state to be called upon to stand in the forefront of a labor controversy which occurred in the northern part of the state. Perhaps the situation demanded of him all that he did. I don't know about that, and I am not going to discuss it . . . .

One thing is certain, that it gave rise to an endless amount of discussion throughout the entire civilized world. For the first time in the history of America the military bull pen was established in the administration of what were practically civil affairs. For the first time in the history of America men were deprived of their liberty with, perhaps, just cause but without due or any process of law.

They arrested the union miners right and left without warrant. They deprived them of their liberties. They threw them in the dirty, vile-kept bullpens and they were subjected to all sorts of indignities and insults at the hands of those negro soldiers.

If you had been there, covered with vermin . . . if you'd been there, gentlemen of the jury, it is certain that you would have attained in your breast a righteous hatred for every person who had anything to do with causing your humiliation and suffering . . . .

Where is this ‘terror to evildoers,' as Mr. Hawley has called him. Hawley promised you he would have Mr. McParland tell his story. Never but once has his figure darkened the door of this courtroom . . . Was he afraid of the questions I would ask him on cross examination? Where are the other slimy Pinkertons who sneaked in our unions to make trouble? Why have they not testified?

I say this man [Orchard] is a cheap and a tawdry and a tinsel hero, seated on this witness stand like a king upon his throne...under a promise as plain as noonday that his worthless head and carcass shall be saved if only there can be secured a condemnation of the officers of the Western Federation of Miners. Which would you rather believe, this man on the stand wearing his cheap bravado and putting obloquy upon those who are innocent, or this husband and this father [pointing to Haywood], an exemplary citizen all of his life, nursing tenderly and caring properly for this crippled woman who now sits and has for long year sat by his side?

Gentlemen, I sometimes think I am dreaming in this case. I sometimes wonder whether this is a case, whether here in Idaho or anywhere in the country, broad and free, a man can be placed on trial and lawyers seriously ask to take away the life of a human being upon the testimony of Harry Orchard. We have the lawyers come here and ask you upon the word of that sort of a man to send this man to the gallows; to make his wife a widow, and his children orphans — on his word. For God's sake what sort of an honesty exists up here in the state of Idaho that sane men should ask it? Need I come here from Chicago to defend the honor of your state? A juror who would take away the life of a human being upon testimony like that would place a stain upon the state of their birth and their nativity — a stain which all the waters of the great seas could never wash away, and yet they ask it. You had better let a thousand men go unwhipped of justice — you had better let all the criminals that come to Idaho escape scot free than to have it said that twelve men of Idaho would take away the life of a human being upon testimony like that.

There are certain qualities which are primal with religion. I undertake to say, gentlemen, that if Harry Orchard has religion now that I hope I may never get it. I want to say to this jury that before Harry Orchard got religion he was bad enough, but it remained to religion to make him totally depraved . . . .

I see what to me is the crowning act of infamy in Harry Orchard's life, an act which throws into darkness every other deed that he ever committed as long as he has lived, and he didn't do this until he had got Christianity or McParlandism, whatever that is ; until he had confessed and been forgiven by Father McParland he had some spark of manhood still in his breast.

I don't believe that this man was ever loyally in the employ of anybody. I don't believe he ever had any allegiance to the Mine Owners' Association, to the Pinkertons, to the Western Federation of Miners, to his family, to his kindred, to his God, or to anything human or divine. I don't believe he bears any relation to anything that a mysterious and inscrutable Providence has ever created... . He was a soldier of fortune ready to pick up a penny or a dollar or any other sum in any way that was easy . . . to serve the mine owners, to serve the Western Federation, to serve the devil if he got his price, and his price was cheap.

For thirty years I have been working to the best of my ability in the cause in which these men have given their toil and risked their lives; for thirty years I have given the best ability that the God has given me; I have given my time, my reputation, my chances, all this to the cause which is the cause of the poor. I may have been unwise, — I may have been extravagant in my statements, but this cause has been the strongest devotion of my life, and I want to say to you that never in my life did I feel about a case as I feel about this; never in my life did I wish anything as I wish the verdict of this jury, and if I live to be a hundred years old, never again in my life will I feel that I am pleading a case like this . . .

Other men have died in the same cause in which Bill Haywood has risked his life. Men strong with devotion, men who love liberty, men who love their fellow men have raised their voices in defense of the poor, in defense of justice, have made their good fight and have met death on the scaffold, on the rack, in the flame, and they will meet it again until the world grows old and gray. Bill Haywood is no better than the rest; he can die, if die he needs. He can die if this jury decrees it, but, oh, gentlemen, don't think for a moment that if you hang him you will crucify the labor movement of the world . . .

Let me tell you, gentlemen, if you destroy the labor unions in this country, you destroy liberty when you strike the blow, and you would leave the poor bound and shackled and helpless to do the bidding of the rich.

Gentlemen, it is not for him alone that I speak. I speak for the poor, for the weak, for the weary, for that long line of men who in darkness and despair, have borne the labors of the human race . . . .

The eyes of the world are upon you, upon you twelve men of Idaho tonight . . .

If you should decree Bill Haywood's death, in the great railroad offices of our great cities men will sing your praises. If you decree his death amongst the spiders of Wall Street will go up paeans of praise for these twelve good men and true who killed Bill Haywood. In every bank, almost, in the world, where men hate Haywood because he fights for the poor and against the accursed system upon which the favored live and grow fat, from all those you will receive blessings and praise, that you have killed him.

[But if your verdict should be 'not guilty,'] There are still those who will reverently bow their heads and thank these twelve men for the life and the character they have saved. Out on our broad prairies where men toil with their hands, out on the wide ocean where men are sailing the ships, through our mills and factories, down deep under the earth thousands of men, and of women and children — men who labor, men who suffer, women and children weary with care and toil, — these men and these women and these children will kneel tonight and ask their God to guide your judgment, — these men and these women and these little children, the poor the weak and the suffering of the world, will stretch out their hands to this jury and implore you to save Haywood's life.

There is here no fight on organized labor. This is simply a trial for murder. Frank Steunenberg has been murdered, and we want to know. A crime has been committed, and the integrity and the manhood of Idaho wants to know. An offense which shocked the civilized world has taken place within our borders, and unless we went about it earnestly and determinedly to know, we would be unfit to be called a commonwealth in the sisterhood of commonwealths of the Union.

Watch these five men. In a little over thirty days Frank Steunenberg is going to die. What are their actions? They are going to and fro, their association, their connection — you will find out whether there is evidence here or not to show a conspiracy outside of any testimony of Harry Orchard. . . . Watch them. . . . We have got them in touch with one another. They are moving to the scene.

. . . Why? Why? Always back to Denver? Unless it was to find there the protection and the pay of his employers. . . . (this last sentence is the one Judy is having a hard time tracking down in the actual transcripts, but it's been quoted in books; we'll have to get back to you).

You are carrying with you tonite the solicitude of an entire people.

There is no home in Idaho tonight, but that a thought of you and your final duty will mingle with the sentiment which made that home possible . . .

After the trial has been finished, after the work is over... the thing which will remain with us is that sleepless mentor of the soul asking over and over again as the years go by were you brave and faithful in the discharge of the most solemn duty of your life?

You have no doubt often in this case been moved by the eloquence of counsel for the defense.

They are men of wonderful powers. They have been brought here because of their power to sway the minds of men. . . to sometimes draw you away from the consideration of the real facts in this case, to beguile you from a consideration of your real and only duty. But as I listened to the voice of counsel and felt for a time their great influence, there came to me after the spell was broken another scene. . .

I remembered again the awful thing of December 30, 1905, a night which has added ten years to the life of some who are in this courtroom now.

I felt again its cold and icy chill, faced the drifting snow and peered at last into the darkness for the sacred spot where last lay the body of my dead friend, and saw true, only too true, the stain of his life's blood upon the whitened earth. I saw Idaho dishonored and disgraced. I saw murder — no, not murder, a thousand times worse than murder — I saw anarchy wave its first bloody triumph in Idaho. And as I thought again I said, 'Thou living God, can the talents or the arts of counsel unteach the lessons of that hour?' No, no. Let us be brave, let us be faithful in this supreme test of trial and duty.

Some of you men have stood the test and trial in the protection of the American flag. But you never had a duty imposed upon you which required more intelligence, more manhood, more courage than that which the people of Idaho assign to you this night in the final discharge of your duty.

Newspaper Headlines from the Trial Period


CONSTITUTION, U.S. CLAUSE 2, SEC. 2, ART. IV: - “A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice and be found in another state, shall, on demand of the executive authorities of the state from which he fled, be delivered up to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime.”

REVISED STATUTES, U.S., SEC. 5278: - “Whenever the executive authority of any state or territory demands any person as a fugitive from justice of the executive authority of any state or territory to which such person has fled, and produces a copy of the indictment found, or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any state or territory, charging the person demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime, certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the state or territory from whence the person so charged has fled, it shall be the duty of the executive authority of the state or territory to which such person has fled to cause him to be arrested and secured, and to cause notice of the arrest to be given to the executive authority making such demand, and to the agent of such authority appointed to receive the fugitive, and to cause the fugitive to be delivered to such agent when he shall appear.”

PEOPLE VS. HYATT, 188 U.S. 691: -- “ We have found no case wherein it has been held that the statute covered a case where the party was not in the state at the time when the act is alleged to have been committed. We think the plain meaning of the act requires such presence, and it was not intended to include as a fugitive from the justice of the state one who had not been in the state at the time when, if ever, the offense was committed, and who had not, therefore, in fact fled therefrom.”

Mr. Borah, associate counsel for the prosecution, made the startling confession that “It was necessary to proceed summarily, and in the manner followed by the officers of the two states, in order to get the prisoners within the jurisdiction of the courts of Idaho.”

Extract from letter written by Gov. McDonald of Colorado to J.C. Lamb, Dryden, Mich.: “There are United States laws governing this matter, but aside from this, the governors of the various states, at a convention held several years ago, adopted rules which are much more stringent than the United States laws, and which are followed by most of the governors, and this state is particular that these rules be followed in all their details.”

Moyer, Haywood, and Pettibone were not fugitives from justice; they were dragged away from their homes and families in the dead of night – carried by a special train to a foreign state.


Front page 12/31/1907

Ex-Governor of Idaho Was Killed With Dynamite Blown Up by a Bomb as He Entered the Gate of His Own Home. Charge Laid to Murderous Strikers Whom He Prosecuted During His Term of Office. The State Offers Large Reward.

The Idaho Daily Statesman
Boise, Idaho Sunday Morning December 31, 1905


Deadly Bomb Placed at His Gate and Exploded Upon His Entrance


Right Arm Practically Blown Off and Both Legs Horribly Mangled


Small Clue to the Perpetrators of the Dastardly Crime – Authorities Searching for Two Suspects – No Cause Known for This Dreadful Deed – Many People Believe That It Is a Result of His Firm Stand for Law and Order at the Time of the Reign of Terror in the Coeur d’Alenes in 1899 and That the Ex-Governor Has Fallen Victim to Lawless Element That Ruled There – Governor Gooding Offers Reward of $5000 for the Murderers.

Former Governor Frank Steunenberg lies dead in his home in Caldwell, the victim of a dynamite outrage. He was killed at 6:45 last night as he was entering his home. The story of the dreadful crime, in brief, is as follows: The governor was entering the yard of his home by the back gate at the hour named when a terrible explosion…

Special Dispatch
Caldwell, Dec. 31

Man Hunt in Charge of Sheriffs of Nichols and Moseley – Murderer Believed to Be in Town

Excitement incident to the terrible tragedy of last night, the murder of ex-Governor Frank Steunenberg, has not abated. At sunrise citizens began flocking to the scene of the explosion and it became necessary for Sheriff Nichols to post deputies about the Steunenberg ground to protect the property and to prevent people from obliterating tracks and marks, by which it was hoped some clew of the nature of the ex-…

Considers His Sweatbox Experience as Rather a Joke

A special representative of the Statesman who was in Caldwell Sunday interviewed the man known as M.J. Hogan at the Saratoga hotel immediately after he had returned from a preliminary examination in the office of Judge Frank J. Smith, having been suspected of having a hand in the assassination of ex-Governor Steunenberg. The man was perfectly cool and collected, talked freely and seemed to regard his recent sweatbox experiences as a big joke.

“Of course,” he said, “I can’t blame the officers for hauling me up for a quizzing bee. It’s probably their duty, but it’s rather humiliating. They didn’t seem to take stock in all my story, probably because I didn’t have the goods to prove all the facts, but I guess they’ll be satisfied when I show them the evidence. I’ve got a working contract with the Mutual Life Insurance company out of the Denver office.”

“Are you working for that company here?” was asked.

“No-o-o,” was the answer hesitantly, “not exactly.” Then came a pause while the man bit off the end of a fresh cigar and lit it. Then he re-…

Denver, Feb. 17

Late tonight, Charles H. Moyer, President of the Western Federation of Miners, and William Haywood, secretary, were arrested on a charge of complicity in the murder of former Governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho. The arrest was made at the request of the Idaho authorities and an officer is here from Idaho to take the men to that state.

The forgoing telegram is a denoument, which has been expected for several days, although just the exact nature of what the news might be was not known. The detectives who have been working upon the Steunenberg murder case for weeks have of late hinted that their deductions pointed to evidence that would soon result in some sensational disclosures.

The detectives have guarded their information well and the news of the arrests of last night came as a complete surprise to all but those who have been working on the case. While the detectives have not as yet given information…

A Mysterious Stranger Arrested in a Caldwell Hotel

Caldwell, Idaho, Jan. 1. The officers believe they have one of the men responsible for the assassination of ex-Gov. Steunenberg.

He is one of those who have been under suspicion. This man registered at the Saratoga Hotel three weeks ago as H.J. Hoglan, giving his address as Denver. A year ago he stopped at the Pacific hotel, registering as Thomas Hoglan. A search of his room at the Saratoga hotel resulted in the discovery of an overcoat and some other rough clothing; also some fish lines similar to the pieces found at the scene of the explosion, supposed to be…

“The state of Idaho will pay $2000 for the capture of Jack Simpkins, wanted on charge of the murder of ex-Governor Steunenberg.” That was the statement made last evening by Governor Frank R. Gooding. This offer doubles the original reward for the capture of Simpkins.

It was stated last night by the officials, and their belief is based upon reports from the north from parties who have been searching through the various camps in the Coeur d’Alene district for days, that Jack Simpkins is still in hiding.

To Tell Worse Tale Than Orchard.

Sworn Confession Bears Out Story of Murders by Union’s Orders.

Surpasses in Revelation of Blood Crimes Facts Already Shown.

Partner of Federation’s Official Assassin Will Follow Him on Stand.

(By the Associated Press -- P.M.)
Boise (Idaho) June 9 – Steve Adams, another prisoner witness for the State, in the case against W.D. Haywood, is now on his way to Boise, coming from the jail at Wallace, where he is held pending trial…

Union Lawyers Try to Involve Mine Owners But are Baffled by Orchard

Professional Assassin Remains Unshaken by Guileful Ruse of Federation’s Counsel, Calmly Relating in Minute Detail Connected, Consistent Story of Outrages He Perpetrated at Behest of Laborite Leaders

(By the Associated Press – P.M.)

Boise, (Idaho), June 10 – Into the further cross-examination of Harry Orchard today, counsel for William D. Haywood repeatedly threw the suggestion of a great counter conspiracy, formulated and carried out by the enemies of the Western Federation of Miners, and indicated a determination to construct their main line of defense on that field.

They carried Orchard by slow steps and through the most minute details of the dynamiting of the Independence depot, down to the attempt on the life of Fred Bradley and his family, and in addition to a series of particular attacks upon the credibility of the witness and the general probability of his stories, and preparing the way for…


Recites Long List of Almost Incredible Crimes at the Boise Trial


Witness Admits He Pulled Wire Which Blew Up the Independence Stations And Killed Two Men with a Bomb in the Vindicator Mine at Cripple Creek.


And Killed Two Men with a Bomb in the Vindicator Mine at Cripple Creek

Special to the New York Times Boise, Idaho, June 5.

For three hours and a half today Harry Orchard sat in the witness chair at the Haywood trial and recited a history of crimes and bloodshed, the like of which no person in the crowded courtroom had ever imagined. Not in the whole range of "Bloody Gulch" literature will there be found anything that approaches a parallel to the horrible story so calmly and smoothly told by this self-possessed, imperturbable murderer witness.

Orchard in his first day on the stand told the details of these crimes. In 1906 he with another man placed a bomb in the Vindicator Mine at Cripple Creek, Colorado, that exploded and killed two men. Later he informed the officials of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad of a plot of the Western Federation to below up one of their trains, because he had not received money for work done for the federation. He watched the residence of Gov. Peabody of Colorado and planned his assassination by shooting. This was postponed for reasons of policy. He shot and killed a deputy, Lyle Gregory, in Denver. He planned and with another man executed the blowing up of the railway station at the Independence Mine at Independence, Col., which killed fourteen men. He tried to poison Fred Bradley, manager of the Sullivan and Bunk Hill mine, then living in San Francisco, by putting strychnine into his milk when it was left at his door in the morning. This failed, and in November, 1904, he arranged a bomb which blew Bradley into the street when he opened his door in the morning.

Orchard Entirely Untroubled

Orchard spoke in a soft, purring voice, marked by a slight Canadian accent, and except for the first few minutes that he was on the stand he went through his awful story as undisturbed as if he were giving the account of a May Day festival. When he said, "and then I shot him," his manner and tone were as matter-of-fact as if the words had been "and then I bought a drink." There was nothing theatrical about the appearance on the stand of this witness, upon whose testimony the whole case against Haywood, Moyer, and the other leaders of the Western Federation of Miners is based. Only once or twice was there a dramatic touch. It was a horrible, revolting, sickening story, but he told it as simply as the plainest narration of the most ordinary incident of the most humdrum existence. He was neither a braggart nor a sycophant. He neither boasted of his fearful crimes nor sniveled in mock repentance.

It was just a plain recital of personal experience, and as it went on, hour after hour, with multitudinous detail, clear and vivid here, half forgotten and obscure there, gradually it forced home to the listener the conviction that it was the unmixed truth. Lies are not made as complicated and involved as that story. Fiction so full of incident, so mixed of purpose and cross-purpose, so permeated with the play of human passion, does not spring offhand from the most marvelous fertile invention. Touching continually points on which there can be controversy, Orchard explained acts whose motive until to-day had been hidden, whose purpose had remained a mystery. And while he talked the half-stifled crowd in the packed courtroom was so quiet that his soft voice penetrated to the furthest corner.

Haywood's Unwavering Attention

To Haywood the story was of vital interest. He sat with his lawyers surrounding him in such position that he could fix his gaze on Orchard uninterruptedly, but so placed that only those very near his chair could see his face. From first to last he gave unwavering attention, and when occasionally Orchard turned his eyes on his old comrade, whom he was denouncing as a procurer of assassination. Haywood met them squarely and unflinchingly.

Mrs. Haywood sat beside her husband all day, but their daughters did not come to court until afternoon. Haywood's mother, Mrs. Crothers, and his half-sister, Miss Crothers, sat near his wife. Mrs. Crothers is a pleasant-looking, spectacled old lady, whose black hair is strongly tinged with gray. The lower part of her face much resembles that of her son, except that the mouth is better matured, with corners that turn up instead of down. Mrs. Steve Adams and Mrs. Pettibone, with Mrs. Haywood's sister, were in court all day, and seemed especially aroused at those parts of Orchard's story which involved Adams and Pettibone. Whenever Orchard told of Adams being drunk, as he did on several occasions, Mrs. Adams smiled as if it were a joke.

The courtroom was not even filled when Orchard was called to the stand. It was known that he had been brought in from the penitentiary last, and would not come in until the afternoon session. When court opened at 9 o'clock Senator Borah went on with the line of proof he was developing yesterday afternoon, and summoned several hotel keepers to prove that Orchard and Jack Simpkins had been together at Caldwell and other places near there in the Fall of 1905, before the Steunenberg murder. Men from Caldwell, Nampa, and Silver City identified their registers and, the signature of Orchard and Simpkins, or Simmons, as he sometimes called himself.

Then a young bank clerk from Wallace came on, who told of having taught Simpkins to write. He identified as that of Simpkins the photograph which was identified yesterday by two or three men as that of Simmons, thus establishing that the Simmons who was with Orchard at Caldwell before the murder was in fact Jack Simpkins. He also identified as the writing of Simpkins the signatures of Simmons in the different hotel registers. When the bank clerk was excused, Senator Borah remarked casually, as if it was a matter of no particular interest, "The next witness will be here in a few minutes."

Orchard's Entrance

Of course that was Orchard. A rustle went through the courtroom at the announcement and there was a general shifting of seats to get down as near the front as possible. The day was warm and the room was hot and stuffy, but those who had the lucky seats near the windows cheerfully gave them up for the chance of sitting nearer the witness chair, that stands directly in front of the bench facing the jury. It is between the two long tables which stand one at each side and in front of the jury box for the accommodation of the lawyers.

In front of the witness chair, and almost touching it, are the tables of the stenographers, separating the lawyer’s tables. This places the witness some fifteen feet from the front row of jurors and about half that distance from the lawyers. Haywood sits at the end of the table used by his attorneys, almost within arm's reach of Juror No. 6.

Orchard had been kept over night at Hawley's office, under guard of Deputy Sheriffs, penitentiary guards, and detectives. They had not expected the summons for him so soon, and it was about ten minutes after Borah's announcement that he reached the Court House, having been brought up in a carriage surrounded by guards. He was brought up from the Sheriff's office by the back stairs built especially for this trial. The crowd had been craning their necks to get a better look at the door, and twisting from the main entrance to the side door, uncertain at which Orchard would appear. Darrow, Peter Breen, the new lawyer sent down to help the defense by the Butte unions, and Mrs. Crothers were chatting together over some amusing subject that brought smiles to all their faces, and Haywood was busily talking with Richardson and Nugent, when the side door, which had been opened, was closed from the outside and everybody knew that Orchard had arrived.

"Call Harry Orchard." said Senator Borah. The side door opened and Ras Beemer, the gigantic Deputy Sheriff who has charge of the prisoners at the jail, entered, followed closely by Orchard, behind whom came four or five guards and detectives. Instantly there was a movement in the back part of the courtroom. Several persons rose t their feet to get a better look and several started forthwith toward the rail which separates the bar enclosure from the body of the room. There had been so much talk of a possible attempt to do harm to Orchard when he should come on the witness stand that the guards and deputies were on the alert to check the first indication of any such thing. As the spectators rose in the rear of the room, two or three of the deputies jumped toward them with outstretched hands.

Deputies Keep Order

"Sit down!" shouted one of the Deputies in a voice that carried clear beyond the Court House lot. There was a ring of earnestness in the command that made it obeyed on the instant, and at once the courtroom became entirely quiet. Meantime, Beemer and Orchard had marched on in the gate in the railing by the witness chair. Beemer opened the gate and let Orchard through. Then he dropped the bar again and stood outside the rail. For a moment Orchard seemed dazed and uncertain what to do. He turned partly toward the defendant's table, but his gaze did not meet Haywood. The clerk was standing with uplifted hand waiting to administer the oath, but Orchard did not see him.

Beemer reached across the gate bar, took Orchard by the shoulder, and turned him half around so that he saw the clerk. Mechanically he raised his right arm. The forefinger was held straight, but the others were closed. His face was deadly pale and his lips twitched nervously. He was plainly under a great strain. But he responded to the oath in a clear voice, climbed up into the high witness chair, and sat down with evident relief.

Every eye in the courtroom was on him. Haywood's lawyers were learning forward to get a better look and between them Haywood crouched down so that he was concealed from all except those directly in front of him, stared with a look so fixed and hard that it seemed as if it would bore through Orchard. Every juror was staring hard at Orchard, most of them sitting forward on the edge of their chairs as if they half expected some desperate thing to happen then and there. The moment that Haywood appeared and from then on to the end of the day, no feature of the awful story he related affected him so as to alter his demeanor or shake his composure.

He told first the story of his birth in North Cumberland County, Ontario, forty-one years ago, and gave his true name as Albert E. Horsley. He has used the name of Orchard for eleven years, ever since he came to the United States from Canada. Why he came or why he changed his name was not brought out, although the reason for both must have a bearing on the subsequent career he led. He was a cheese maker in Canada, and when he came to this State from there he drove a milk wagon for a time and then owned and ran a wood yard up in the Coeur d’Alene’s.

What had happened to predispose this follower of such peaceful occupations to the life of atrocious crime he afterward led has not been disclosed. From giving these details of his uneventful, law-abiding existence, he went on to the narration of the most astounding stories of murder and assassination ever told in a courtroom, at least since the days of the Mollie Maguires. He began it, by his own admission, within a month after selling his wood yard and joining the Miner's Union at Burke.

No reason of compulsion or solicitude by the leaders of the union was shown for that crime. Apparently he committed it for the pure love of it. It did not involve bloodshed directly, as most of the later crimes did, but it was the sure forerunner of such. It was the blowing up of the Bunker Ill and Sullivan Mill at Wardner, on April 29, 1898, the crime that led to the military campaign in the Coeur d'Alenes that summer, and laid the foundation for the murder of Steunenberg. Simply, directly, in his quiet purring voice, Orchard told of the special meeting of his union called that morning, of his own attendance, and of the argument between Paul Corcoran, the Secretary, and Bill Devery, the President, over the proposition to go to Wardner and destroy the mill "and hang the Superintendent." By a bare majority vote, he said, the Burke Union decided to go. It was when he came to the blowing up of the mill that he confessed his first crime. Three fuses were laid.

His First Admission

"Who lit them?" asked Hawley. "I lit one," replied Orchard calmly, "I don't know who lit the others." A gasp of astonishment came from all over the courtroom. The crowd had been expecting to hear a tale of murder and killing, but somehow it seemed to have expected something different in the telling from this, and was not prepared for this sudden, simple, undemonstrative announcement. It came so quietly, so unexpectedly that it took the breath away.

Richardson fought vigorously to keep out the story. He objected at every point, protesting that there was not a thing in all this to connect Haywood with the murder of Steunenberg, and doing his best to limit the story of that tragedy. But Hawley and Borah beat him every time. Not the murderers of Steunenberg alone are on trial now, but this inner circle of the Western Federation of Miners, and not only for the Steunenberg killing, but for the terrible list of bloody crimes that Orchard went on to give. "On what theory can it be shown that Haywood was responsible for all of this?" cried Richardson, "when he was not connected with the Federation in an official capacity until more than a year afterward?"

"The theory of the State is that out of this trouble grew the feeling against Steunenberg which prevailed in the inner circle when Haywood later became a member of it," replied Senator Borah, "the feeling which directly caused that murder. Haywood became a partisan of the Western Federation and had that feeling, and on that we shall show his responsibility."

State Wins on Rulings

The State won. It won on every contest and in the end it became simply a matter of formal making of the objection and noting of the exception to the adverse ruling. It became apparent that Judge Wood had studied for himself the question of the admission of this evidence. He had foreseen what the State would attempt to do, and had prepared himself in advance for the rulings he would have to make. To his mind the only question was as to whether all this testimony would be connected directly with Haywood and the Steunenberg murder. Hawley and Borah assured him that unquestionably it would be so connected and he admitted it. That was the first great legal obstacle to be overcome by the State. The manner in which it won today justified the presumption that the question of the admissibility of its evidence as to the general conspiracy it charges has been settled in its favor.

As a point bearing on the motive for the Steunenberg murder Hawley brought out part of Paul Corcoran's argument in the Burke union meeting on the morning of the destruction of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mills. "Corcoran said that there would be no trouble with Steunenberg." said Orchard, with the manner of one who recalls the incidents of a picnic of last week. "He said the unions had always supported Steunenberg and owned him. We only had to look out for the regulars."

Steunenberg's Murder Planned

It was their disappointment at the failure of Steunenberg to live up to this estimate of him, the State contends, that led the inner circle men to plan his murder. From the account of that day and his flight from Burke and the regulars, Orchard went through the story of his wanderings in various mining districts in Utah, California, Nevada, and elsewhere for three years or more, until at length in July, 1902, he reached the Cripple Creek area. He worked for men whose motives he did not concern himself about. They set his tasks and he executed them, and there was never a question because high or low, great or small was marked for death; when the quarry was named he set out on his work, and when it had been accomplished he reported his successes.

That was all, he took the commendation of his employers as it came, all in the day's work, and neither strove neither to merit it nor to avoid their condemnation. It was money he worked for, and very little of that. The astonishing tale is utterly incredible, and yet there is that in the manner and bearing of the teller that stamps it as true. What motive he has for telling it now has not yet been disclosed. He told me a few weeks ago at the penitentiary some facts about his life since his arrest for the Steunenberg murder which afford a reasonable explanation.

Tries to Atone

He said that a man who had done a great wrong in his life could never hope to atone for all of it, but he believed that he ought to do what he could to set matters as far straight as possible. He told me that in just the same simple matter of fact way that he told his gruesome story to-day. I believed him then.

Today he forced on me the conviction that he was telling what had happened as it occurred. He has got beyond caring what comes to himself as the result. He does not even attempt to shield himself in any of the details.

He simply narrates an astounding and incredible series of events, in telling what this or that man did or said and what he himself said and did, with just the same monotony of narration as if he were recounting the uninteresting incident of his life as a cheese maker in Canada ten or a dozen years ago.

So it was when he told of the blowing up of the Vindicator shaft at Cripple Creek and the killing of McCormick and Beck, manager and shift boss of the mine. So it was when he narrated the attempt he made to blow up Bradley in San Francisco on the old grudge held against him ever since 1899 because he was owner of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan mines; so, too, it was when he described the ghastly massacre of non-union men at the Independence Depot because Haywood thought it necessary to get up some excitement to prevent a split in the Federation.

He told of putting strychnine in the milk left on Bradley's doorstep as if he had described changing the bottles for four pails of ice cream. He told of pulling the wire that exploded the bomb at Independence as he might have told of hauling a fish out of the water. There was never a change in color in his ruddy face as these stories of murder fell from his lips. Not even the tale of the killing of Lyle Gregory, the drunken Deputy Sheriff whom he followed about the streets of Denver in the night and shot in the back, brought a quiver in his voice or a tear to his eyes. Never a man like this sat in the witness chair before.

Haywood the Master

Through all the story ran the names of the men for whom he worked and those who helped him in his wretched tasks. Haywood as the master. It was he who gave most of the orders. Pettibone, too, gave directions, furnished money, and once started out as if to help, but made excuse and turned back. That was in the Gregory murder. Haywood was the source of the money. Even what Pettibone gave him came from Haywood. Moyer he named occasionally, but not often. Moyer knew of some of the crimes, for he talked to Orchard about them and joined in Haywood's declaration that this or that "was a fine job."

But Haywood was the master, with Pettibone as the chief assistant, and then there were W. F. Davis, the old Coeur d'Alene comrade, and Sherman Parker and Charley Kennison of the district union, with W. B. Easterly Financial Secretary of Orchard's own union. Parker is dead now, shot a little while ago in Goldfield.

The defense professed to be pleased with the story as one that disproved itself. The prosecution, however, is sure it can be corroborated. Without question it produced a tremendous effect, and throughout its recital there ran a growing conviction of its truth.

Orchard’s Confession One Long Recital of Remorseless Criminal Acts.

Paid by Leaders of the Western Miners’ Federation, He Kills, Poisons, or Blows Up Men Against Whom He Has no Personal Grudge – Murders at the Orders of His Organization.

(By Direct Wire to the Times.)
Boise, Idaho June 5 – (Exclusive Dispatch)

Harry Orchard, otherwise Albert E. Horsley, assassin extraordinary told his story today…

Hawley Bares Union Murder Clique

Chief Prosecutor Sums Up Damning Facts Against Federation Heads.

Opens Idaho’s Accusation of Criminal Conspiracy by…

…personal purposes and criminal methods, but have also from it retained the best legal talent to defend those of their number charged with crime.”

After retelling the story of the Caldwell crime, the arrest and the confession of Orchard, and part of the history of the Coeur d’Alene trouble, Mr. Hawley said:
The original proposition and theory that the power of this federation -- of the ‘inner circle’ at least of the federation – could best be perpetuated by the murder of those in official life, or in private situation, ran counter to their interests, became intensified seemingly after these gentlemen assumed the entire control.

“The ‘inner circle,’ composed as it was of this defendant and his co-defendants to a great extent, brought around them a few choice spirits and to them murder became trade and assassination a means of living.


“We will show, gentlemen, that a scale of wages was even devised, fixing the amount to be paid for different crimes by this ‘inner circle’ to par-…

The Sun. St. John, N.B. Monday, July 29, 1907

Boise, Idaho, July 28. Into the bright sunlight of a beautiful Sabbath morning, Wm. D. Haywood, secretary and treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners, walked today, a free man, acquitted of the murder of former Governor Frank Steunenberg.

Probability of acquittal was freely predicted after Judge Fremont Wood read his charge, which was regard…

Members of counsel and with the prisoner himself, in thanking with many evidences of sincerity the twelve citizens of Idaho who had heard the evidence and rendered their unalterable opinion. Mr. Richardson, too, hastened to dictate a statement in which he declared that his client had had an absolutely fair and impartial trial and that Idaho had indeed reason to be proud of herself.

Haywood’s first thought was of his aged mother, who yesterday suffered a nervous breakdown after the jury had retired.

Leaving the court room in company with Attorney Nugent, Haywood walked to the jail portion of the building, shaking hands as he went with guards, employees, and friends. He bade fare-…

Denver, Colorado, Wednesday, March 18, 1908

Orchard Sentenced to Hang But Recommended for Pardon

Caldwell, Idaho March 18

Judge Wood today sentenced Harry Orchard to be hanged on May 15, on his plea of guilty to a charge of murdering ex-Gov. Steunenberg.

At the same time the judge ordered attorneys for Orchard to prepare a petition for a pardon and commutation of sentence and present it to the state board of pardons, together with a judicial recommendation that the sentence he had just passed be set aside.

The decision of Wood that Orchard deserved a pardon was mingled with an abstruse legal argument that there was an equitable right for a criminal who confesses to obtain clemency.

He declared that he believed Orchard had told the whole truth, and that, despite the verdict of the jury, Haywood, Pettibone, and Moyer were guilty of all charges against them.

He said that the verdict of the jury was not that the men were innocent, but that the state had failed to prove their guilt. He said that inasmuch as Orchard had confessed his crime and the men he had accused as accomplices had escaped, Orchard should also be freed.

Orchard wept in the court room and in a statement repeated his former assertions that he had confessed without any promise of immunity. He was then sent back to the penitentiary.

It is freely predicted that the board of pardons will first commute the sentence and very shortly pardon Orchard.

Mrs. Steunenberg is Hoping for Orchard.

She Says Trial of Moyer, Haywood, and Pettibone is Beginning of National Struggle of Government With Labor Unions and Rebellion is Imminent.

(By the Associated Press – P.M.) Seattle, Washington, June 6

A Special to the Post Intelligencer from Walla Walla says: “Harry Orchard has done many wrongs, but I hope that he has repented now that he understands their magnitude, and that he will be given a chance to lead a good, true, and honest life after the present ordeal has passed.”

Idaho Daily Statesman

Death Claims Convict Harry Orchard

Harry Orchard, who blasted a trail of violence through the West which ended in the 1905 bomb-slaying of a former Idaho governor, died quietly today in the State Penitentiary.

The 88-year old Orchard outlived the other principals of one of the nation’s great court room dramas – William D (Big Bill) Haywood, William E. Borah, and Clarence Darrow.

When he confessed that he planted the bomb which killed Frank Steunenberg, Orchard implicated officers of the militant Western Federation of Miners.

Haywood and an associate were tried for murder and acquitted. A similar charge against a third federation official was dropped. Orchard was sentenced to the gallows, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He suffered a stroke last spring and was confined to bed for the last three months of his life. He lapsed into a coma Thursday morning, and was given 36 hours to live.

But he hung on stubbornly well past the deadline. Death came at 8:09 a.m. today.

Only attendants of the prison hospital were with him when he passed from a deep coma into death. Dr. G. H. Wahle, prison physician, was called to confirm the death.

Steunenberg was a prosperous sheepman who had twice been elected governor on the Democratic ticket. During labor violence in the rich Coeur d’Alene mining region of north Idaho in 1899, he angered the mine federation by asking for federal troops.

Orchard was working in the Coeur d’Alene mines at the time, but escaped the “bull pens” into which recalcitrant miners were herded. He hiked over the hills into Montana.

When he planted the makeshift bomb which Steunenberg touched off by opening his gate on Dec. 30, 1905, Orchard was posing as Thomas Hogan, a sheep buyer.

Actually, his name was Albert E. Horsley. He was born and reared in Ontario, Canada, but left his wife and child and came west under the name of Orchard.

When first arrested and arraigned, he entered no plea to the Steunenberg killing. He was taken to the penitentiary in Boise, thirty miles east of Caldwell, and interviewed by James McFarland [sic], a Pinkerton detective hired by the state.

After several days of this, he confessed to the Steunenberg murder and a host of other killings and explosions in Idaho, California and Colorado.

He said he was paid for all of them by the federation in its vendetta against mine owners, nonunion workmen and public officials who opposed its views.

Haywood, secretary-treasurer of the federation, was arrested in Denver. Arrested at the same time were Charles H. Moyer, President, and G. A. Pettibone, director, of the mine union.

Darrow, later to be America’s most famous defense lawyer, came from Chicago to assist in their defense. Borah, then newly elected to the U.S. Senate, was an attorney for the prosecution.

The trial drew worldwide attention as a spectacular crisis in the struggle between capital and labor. Haywood and Pettibone were acquitted. The charge against Moyer was dismissed.

After his imprisonment Orchard became associated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The Church published a book by the prisoner in 1952 which it claims has converted other convicts to Christianity.

Orchard raised bees and poultry during much of his prison career. He was born March 18, 1866.

Two Reporters' Perspectives

Oscar King Davis of the venerable New York Times and Ida Crouch Hazlett of the tiny Socialist paper, The Montana News, presented two very different views of the Haywood trial.

Their opinions about the truthfulness of Harry Orchard's testimony — and thus the guilt of "Big Bill" Haywood — were diametrically opposed. But they shared one thing in common: an ability to write wonderfully descriptive sentences.

The national press flocked to Boise, Idaho, in the summer of 1907. Joining Davis and Hazlett were correspondents from the Associated Press, The Hearst, Pulitzer, Scripps, and New York Sun, as well as The Denver Post, Boston Globe, Portland Evening Telegram, Cleveland Press, Chicago Herald-Record and Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Through his daily reports, O.K. Davis kept the world informed of every nuance of the trial. Hazlett's audience was considerably smaller, but she also presented a first person account of the court room events in the summer of 1907.

Here are their impressions of the dramatic testimony of Harry Orchard in June of 1907.

BOISE, Idaho, June 5—For three hours and a half today Harry Orchard sat in the witness chair at the Haywood trial and recited a history of crimes and bloodshed, the like of which no person in the crowded courtroom had ever imagined. Not in the whole range of "Bloody Gulch" literature will there be found anything that approaches a parallel to the horrible story so calmly and smoothly told by this self-possessed, imperturbable murderer witness.

There was nothing theatrical about the appearance on the stand of this witness, upon whose testimony the whole case against Haywood, Moyer, and the other leaders of the Western Federation of Miners is based. Only once or twice was there a dramatic touch. It was a horrible, revolting, sickening story, but he told it as simply as the plainest narration of the most ordinary incident of the most humdrum existence. He was neither a braggart nor a sycophant. He neither boasted of his fearful crimes nor sniveled in mock repentance.

It was just a plain recital of personal experience, and as it went on, hour after hour, with multitudinous detail, clear and vivid here, half forgotten and obscure there, gradually it forced home to the listener the conviction that it was the unmixed truth. Lies are not made as complicated and involved as that story. Fiction so full of incident, so mixed of purpose and cross-purpose, so permeated with the play of human passion, does not spring offhand from the most marvelous fertile invention. Touching continually points on which there can be controversy, Orchard explained acts whose motive until to-day had been hidden, whose purpose had remained a mystery. And while he talked the half-stifled crowd in the packed courtroom was so quiet that his soft voice penetrated to the furthest corner.

The astonishing tale is utterly incredible, and yet there is that in the manner and bearing of the teller that stamps it as true. What motive he has for telling it now has not yet been disclosed. He told me a few weeks ago at the penitentiary some facts about his life since his arrest for the Steunenberg murder which afford a reasonable explanation.

He said that a man who had done a great wrong in his life could never hope to atone for all of it, but he believed that he ought to do what he could to set matters as far straight as possible. He told me that in just the same simple matter of fact way that he told his gruesome story to-day. I believed him then. Today he forced on me the conviction that he was telling what had happened as it occurred. He has got beyond caring what comes to himself as the result. He does not even attempt to shield himself in any of the details.

Orchard looks neat, well-dressed in gray and well kept. But his face is certainly one of the most repulsive countenances that one is ever called to gaze upon. It is the face of a man without a soul, of one who has never known the call of the higher and nobler impulses. He is a man who would do anything for almost any consideration. He is of the born criminal type — with a certain intelligence to enable him to carry out his crime, but not enough to enable him to successfully cover them up.

Orchard's testimony was simply a repetition of what has already been published as his confession, and which he repeated as one who had learned a lesson well. Hawley led the way for him with questions — so much so that attorney Richardson accused him of testifying instead of the witness.

Orchard was a day and a half giving his testimony. The performance was a psychological study. The man has woefully missed his calling. He should have been a second Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes isn't in it beside him.

When one reads the testimony of Orchard, how he claims he murdered for money, the question arises, how much is he being paid to railroad Moyer, Haywood, and Pettibone to the scaffold?

It will be interesting to see what becomes of Orchard. It is safe to say that not a hair of his head will ever be harmed. He walks secure amid his enemies, among the men whose lives he seeks like a human hyena, surrounded by what his guardians consider the greatest dangers through the exaggerated care they take to provide against any possible harm to this darling of the gods of mammon.

Expert Commentary - Interviews

Historian Katherine Aiken is the Dean for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Idaho. Her latest book is Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1925. This interview was conducted in January of 2007.

BR: What were working conditions like in the 1890's in Idaho's Coeur d'Alene mining district?

KA: Mining — not just then, but now — is incredibly dangerous work. People didn't have protective equipment, they worked incredibly long hours in conditions that were hot and wet and uncomfortable. The physical amount of labor was tremendous, and the nature of the work was uncertain. You didn't know that you would have work over an extended period of time; and so, when prices went down or supplies were too high or for whatever reason, you would simply be unemployed, and there's no social welfare safety net that protects you.

We know that lead and mercury and other elements that were underground are dangerous; and particularly once they started using machine drills, and there's lots of dust, miner silicosis is a terrible problem in all mining in the west. Life expectancy was not long and people who contracted that disease had a very long and painful death ahead of them.

And mine owners were determined that skilled miners should receive $3.50; but other people who work underground — primarily muckers, the people who shovel rock into ore carts and ship it out of the mine — should receive less money, $3.00. Miners saw that as an assault on their dignity as workers, and they refused to entertain that idea.

BR: Folks might be surprised at the amount of violence in northern Idaho.

KA: There are two major incidents of violence in the Coeur d'Alenes: one in 1892 and one in 1899, where martial law is declared and miners are incarcerated in so-called "bull pens," makeshift jails. There simply weren't permanent jails there to accommodate that many people when you've arrested them; but there actually is ongoing violence throughout the 1890's in various ways and in various locations, and that entire decade is a constant war between mine owners and miners.

The Western Federation of Miners is created in the wake of the 1892 episode of violence, where miners are arrested and imprisoned; and while they are in federal prison, they talk about what has happened to them, and they decide they never want that to happen to them again, and they create this organization. And I think the fact that it's called The Western Federation of Miners is illustrative of their notion that the western hard rock miner had a unique role to play in labor organization, and that they wanted an organization that represented them and only them and really understood their interests.

BR: What was the worst kind of violence that occurred in the Coeur d'Alene mining district?

KA: I suppose that depends on your perspective. From mine owners' perspective, the worst kind of violence was when their private property was destroyed. I would argue, and I think miners would argue, in the 1890's that they confronted violence every day when they were forced to go underground and confront these dangerous conditions, and how their families suffer from not having enough to eat and having poor housing and not having health care.

BR: How did the state of Idaho respond to the violence that involved dynamite?

KA: The sanctity of private property is a critical element of the American psyche; and even though oftentimes it was the case before the 1870's, '80's and '90's that local government in particular was more closely allied and more sympathetic to workers, by the time we get into the period that we're talking about, government took more seriously its role as protector of private property; and it chose business and management over other individuals, because that sanctity of private property was so important.

BR: How important was the Coeur d'Alene mining district to the nation and the world?

KA: The Coeur d'Alene mining district is probably the premiere mining district in the world, and certainly the single most important economic enterprise in the state of Idaho, and a huge producer and long term producer of metals that are central to allowing the United States to become an industrial power.

BR: What particular relationship did Frank Steunenberg have with unions and with the mine owners?

KA: I think part of the reason that mine owners were sympathetic to Steunenberg is because he did come to their aid in terms of troops when they called upon him. But miners thought that the governor was going to favor them in all of this because he had been very pro-labor in his earlier life, and even at the time of his election; and I think miners felt like they had been betrayed by his action in declaring martial law.

BR: Did they view the assassination of Governor Steunenberg differently?

KA: I think miners were convinced that this was all a conspiracy on the part of mine owners to defeat The Western Federation of Miners; and I think mine owners were convinced that it was a conspiracy on the part of The Western Federation of Miners to punish Steunenberg for his actions in the 1899 labor episode. I think it is unclear which of those is the correct answer.

BR: After the assassination, did most people blame the Western Federation of Miners?

KA: I think there are few Americans who, when asked, wouldn't be cognizant of the fact that Americans are very fascinated by ideas of conspiracy, and that's probably because we don't like to think that things just happen because they happen. There has to be some explanation.

How could the former governor be assassinated? Just like how could the President, John F. Kennedy be assassinated by just an individual? It has to be more complicated than that. It makes people feel better to think that this is the product of a larger conspiracy than just that a mad person or a single individual can wreck such havoc with our lives. It's comforting to think it's a conspiracy, plus it's really exciting, I think, to think that.

BR: In some grotesque ways Harry Orchard was a real fascinating character.

KA: He was certainly colorful, and the problem with somebody that culpable, is that it's hard to separate the facts from the fiction.

BR: And yet he made a compelling witness. We read the accounts of the reporters. They are fascinated by this guy.

KA: My supposition is that there are several explanations for that. One is that I believe he probably legitimately did have a conversion experience. And people who have done that are often incredibly articulate and forceful in their viewpoint because they think God is inspiring that to happen. And I also think he may very well have been coached and coached extensively.

BR: James McParland, the Pinkerton detective, seemed to be a master puppeteer pulling the strings.

KA: The Pinkerton Detective Agency had, from my perspective, become really a sort of private security force for industrialists across the country. They made their reputation and their money by going to work primarily for large industrial entities, and they made their reputation by infiltrating labor groups and interests and by helping industrialists defeat unions. And by the time we get to this period they had been doing that for well over a decade, and were very good at that, especially James McParland, who had experience with the Molly Maguires, and had infiltrated them, and has a tremendous reputation as probably the most well known detective in the country at the time.

And as I envision him — and I have no way of documenting that this is true — I suspect that he could be a very convincing interrogator. Were I sitting in the room and James McParland was trying to convince me to confess, I feel very certain that I would have confessed to whatever it was he was asking me to confess to!

BR: I assume that many of the miners believed that the mine owners association had conspired to kill Steunenberg and place the blame on the Western Federation of Miners.

KA: I think miners in the Coeur d'Alenes were very convinced that the Western Federation of Miners officials were scapegoats in a much larger picture, and that they were being victimized by these forces of industrialization and government.

There was no question, I think, in very many peoples' minds that Harry Orchard had assassinated Governor Steunenberg. Where the question comes is, what prompted him to do that? And as I indicated, few people were willing to say that Harry Orchard assassinated the governor because he was a crazed mind, so there had to be some other kind of explanation.

And once you get to that point, then there were numbers of miners who believed that mine owners were capable of doing that, because they saw every day what mine owners were capable of doing to them on a personal level.

BR: We now know that the mining companies paid for the Prosecution side in the Trial.

KA: I believe the mining companies practically totally funded the prosecution's effort, and they also very clearly — the record is very clear — tried to keep people from testifying who would know that, so that the jury wouldn't know who was paying to have all of this happen.

And Frederick Bradley, the president of Bunker Hill Company, stayed out of Idaho during all of this because he did not want to be subpoenaed, because he did not want to have to testify what he knew about all of this. He totally avoided his big interest in the Bunker Hill Mine and managed it from California until all of this was over so that he would not be forced to answer these questions.

BR: Why is this trial important?

KA: It seems to me there are a number of things that are very important about this trial. First of all, it indicates what I think is a key theme in Idaho history, and that is, Idaho has an industrial aspect to its economy from its very beginning, and while we like to portray ourselves as only this rural sort of agrarian place, in reality there has always been another side to the Idaho economy, and all of this I think demonstrates that.

Secondly, I think this trial shows that Idaho is more than this hinterland, that what is happening in the Coeur d'Alenes had significance — not just in terms of the industry but when literally hundreds of thousands of workers in New York City are marching and are contributing to the defense of the Western Federation of Miners, that indicates to me that Idaho is at the center of labor controversy in this whole class war that we've been talking about, in ways that I think are not imaginable to a lot of people. People forget how important that was to Idaho.

Thirdly, I think when you look at all the examples of trials that are associated with labor violence, it's in Idaho that the Western Federation of Miners, that Big Bill Haywood is found innocent.

And Idahoans sometimes, I think, are tarred with this brush of being the bulwark of ultra-conservatism. But when the rubber hit the road, this group of Idaho farmers was willing to deliver a verdict of Not Guilty, when that didn't happen at Haymarket or numbers of other places. Idahoans' sense of fair play, I think, enters into this. Idahoans are conservative. They also have this idea that there are laws, and we follow them, and that equity and justice are important, and they are willing to do that when they knew it would be an unpopular decision.

BR: The press seemed to play a large role in this trial.

KA: A huge number of the press came to Idaho to cover this trial, and they covered the spectrum of politics and interests. And remember that newspapers and magazine print journalism is the only available way for people far away in the east to keep track of this trial; and it was pretty obvious, even to people then, that a trial when you have characters like Big Bill Haywood and Clarence Darrow and William Borah performing, that this is of interest; and so they wanted to tell the story.

I think it's one of the first trials where the journalists are as much a part of what happens in that court room as the two sides are — the defendants and the prosecutors and the defense attorneys and the judge. They are participants in all of this, and what they did shapes how we view what happened at the trial.

BR: We call this the "Trial of the Century."

KA: There are a number of "Trials of the Century." The Scopes Trial might be a trial of the century; the OJ Simpson trial might be the trial of the century; but certainly at the time that it took place, it took on the trappings of the Trial of the Century, because it had so much press attention; and also I think because of the verdict. I think one of the comparisons is that the Haymarket conspirators — for which there was no evidence that they had anything to do with that — yet they were convicted, and several of them executed.

We know in the case of the Steunenberg assassination that there certainly was an assassination, and we know who did it, and there certainly was some circumstantial evidence, at least somebody, Harry Orchard, claimed that the Western Federation of Miners had been responsible; and yet they are found innocent; and so I think that's probably what attracts so much attention.

BR: You seem proud to be an Idahoan when you talk about the verdict.

KA: I am proud to be an Idahoan! I think sometimes Idahoans get a bad rap on a number of levels for how we view issues of human rights. When you think about the recent terrorist trial, alleged terrorist trial, in Boise where that defendant was found innocent when everyone assumed that he would be found guilty. Idahoans have a strong sense of fair play, and they are willing to exercise that sense of fair play in times when other juries — if you think about civil rights juries, for example, in the south — who often came to decisions that went against the evidence or went against the instructions of judges. Idahoans don't do that, and so I think we should be proud of that.

BR: What do your students think of this trial? What resonates with them?

KA: I think it's difficult for students to imagine that any of this could happen, to begin with. It's difficult for them to imagine that conditions were that way in the Coeur d'Alene mines. It's difficult for them to imagine that you could kidnap these Western Federation of Miner people and bring them, apparently illegally, from Colorado to Idaho and try them.

It's difficult for them to believe that Clarence Darrow and William Borah and James Hawley would all be present and be participants in this, and I think they are fascinated that Idaho became such a focal point for attention about these issues, which really are, to my way of thinking, the issues about, do individual workers have rights, or are the rights of private property more important? Do they take precedent over those, and how do we negotiate that?

Idaho students are fascinated that it was in Boise, Idaho, that people were asking those questions.

BR: Who do you think were the winners and who were the losers in this trial?

KA: I'm not sure there are any groups that are totally winners or totally losers in this; but it certainly is the case that it was very difficult for the Western Federation of Miners to organize in the Coeur d'Alenes and in many other places in the west — really up until they become the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers — so it was very difficult for them.

In the short term, I think it advantaged mine owners who were then free to conduct their business as they wished without interference from labor unions, and who saw this entire episode as an indication of their attitudes that people who were part of labor unions were dangerous and threatened Democracy and the American Way. It's almost two generations before workers in this country in general and north Idahoans specifically are able to actually engage in collective bargaining and organize labor unions to represent them.

BR: I've heard folks say that the verdict actually helped the cause of democracy, that a guilty verdict would have led to rioting and revolution.

KA: I'm not convinced that that's the case. When I look at American history over the long term, Americans are, regardless of their social economic group, are committed to sort of the ideals of the founders and the nature of our country. Where in other such situations people revolt or resort to violence, we don't do that in this country because, fundamentally, everybody is committed to making this system work.

And that's why radicals are never successful in the United States, in part because they never really can get to the point where they are willing to throw out everything that the founders started. They don't do what their European counterparts, or their counterparts in Latin America or in China do. They aren't willing to take that stand, because they are deeply committed to the idea of Democracy, and because they are convinced, because of the nature of our system, that they may at some point be the capitalist.

BR: What effect do you think this trial had on radicalism?

KA: What Clarence Darrow claimed and what Richardson claimed was that it wasn't really Big Bill Haywood who was on trial, at all. It was the Western Federation of Miners and its ideas that were on trial. Clearly, there were numbers of people in the United States, once the verdict was delivered, who believed that this verdict represented some support for the idea that individual workers have a right to organize and to join labor unions and to advocate on their own behalf in terms of their working conditions, and so I think that is certainly one result. It doesn't mean that they are able to actually do those things immediately, but it does confirm for some of them that those were legitimate concerns for workers to have.

BR: It seemed to stick a fork into a lot of socialist thinking, that you can't get a fair trial in this country.

KA: I think that's true. I think even labor union people and workers themselves were surprised by the verdict, because they did have many other examples where verdicts had gone against them. The fact that this whole system worked seemed to, I think, run counter to what many of their arguments were. I think that is correct.

BR: Do you find any heroes in this story?

KA: The word "heroes" does remind me that this is a very masculine story; and we forget how things have changed in a hundred years. We would never have a courtroom where the pictures look like these photographs look, where there are all of these men filling every single role. So in that respect, it's a very different kind of situation, and I'm not sure that there are any people in this entire story whose actions are all above reproach.

BR: Should this trial even matter to us today, or is it just an interesting footnote?

KA: I think it matters for a couple of reasons. One, it matters just because it's just a great story, and a great story remains a great story regardless of the passage of time. These are colorful characters engaged in exciting work, the rhetoric is wonderful, the oratory is wonderful. When you read the words today — we don't have a tape of this — they are still exciting. When you read what everybody involved in this had to say, it brings chills to the spine because they were so articulate and dedicated and spoke so well.

So there's that whole story side. But I also believe that this whole issue about how important are individual rights in a country like ours — where do we have to sacrifice them in order to protect ourselves and insure our security is a question that we are asking all the time in the current situation, and it's one of the great questions of Democracy. How do we find that balance between the needs of the overall society for safety and our recognition that what makes the United States and Idaho the United States and Idaho is this emphasis on individual rights.

That's a constant tension. We don't always have the right answer, but one of the reasons I like American History so much is we usually get to the right answer eventually.

BR: One of the ironies of this story is that Harry Orchard outlives all the major participants in the trial.

KA: Even though I think he probably was a murderer, I'm sympathetic sometimes to Harry Orchard, because I think, when all is said is done, everybody else involved in this trial went on about their business and had a life, and Harry Orchard is left holding the bag for this whole thing and is incarcerated in Idaho State Penitentiary, basically for the rest of his life.

And I often wonder if he really was the victim of the Pinkertons who were looking out for their interests, and the attorneys who were looking out for their interests, and the Western Federation of Miners were looking out for their interests, and mine owners, and the one person who never really was able to get past this was him.

In a way I feel sorry for him. And he apparently was a model prisoner, by all accounts. I think we're often asking ourselves, could he really have been reformed? Could he really have had such a dramatic change of heart, or was this whole thing just a kind of theatrical performance on his part? I don't know.

David Grover is an historian and writer who has written several books, including Debaters and Dynamiters: The Story of the Haywood Trial. This interview was conducted in December of 2006.

BR: Before the trial played out there were a series of alternative theories being discussed about who actually assassinated former Governor Steunenberg.

DG: There were so many. You can invent one by re-reading the materials today, the trial materials. I think probably the leading ones were that there might have been a prosecution counter-plot going on here, that the missing witness Jack Simpkins may have been a Pinkerton or may have been an employee of the Mine Owners Association. That was one very strong one. There are as many theories as there are people who know anything at all about the trial.

BR: So who was Jack Simpkins?

DG: He was rather pivotal in that he was part of the inner circle of the Western Federation; and he was in Caldwell with Harry Orchard at the time or shortly before the governor was assassinated in December of 1905; and there is a documentary record of his being in touch with the Denver headquarters of the Union asking about getting an attorney and in return being told a Union attorney would come down from Spokane.

And he was also sent some money, so there was physical evidence connecting Simkins more closely than Orchard to the crime in Caldwell, and particularly in the days immediately before. But Simpkins disappeared and became the mystery, the real mystery, that was never solved in this whole case.

BR: Is it possible that Simpkins assassinated the governor?

DG: That could be, although there were people in Caldwell who passed Harry Orchard on the street shortly after the bomb went off and identified him later, picked him out the next day. Harry Orchard stayed around town and became so conspicuous he was acting as a sheep buyer, and he interrupted conversations about the dynamiting to ask if anyone knew where he could buy a good band of sheep. He just seemed so out of character, and then he was identified by this passerby on the street.

So it seemed pretty certain that Harry Orchard was the person who committed the crime. The big question was, did he have the blessing or support of the Union's inner circle in doing that?

There were a lot of things that Harry Orchard did that made him look very inept, very stupid. And he had planted a bomb in a Boise hotel, the Idanha Hotel, to get Steunenberg previously; and there was some problem, he had to disconnect the bomb. He had scouted his victims conspicuously, not furtively at all, and so there were just all kinds of instances of him having been seen doing the things he claimed to have done.

BR: Borah is said to have favored trying Harry Orchard in Idaho and leaving the Western Federation of Miners officials in Colorado. Why did he take this position?

DG: I think Borah simply thought this was Idaho's business and that they wouldn't worry about the other things that happened in Colorado because they really had to build an Idaho case, and I think he was using state's pride. Borah made a lot of his being an Idahoan. He was not a native. None of these people were, and he had been here less time than Hawley, but considerably more time than Darrow or Richardson, but he prided himself on being an Idahoan and he makes the state of Idaho, the manhood of Idaho, an important issue in addressing that jury in his closing argument.

BR: You have made a study of each of the major attorneys in this drama. Let's start with James Hawley.

DG: Prior to the trial Hawley was probably the best known legal figure in the state of Idaho. He had been in the Idaho Territory at an early date back in the 1860's I believe. Any way, he had been a miner, had gotten interested in law, read some law, went off to San Francisco and got himself a community college education at the City College of San Francisco, and even an associate degree, then came back and turned to the law full time.

He had been a prominent attorney, had a lot to do with labor law and was on the side of the union in several very important cases and he actually came to be known as the godfather of the Western Federation of Miners because he advised them in the Ada County Jail in 1892 after their imprisonment there for the riots in the Coeur d'Alene District. He advised them on what they could do, and they followed some of his advice. As he pointed out later, they didn't go the peaceful route that he would have prescribed for them.

BR: How did William Borah get into this trial?

DG: Borah was a later Idaho arrival. He came in the 1890's on a hunch that this would be a good place to practice law, and he started with the pettiest kinds of cases. I guess most attorneys have to begin that way, and so he wasn't a power until he became prominent in the Coeur d'Alene cases in the prosecution. He did a very imaginative thing in riding a box car down a canyon up there in front of a jury to prove that Paul Corcoran, a defendant in those cases, could be seen and identified by passersby, who said yes, he was part of that train that came down the canyon with those miners who dynamited the Bunker Hill Smelter.

So he was imaginative then. A very forceful lawyer. He and Holly had been on opposite sides in the Diamond Field Jack prosecution in the 1890's and continued over into the 1900's.

He had run once unsuccessfully for the Legislature or the Congress, I forget, but he had been elected to the United States Senate and elections in those days were by the state legislature.

BR: Clarence Darrow and Edmund Richardson were obviously not from Idaho.

DG: Darrow was a Midwesterner, basically, and his career was a kind of unusual one in that he had settled into corporate law practice. He was a railroad attorney, the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, and that's kind of hard to believe of Clarence Darrow, because he became so anti-corporation later in life. But he had also become involved in labor problems in the Chicago area — the Haymarket riots and all. He had done a number of labor cases and had become a labor figure but not a national figure yet. I think the Haywood trial really did that for him.

Richardson was the Western Federation of Miners' attorney in Colorado. He headquartered in Denver. He had come out of a little town in southern Colorado, where he had a private law practice. He was the least educated of any of the attorneys. He had no college at all. The other attorneys each had at least a year of college and none of them more than two. But Richardson as far as I could determine had no college and yet he was the most literary of the attorneys. His language was a step higher than anyone else's, even those who were prone to use flowery language such as Darrow or Borah, and so Richardson would come up with things that were probably indecipherable to even the attorneys in court, and the jurors must have had no idea at all.

I might add that self-read and self-taught attorneys were a remarkable breed of people. They obviously read widely because all of them were well-read men. You could not accuse any of those four attorneys of being less than well-read.

BR: For all their preparation, it sure seems that both sides misread their jury.

DG: I think both sides had to admit they had misread the jury. I think the prosecutors had felt safe, and I think the defense felt, we did the best we could, and yet they did swimmingly. Things went very well for them.

I don't know whether the explanation of that is simply their misjudgment, or whether the jurors really did determine the case on the legal strength of it as they had been told to do by the judge.

Now Darrow took the position that jurors never pay any attention to the instructions, so you as the emotional pleader can reach them. Well, he did reach that jury, but so did the judge's instructions get to that jury.

BR: How would you rate James Hawley's effectiveness in his closing arguments to the jury?

DG: Hawley had the responsibility of covering everything that had been in the evidence for the previous five weeks. That's tough, it takes a long time; he took a long time.

He was an older man, he seemed to be kind of under the weather as he made his presentation, but he did a pretty thorough job of covering everything that needed to be covered, knowing that a lot would happen between the time of his orientation of the evidence to the jurors and the time they finally made their decision. So what transpired after he was finished was really more important to the jury.

The jury could not help but know of his reputation, and he had that going for him, plus he had an easy, comfortable style. He sat on the table close to them and just chatted with them, and only once in a while would he rise to any kind of oratorical heights.

BR: After Hawley spoke for eight hours, Edmund Richardson then spoke to the jury.

DG: Now Richardson who followed him was exactly the opposite. He was an intense speaker. He moved the table back so he'd have more room, and he would kind of pounce and bounce around and gesture and raise his voice, and that bothered some of the jurymen.

The newspapermen picked up that some of them kind of turned sideways when Richardson was pounding on them. So he had developed a different style. He effected a different appearance. He was a city attorney by all appearances. He wore a wing collar which had gone out of style, except I think in very formal settings — inaugurations of presidents and places like that — and that must have seemed out of place in the Boise courtroom.

BR: Richardson spoke for ten hours. Then it was Darrow's turn.

DG: Now Darrow, the third speaker, was like Hawley. He had a kind of an easy going manner, but he probably more so than Hawley would rise to emotional pitches and was very effective. He particularly humanized the issues.

Now Borah would later talk about how this jury must defend the integrity and the manhood and the statehood of Idaho. Those are kind of abstract concepts, but Darrow talked about Haywood's mother sitting in that court room, and Haywood's wife sitting in that court room, and Haywood's daughter sitting in that court room, and do you twelve men want to deny to that wonderful family the life of their husband, father and son? It really touched. Apparently there were tears all over the court room during that presentation.

BR: Darrow was himself brought to tears.

DG: I think Darrow was a consummate actor, and Borah had a little of this in him too. He was accused of being an actor, but maybe a declaiming actor rather than Darrow's style, which was more of a Marlon Brando style, I suppose, by conventional standards. He got very cozy with the jury. There were real contrasts in all of them.

BR: As a former debate coach, I imagine you looked at the special strengths that each of these attorneys brought to the trial.

DG: Yeah, and oddly enough, it was hardest to identify the special strength of Borah than it was for the other three. Hawley's was his ability to relate personally to the jury. Richardson's was his ability to convince the judge about those narrow, legal constraints of the case.

Darrow's was this wonderfully emotional appeal, and Borah's was a little harder. It combined some elements of each of them, but I don't think he had the homey touch that the first two did, and he certainly suffered in the long run, in the final analysis, by going to the trouble of having his closing argument reprinted and doctoring it to improve upon it.

And that reprinted version persisted for a long time, and was quoted at some length in a number of books about the case. That to me was unfortunate, because, while Borah was eloquent, he wasn't that eloquent. To me, it all reflected his concern for his upcoming troubles in the land fraud indictment that he had to defend himself against later that year.

BR: I've heard him described as conflicted.

DG: Yes. There was conflict in his intent, his purposes. He was preoccupied, and that has been held against him, so he didn't really achieve all that Borah was capable of. I would have to conclude that, and I think other people have come to the same conclusion.

He was eloquent in his final moments, and when he described the scene in Caldwell, he was probably at his very best, and I think equal to anything that Darrow did emotionally. But, Borah still never approached Haywood in the way that a man who you were trying to convict had to be identified. He never quite was able to pin on Haywood some of the invective that Darrow had pinned on Orchard and even pinned on Hawley. Jurors understood invective, I'm afraid, but they did not understand abstraction.

BR: What role did religion play in their arguments?

DG: I think both Hawley and certainly Borah appealed to the Christian theme; and then Darrow scoffed at it, which seems to us today a very strange strategy, knowing what we did about small town America in the first decade of the 20th Century.

Seemingly Christian motives, Christian beliefs would be terribly important. Anyone adhering to those beliefs would be respected. Anyone ridiculing those beliefs would not.

It didn't work out that way, and not long ago I checked about the jurors. Only, I think, three of the twelve claimed a church affiliation. But I think the others probably would have identified themselves as Christians as most Americans would have in that time. So the Christian appeals seem proper, well selected, and yet Darrow ridiculed those appeals, ridiculed those beliefs, and got away with it with that jury.

BR: Edmund Richardson used some pretty big words in his closing argument.

DG: He gets into "tawdry," he gets into "obloquy" and some of these words that send us to the dictionary to find out. He was such a master of words, this uneducated lawyer from rural Colorado, that he was probably trying to prove something to himself or to the legal community, that coming up the hard way as he had without any college education, he was the equal of any fine attorney — and perhaps he was in some cases — but this may not have been one of those.

BR: And now to Clarence Darrow. What was his strength?

DG: One of the most interesting things that was said of Darrow and his skill as an attorney was said by John Nugent, one of his co-council in this case. Nugent was the Western Federation of Miners attorney from Silver City and later was in the United States Senate. Nugent called Darrow "Old Necessity," and when he was asked why, he said, because necessity knows no law, which was a pretty good indication coming from co-council what even defense attorneys thought of Darrow. I'm sure Nugent would have been very quick to say that this man can get the job done with juries.

It is very hard to identify what it was that Darrow was able to do in the Haywood trial because he seemed to violate so many of his own precepts. He said, I won't ever let a Scotchman sit on a jury. Well, he let two of them, and they were both for him all the way through.

He just had no faith in the legal processes meaning anything to the jurors, and yet apparently they did. He inveighed against Christianity. That has been mentioned previously and it was just a number of things he said about society. He inveighed against the stupidity of farmers, and this was a farmer jury, and he said, I was once a farm boy myself, but I wasn't dumb enough to stay one. That's the kind of thing that he did and got away with.

So it is really difficult to assess how he accomplished what he did. Maybe these other things they talk about, the fear the jurors felt about retaliation. Maybe there was more to that than we're willing to admit, because certainly you can't find in Clarence Darrow, his approach, his rhetoric, anything that really would have endeared him to this jury.

BR: He seemed to be saying the ends justified the means when it came to violence.

DG: Darrow made a big thing out of the fact that labor had committed some wrongs in its history, but that wrongs done on behalf of a good cause were forgivable. And he carried that to extremes, that violence in a good cause is forgivable, and that if a smelter was blown up and a thousand men did it, it was because that smelter needed blowing up. He actually said that about one of the events in the Coeur d'Alene troubles of 1899.

And so he constantly justified violence, and I can't picture that this was the sort of thing that farmers in Ada County, Idaho, in 1907 would have accepted as the kind of reasoning that justified what the defendant was alleged to have done.

BR: And yet he could be incredibly eloquent and powerful.

DG: Darrow had the ability to do that. He was obviously speaking very directly to them. His eye contact must have been very effective. He was close to them — in more ways than just being physically close to them. I think he picked out a very good way to approach them.

BR: Darrow also went after James Hawley, in what seemed like unfair ways.

DG: Darrow could come down very hard on his victim in the court room, and in this case it was mostly Hawley that he inveighed against. He found a lot of fault in Hawley's having helped the unions early on and then having turned on them. I don't think he uses the phrase "turncoat," but essentially that is what he was implying, and that Holly was getting rich.

And of course it's true if you look at the expenses that the state had for the trial. Most of the money, a goodly portion of it went to Hawley. Relatively little went to Borah. So Darrow knew what he was talking about when he said Hawley was doing well financially from the trial.

But invective was part of Darrow's court room procedure and Hawley just happened to catch it. It bothered Hawley a great deal. In his own words after the trial, he talks about wanting to give the man a thrashing and settle it, but he decided on the advice of his friends not to, so obviously it bothered Hawley. And any time you can get under somebody's skin it can be a benefit to you, although Hawley wouldn't speak again, so there was nothing he could do to unnerve Hawley at that point. Hawley had had his final word.

BR: The prosecution team of Hawley and Borah seemed to work well together. You can't really say that about the defense, about Darrow and Richardson.

DG: The prosecution team was a well integrated team. They agreed with each other largely and assigned responsibilities well, but the defense team had some serious problems.

Richardson indicated later he even considered leaving the defense team when Clarence Darrow was brought aboard. Richardson was a senior council, being the union attorney, and Darrow was the junior council, but Darrow obviously came away with the public image, being the lead council, the important pleader for the defense.

So the two sides were really going in different directions. The prosecution was going in a unified direction and the defense was going in a split direction, and that again is remarkable considering the verdict finally favored them.

BR: The reporters covering the trial seemed to think the jury would find Haywood guilty.

DG: The general feeling about the verdict, at least among the news men who were covering the trial, seemed to be that it was just basically a very settled issue, that one juror was holding out for acquittal, the rest were already to convict.

They had it wrong. It was eleven to one the other way around, and I think they were really surprised when the jury came in, and fairly quickly, with the result of acquitting Haywood.

I don't know of anyone who clearly saw the verdict in advance and announced it in advance. I think that would have been almost a dangerous thing to do in Boise at that time. It was very much up in the air, but people didn't realize to what degree it was up in the air. I think there was probably a feeling of, it's a dead certainty among a lot of people, and it certainly didn't turn out that way.

BR: Got any theories about why the jury found Haywood not guilty?

DG: There are a number of theories of the verdict. Some people took the position that the jurors were simply terrorized, they were afraid to do anything else.

Others argue no, these were intelligent men. They heard the judges instructions, they heard the cases that were presented and the lack of connection between Haywood and Orchard, and they simply made the decision as intelligent jurors would.

There was some criticism of Borah's role as not being as effective as it might have been, because he had hanging over his head the challenges of the trial for land fraud that he was soon to endure, and that he didn't have his heart in the prosecution, some said even from the beginning.

As the years go by, I tend to want to think that this was justice functioning as our legal system was supposed to dispense it, that some attorneys did a beautiful job of presenting a case, some jurors made some pretty intelligent decisions in the face of very difficult circumstances, and that Idaho was all the better, and that the country was all the better, for the way it turned out.

BR: Judge Fremont Wood certainly paid a price for his instructions to the jury.

DG: Fremont Wood, the judge, paid the ultimate price for having been accused of being too insistent on the jurors hearing over and over again the instructions about corroboration and the other responsibilities of proof. Judge Wood was subsequently not reappointed and his career really was over in Idaho.

He had been well thought of, he had had some personal experience in the Coeur d'Alene mining troubles, where I think he served as a prosecutor, so there was no question about his being pro-labor union if he had once prosecuted them in the Coeur d'Alenes; but I think he carried out his job very well and ought to be commended but he was not particularly highly regarded in Idaho. The governor vilified him for what he seemed to have been responsible for.

BR: The judge seemed to think Haywood was guilty.

DG: I think that's true, but in his own remarks later, Judge Woods said a very interesting thing. He said, after the initial arguments and the defense's motion for a directed verdict of acquittal, he, Judge Wood, was inclined to go along with that because he did not think a case had been made, but he said one thing deterred him. The fact that Edgar Wilson, who had been his law partner, was on the defense staff, and it would look like collusion or conflict of interest if he were to turn this case down and say to the prosecution, you simply have not built a case, we're dropping it.

So he insisted then that the prosecution go ahead with the case. Later he said, it was the defense's witnesses who convinced me of the guilt of Haywood, or at least the guilt of the inner circle, because the defense's witnesses were such a weird crowd of ne'er-do-wells and criminals that it really made a case where none had existed.

So the judge would have closed the case after Richardson's motion for the acquittal if the defense had not added Wilson to their staff, thinking that would give them some leverage.

BR: Who were the winners and the losers, in your estimation?

DG: It's hard to identify a loser, unless you look at the miners union itself and the direction it had been going. They lost in that sense. They had to reverse themselves and change direction. But that was probably a blessing for the miners union in that it turned out to be a more representative body and eventually turned into the International Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union.

Haywood went on to considerable fame. The union unloaded him, the Miners Union. He got active with the Wobblys; eventually they unloaded him, but Haywood still had his moment of glory during World War II when the Socialists became kind of vocal, did some indiscreet things in terms of war powers which never please everyone, and so Haywood fled a criminal from justice and went to Russia where he subsequently died.

So, in the long run sense, Haywood lost, but certainly he had had several years to enjoy greater — I was going to say fame, but perhaps notoriety is a better word — and maybe that's what radicals really prefer, is to be notorious rather than be famous.

The trial and its outcome did let the world know that that's not the kind of unionism that society really thrives on, respecting the rights of people to organize and all but that's not the end product that we would hope would result. That kind of violence has no place in unionism. I think the unions learned that lesson, and while there has been union violence since, I don't think it ever approached what it had been under the Western Federation of Miners. They had been once called "The Western Federation of Murderers" and it wasn't far from the truth, at least in some cases and certainly in the case of Harry Orchard.

BR: Did you personally find any heroes in this story or were there just too many backroom deals and lies to talk in terms of heroes?

DG: Historians love to find heroes in what they have researched, particularly those who haven't been identified as such by other writers, and I looked for a hero in the Boise trials, but I really didn't find one. I think the heroes, if they existed, were a group of people. The people who conducted the trial and that would include all the attorneys. It certainly would include those twelve men in the jury, the spectators who behaved against the expectations that they might not behave, and certainly the community. All those people were the heroes.

It was Boise's finest hour and certainly the finest hour for the state of Idaho. I think Idaho really came of age in the Haywood trial, and it was recognized for the first time as a state of extremely competent jurors who could conduct a trial under very difficult conditions, a trial that any state would have reason to be proud of.

BR: Why should people care about such a trial today?

DG: It's not easy to come up with an answer, except to say we have to be on our guard that we don't let the errors that characterized the background and trial in this case to emerge again in society. We can't let the things that happened in the mining camps happen. We can't let the violence that occurred at the hands of disgruntled union members happen. We can't let a trial be conducted under such difficult conditions as these.

I think that's the message for the future, and I think there is always a lesson in history — that we not let it repeat itself again and that I suppose is what another generation of Idahoans and Americans ought to be thinking about as they get interested in this case.

Byron Johnson is a former Idaho Supreme Court Justice. He has had a life-long interest in the Haywood Trial. This interview was conducted in December of 2006.

BR: Let's get right to Harry Orchard's amazing confession. How did that come about?

BJ: You've hit the heart of the case. Harry Orchard was totally innocent as he told those who interrogated him initially, the local law enforcement officers. And then there was another detective agency that was brought in called the Theil Agency, and they interrogated him without success. They were sure they had the right guy because of the physical evidence they found in his hotel room, but Governor Gooding, who was the governor of Idaho at that time, had immediately marshaled state forces to assist with the investigation, and the Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, Charles Stockslager, who was very interested in succeeding Governor Gooding as governor of Idaho, had a great interest in being prominent in this investigation, and perhaps a sincere interest because everybody knew Frank Steunenberg from the years he had come to Idaho and then become governor.

But the two of them, Gooding and Stockslager, knew the Pinkerton Detective Agency that was the foremost detective agency in America. And so they both contacted James McParland, who was the chief of the western division of the Pinkertons, and they prevailed upon him and the Pinkertons to come to Caldwell to undertake the investigation.

James McParland, who was then growing somewhat elderly, had been in the 1870's, the detective who broke the so-called Molly Maguires in the strikes of miners in Pennsylvania and actually a number of them, ten I think, had been executed because of their activities there, their violent activities. And this is the guy they wanted to interrogate Harry Orchard.

So McParland came on their request and the first thing he did was to say, I don't want him held in the Canyon County Jail any longer. I want him taken to a place where we can isolate him for ten days. And so there was quite a bit of scurrying around. They had to get legal opinions. They actually got the legal opinions of two members of the Idaho Supreme Court, two out of three, that it would be alright if they transferred him to the Idaho State Penitentiary, even though he hadn't been convicted of anything at that point.

So they took him to the Idaho State Penitentiary and put him in solitary confinement for ten days. Nobody saw him or talked to him. Then on January the 22nd of 1906 James McParland had him taken to the warden's office, and McParland came in and did not identify himself. He said in effect, Harry, I'm here to talk to you about the assassination of Governor Steunenberg. Now Harry, we don't need your confession to convict and hang you because we've got the evidence to do it, but Harry, rather than being hung, you have the opportunity to get my support to save your life. And here's how you'll do it, Harry. If you can implicate the so-called inner circle of the Western Federation of Miners, and I believe they are the ones who hired you to do this because they had good reason, and we've been on their case for quite a long time, but if you can implicate Big Bill Haywood and Moyer and Pettibone and anybody else who was involved, I'll do whatever I can, Harry, to help you save your life.

Well, Harry said, I have nothing to confess. I didn't do anything. I understand you have a job to do, but you are talking to the wrong guy.

Well, that's fine, Harry. I'll tell you what. I'll be back in a few days, you think it over, and we'll be back and talk to you again.

January 25th, three days later, he showed up again. Again, they took Harry out of solitary confinement, put him in the warden's office, and McParland said, well, Harry, I'm back again.

The long and the short of it is Harry Orchard decided to confess that day, and he started his lengthy confession. It lasted over four days. There were court reporters present, stenographers if you will, who took it down. It was eventually typed up, and on February 9th of 1906, it was presented to Harry Orchard, and he was allowed to read it over to make written changes in it and to sign it under the declaration that he had not been coerced in doing any of this, nor had he been promised anything. And this was the so-called confession.

There were, we believe, three copies of it made, and until very recently none of those copies have been available. Just a few months ago the family of Governor Gooding found a copy. It's been donated to the State Historical Archives here in Idaho, and I have a copy of it and have studied it, and that's what started out to be Harry Orchard's confession.

Now what most people think is Harry Orchard's confession is a published version. It originally was published in McClures's Magazine in installments and later was published in book form as the autobiography and confession of Harry Orchard that was sold. And so that, some people would call his confession, but I think the original typed version is what we need to focus on as his confession.

BR: What struck you about his confession?

BJ: The thing that struck me the most, the more I studied the original confession, was that on the first page Harry Orchard lied twice. Now, they may not seem to most people to be significant things, but when McParland said to him, what is your name, he said, Harry Orchard. That was a lie. His name was Albert Horsley.

When Harry Orchard was asked about his wife, he identified the woman with whom he was living, with whom he had in fact gone through a marriage ceremony, but he was still married to a woman in Canada and had a daughter by her, and he had abandoned them and run off with another man's wife in 1896. He didn't bother to tell that.

Orchard admitted killing at least 17 other individuals besides Frank Steunenberg in that so-called confession and a lot of other dastardly things. He was an arsonist before he left Canada. He defrauded an insurance company. He was a gambler. He played around with loose women quite frequently. He was not a savory character.

BR: From the point of view of a defense attorney, what are your thoughts about Harry Orchard as a witness?

BJ: Harry Orchard, in some respects, was the epitome of a witness. He was brought in, he was a different appearing individual than he had been when he was arrested. Of course, he hadn't been in public. He had a rather elegant mustache, he was dressed in a very fashionable suit, it turns out was loaned to him by the warden of the Idaho State Penitentiary. He was well-nourished, he was clear-eyed, he spoke very clearly, and his testimony as the newspaper reporters described it was flawless.

Indeed, several years later, the trial judge, Fremont Wood, used the flawlessness of Orchard's testimony to opine that he obviously was telling the truth, because even after twenty six hours of cross examination by defense council Edmond Richardson, he couldn't be tripped up.

As I've reflected on that flawlessness, I've come to a different opinion. I think there's a distinct possibility — maybe even a probability — that the flawlessness of Harry Orchard's testimony both on direct examination and cross examination was another clear evidence of his lack of credibility. That he was perhaps not telling the truth on all scores.

The newspaper articles about his testimony — and I've read particularly Oscar King Davis' New York Times articles day after day while he was being interrogated — were flowing with the reporter's view that this man must be telling the truth.

I think there's a distinct possibility that Harry Orchard's memory was really a script because at one point James Hawley suggested to him, well you can just tell this in a narrative fashion. Well, that's what had become his memory, the script that had been created through the so-called confessions and the tutoring — mentoring if you will — that he received from McParland and his attorneys. So that was, in some respects, the most exciting part of the trial, Harry Orchard's testimony.

BR: The pre-trial legal process strikes some as almost scandalous.

BJ: Probably the thing that most people would agree was scandalous was the fact that the officials of the state of Idaho and the Pinkerton Detective Agency kidnapped Bill Haywood, Moyer, Pettibone from Denver, Colorado, in the dead of night under the supposed collar of an extradition.

Now, extradition was not appropriate under the United States Constitution for these three officials of the Western Federation of Miners, because in order to have extradition under the Constitution they have to be fugitives from justice, meaning they had to be in the state of Idaho on December 30th of 1905, when Frank Steunenberg was assassinated, and then have fled from the state and needed to be brought back to stand trial.

In fact, they weren't in Idaho on December 30, 1905. They didn't leave Idaho any time close to that date, because they weren't here. But what the state of Idaho did was rely upon a technicality. The technicality was that as alleged by Orchard and the indictments of the State of Idaho, they were accessories to Harry Orchard's assassination of Frank Steunenberg, and as accessories under the Idaho law, they could be charged as principals; that is, the charging documents that lead to the extradition, so-called, said they had murdered Frank Steunenberg, because that's what the Idaho law entitled them to charge them with.

So here they were, going to the Governor of Colorado with documents that said, these three officials of the Western Federation of Miners murdered a former governor of Idaho, and we want them arrested and taken back to Idaho. Well, the governor of Colorado wasn't friendly to the Western Federation of Miners anyway, and he decided, sure, arrest them and take them back.

So he signed the necessary papers that had them arrested; the law enforcement authorities in Colorado had been alerted, and on a Saturday night the three of them were taken into custody, and they were put on a special train with the track cleared by the Union Pacific from Denver to Boise so they wouldn't have to stop.

Now the important legal point about that is that, for instance, under English law there was a requirement that anyone who was subject to that kind of process, where they were taken from one state back to a state where they were charged with a crime, had to be given the opportunity to have a lawyer challenge the process, because if they weren't fugitives from justice, it was an improper process.

But there was no such rule in Colorado or Idaho or the United States generally at that point, so they were given no opportunity to contact their attorney to try to challenge this process.

The next thing they know, they are back in Idaho; they are charged with the murder of Frank Steunenberg; and then Edmond Richardson, their attorney through the Western Federation of Miners, filed papers with the Idaho Supreme Court asking for Habeas Corpus, the great writ, the great foundation of Anglo-American liberty — being able to challenge the authority of the king or the monarch or the president or whomever took you into custody, that you weren't lawfully taken into custody.

They didn't get to do that until they were back in Idaho and the Idaho Supreme Court said, once you're here, we don't care how you got here; you've got to stand trial. The federal court in Idaho said the same thing, and the United States Supreme Court said the same thing. And very surprisingly, that is still the law in Idaho, in the United States generally today in the state and federal courts.

Indeed, it was the very principle that the Israelis used when they kidnapped Adolf Eichmann from Buenos Aries, Argentina, in 1960 and took him back to Israel for trial as a war criminal. They used that very precedent before the United Nations when they were challenged. Well, that was the first thing that was very irregular and I think most people have been shocked by it.

Tony Lucas, who wrote Big Trouble, came to see me when I was on the Idaho Supreme Court and asked me how in the world the Idaho Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court could have ever ruled that way; and what I had to tell him was, after I researched it, was it appeared to still be the law, which he found very difficult to accept.

BR: What other differences were there in the way the trial was conducted?

BJ: I would characterize the criminal process in 1905 in Idaho and most other American states as "hide the ball." That is, the prosecution was in charge of accumulating the evidence and presenting it at trial against the defendant. There was no process defined by which the defendant, like Big Bill Haywood, was entitled, for instance, to the confession that Harry Orchard had rendered — especially the one that he had originally given to McParland. Now, the ones that were published they could read, but they would like to have seen that original confession to see how they could use it to cross examine him. They never saw it.

Today, the defendant is entitled to receive from the prosecution any information, including witness statements, that would help exonerate the defendant or reduce the degree of his complicity in the charges; and today we have rules also of criminal procedure that allow the defense to ask for witness statements if a witness is going to testify, and that would have cleared out this question about Orchard's confession that was totally kept private and away from the defense's scrutiny.

BR: And both the prosecutors and the defense seemed to have lots of detectives working for them.

BJ: There were a lot of them. It was endemic, I think, in the United States in those days. The Pinkertons were the prominent ones, and not only was James McParland involved, but there were others who were helping the prosecution investigate the prospective jurors.

Every important person in the case had a bodyguard. James McParland had a guy named Charlie Siringo. Charlie Siringo had infiltrated the Western Federation of Miners at an earlier date in north Idaho, and had fed information back to the mine owners, but Siringo was an example of the kind of gun slinging bodyguards that the Pinkertons provided, not only for their own people, but for the governor of Idaho and James Hawley, one of the special prosecution.

There was a Pinkerton operative — so-called Operative 21 — who infiltrated the process. During the examination of prospective jurors in the courtroom during the trial, the defense began to get the idea that the prosecution already knew the defense's information about certain prospective jurors, and they finally unearthed this Operative 21 and ousted him from their presence, but it kind of tainted the whole process.

But there was this going on continually, of snooping on the other side through detectives, who many then turned up in the courtroom armed — although as I understand they weren't supposed to be armed — but they were armed, and everybody knew they were armed.

There was a story that the Western Federation had hired a sniper to be stationed on Table Rock to surveil the exercise yard of the Idaho State Penitentiary, and if Harry Orchard ever ventured out there, they were to shoot Harry Orchard.

When this rumor came to James Hawley, one of the special prosecutors, he was heard to say, "Well, if Harry Orchard is the first one to be killed, Clarence Darrow will be the second one." So that was the spirit in which this trial was going on. It was probably hyperbole, but, with the revelations of Harry Orchard and the violence that people already knew had taken place in the mining wars in both Idaho and Colorado, it was serious business, because there were lots of violent acts involved.

BR: There were some pretty interesting theories floating around before the trial began.

BJ: The most prevalent one was that the miners had angered the Mine Owners Association so much, that they hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate and that somehow they had convinced Harry Orchard to do this dastardly deed to Frank Steunenberg and blame the Western Federation of Miners for it.

Now to buy that theory, one has to believe that Orchard would be willing to do it for the Mine Owners Association and the Pinkertons if he were paid properly probably, and that was a good share of the trial from the defense's point of view, especially Edmond Richardson. He stressed that a lot — that there was this effort by the Mine Owners Association and the Pinkertons to get rid of Steunenberg in order to implicate the Western Federation of Miners. Frankly, I don't think that theory ever went very far and Clarence Darrow did not subscribe to that theory.

The theory that was hard to use during the trial was that Jack Simpkins, who was the fourth member of the inner circle of the Western Federation of Miners and who actually came to Idaho with Harry Orchard, may have either been the one who killed Steunenberg and left Orchard to take the blame for it, or in fact hired Orchard to do it, because there is clear indication of money that flowed from the treasury of the Western Federation of Miners to Jack Simpkins in Idaho during the time immediately before Steunenberg's assassination.

Now there was also the fact that an attorney was hired for Orchard after he was taken into custody, and that attorney who came from Spokane was paid out of the treasury of the Western Federation of Miners.

Now that would, on one hand, seem to indicate the Western Federation of Miners involvement, but it may only have indicated that Simpkins, who was the Idaho supervisor for the Western Federation, made a deal with the president of the Western Federation to support this fellow who was accused of killing Steunenberg, because he was a member of the Western Federation, and they were trying to implicate the Western Federation.

All that centers on Simpkins himself, and the remarkable thing is Simkins disappeared sometime before Steunenberg was assassinated. The last time he was seen in Caldwell was probably the middle of November. To this very day no one has ever been able to tell where Simkins went. He may have changed identity. He may have been the one who put Orchard up to killing Steunenberg, and all this may be a totally different explanation of Steunenberg's death.

BR: Borah is said to have favored trying only Harry Orchard and leaving to Colorado the cases against the Western Federation. Was that a good idea?

BJ: William Borah was a very excellent lawyer. It appears to me that his rationale was, first of all, that in order to convict Big Bill Haywood, Orchard's testimony had to be corroborated; that is, supported by other evidence on the essential points, especially Haywood's hiring Orchard to kill Steunenberg. And the Idaho law was then and it is now, without that type of corroborating evidence, you couldn't convict Haywood on Orchard's testimony.

So, I think that Borah, knowing that rule, could see it was going to be difficult to get the corroborating evidence, especially when the key corroborating witness was someone who had been employed in other respects by the Western Federation of Miners — and his name was Steve Adams — and he had under tutelage, so to speak, by Harry Orchard and James McParland, confessed to items that implicated Haywood in the assassination.

But because of Clarence Darrow's activities in the case, he got Steve Adams to withdraw his confession, so Steve Adams couldn't be a prosecution witness, because he then had the protection of the 5th Amendment, because he might then be implicating himself in something he wasn't already implicated in.

I think it's very probable that Borah saw that, plus he saw that the unions were strong political allies in some respects, and he had just been elected as United States Senator, and there's a possibility he didn't want to alienate the unions.

But I think the key reason is that he could see Harry Orchard as a very unappealing prosecution witness because of his nefarious background, and he did not want, as a matter of principle, to honor the memory of Frank Steunenberg by letting Harry Orchard live. And Harry Orchard did live until 1954 when all the other participants in this trial were long gone.

The guy who killed Frank Steunenberg lived the longest, and I think that Bill Borah may have seen that possibility. And I think Borah felt that the proper way to honor Frank Steunenberg's memory was to convict and execute the man who admitted killing, assassinating Frank Steunenberg, and he was never given that opportunity because the case was diverted to the officials of the Western Federation of Miners, because the prosecution and the mine owners wanted to destroy the union — and that's what the trial was about.

BR: The prosecution had to somehow corroborate Harry Orchard's testimony. That was their burden. What was the special burden for the defense?

BJ: They had direct testimony from a witness that Haywood had hired Orchard. He was very vivid in his description of that, he could tell you when and where it happened, who was present, what was said, and what he expected, and what he received. And of course Harry Orchard could show no other livelihood during the many months preceding the Steunenberg assassination than what he claimed he was getting from the Western Federation of Miners, for whatever reason.

So the defense was confronted with that initially, that there was this connection between Harry Orchard and the Western Federation of Miners. What was he doing in Caldwell all this time if he wasn't there to assassinate Steunenberg? And if the Western Federation of Miners wasn't paying, who was paying him?

It was a very large burden even though the prosecution had the initial burden. The defense was in a disadvantageous position because Boise Idaho in 1907 was not really the hot bed of unionism, and it was a relatively conservative community. It was a small isolated community, and it was not accustomed to trials of this sort and people were, so to speak, Law and Order. Indeed the jury was Law and Order. Nine of them were Ada County farmers; three of them had been farmers at one time but had gone on to other endeavors. All but one of them was over fifty years of age.

There were no women on this jury. Even though women had been given the right to vote in 1896, the Idaho Statutes referred to a jury of twelve men and when the Idaho Supreme Court at a later time had an opportunity to interpret that, they said, that means men. Granted, women are qualified voters but it says men so until 1943 when the statute was changed, only men could serve on juries, and here we had a jury of twelve Law and Order men from Ada County — and that was a big problem as the defense viewed it.

Going into the case, I think the odds might have been one out of five for acquittal. By the time they got to the case being given to the jury, I would think the popular sentiment was one out of ten; that is, that nine times out of ten, Haywood was going to be convicted.

Now that may not have been an astute analysis of the rules of corroboration and the other rules that the judge instructed them about, but that was certainly the popular sentiment.

BR: Let's talk about the courtroom setting and the mood of those who came to watch the trial.

BJ: The Ada County Courthouse in 1907 was just on the eastern part of the block where the State House is now, and it had been built in 1882. It was basically a brick building described as Italianate. It had wooden cupolas on top and on the third floor it had Judge Fremont Wood's courtroom. This was a room that was 40 x 75. It normally seated 250 members of an audience. The trial judge expanded that by allowing fifty additional chairs to be placed inside the rail, so to speak, for spectators who were then right next to where the attorneys and the jury were as well as the witness.

The judge's bench as we would usually refer to it was at the end of the courtroom and was generally described as being like a pulpit — so he was elevated and he sat above where the jury was placed. The jurors had swivel chairs and could turn one way and look at the judge and turn the other way and look at the witness. The lawyers sat on benches on either side of the witness, and the witness was kind of the central feature of the courtroom in the witness chair, with chandeliers hanging above for proper lighting.

The occasion of the trial was a grand event in Boise. It packed the courtroom every day during the trial, and the trial went on for two and a half months. Indeed, during one part of the trial, one of the prominent, maybe the most prominent dramatic actress of the day, joined the residents of Boise. This was Ethel Barrymore who was in Boise to star in Captain Jenks and the Horse Marines — but that was symptomatic of the popularity of this as a theatrical event, if you will, because of course that was before we had all the forms of entertainment we have these days.

July in Boise in those days as in these days can get blistering hot. There was no air conditioning and by the time of the summations the temperatures were in the range of 95 to 98 degrees, and all the windows had to be thrown open, fans were distributed, hand fans, and people were fanning themselves to try to keep cool. People lounged on the lawns outside. It was a grand event and people struggled to get there in time to find seats every day.

It's reported there were 54 journalists who were there from all over the world really, but certainly the major United States dailies and many magazines and they did a marvelous job of reporting it. The array of materials we have from the journalists is remarkable, examining every aspect of what went on in the courtroom as well as what went on outside the courtroom, and the words flowed. It's estimated 50,000 words a day flowed across the telegraph lines out of Boise to all parts of the world; and the New York Times ran stories daily from Oscar King Davis. The other major dailies and magazines had similar staffs and production of articles. Even when the trial was over, there were analyses about how the verdict came about. There was a debriefing of the jurors by some and it has continued even down to the present day, with people writing and rewriting the analysis of the whole dramatic event.

BR: The prosecution team seemed to be going in the same direction, as opposed to the defense team.

BJ: As a team, Hawley and Borah appeared to be well balanced, because Hawley with 35 years of practice in law in Idaho, starting in the Boise Basin when he was a young man in 1871, had tried so many cases that there was nothing new to him really. He reputedly had participated in 300 murder cases previously, so he was the old "sagebrush" lawyer as some called him. He understood the Idaho jurors mentality. He knew what buttons to push. He was not eloquent usually, but he understood who he was dealing with.

Borah, on the other hand, of course was a world class orator and at pertinent portions of the trial his oratorical ability was on display. Borah and Holly could then work together very well because they complimented each other.

Richardson and Darrow did not get along. They had different approaches to the case; they had different approaches probably to the law generally. Richardson probably would be best described as a very fine lawyer with strong legal skills. Darrow on the other hand, who had become very successful especially in representing unions and union members, was called even by a member of his own defense staff, "Old Necessity" after the legal adage, "Necessity knows no law."

Now, it's not true that Darrow didn't know any law. What is true — that his forte was his understanding of human nature, his ability to appeal to the sentiments of jurors. Indeed, I think the cardinal rule of Darrow's legal representation was, give the jury a reason not to convict your client. Make your client such a warm human being regardless of whatever fallacies there might be about his conduct, that the jury will not want to convict him if they can avoid it; and I think that's what he did with Big Bill Haywood.

BR: When you read what Darrow said to the jury, you wonder how he could have been effective with them.

BJ: Darrow's cardinal characteristic is agnosticism. Now usually that is looked at in a religious context but in the broader context he took that attitude toward all human behavior, so that when he looked at a group of individuals like the twelve jurors in this case, he knew inherently after having studying them for weeks that he wasn't going to be able to just pound on them and convince them not to convict Bill Haywood.

He had to approach them, if you will, obliquely, and so these long, apparently irrelevant passages, where he would go off on flights of oratory about various concepts of human behavior, of the organization of society, of religion, of the unions in particular, of the class warfare, were all designed to kind of mesmerize the jury into the feeling that this was not somebody who ought to be killed, that Big Bill Haywood shouldn't be sentenced to die because of what he had done, that Harry Orchard was the culprit.

Indeed, kind of going back to the way Borah, I think, may have looked at the case. That's the attitude that Darrow tried to instill in the jury. That if they found him guilty, they would have ordered the death of Big Bill Haywood, and there was good and sufficient reason not to do that.

BR: You seem to have a special place in your heart for Clarence Darrow.

BJ: He's my hero. He is to this day. I think he did things in the law that revealed his idealism about the law. That the law should serve the cause of justice. It should not be a vehicle for carrying out some person's or some entity's political agenda.

Indeed, the reason he gravitated toward representing unions is because he was convinced that the working people of the United States, indeed of the world, needed champions who would help them achieve their just results under our economic system.

Darrow saw himself as the champion of the little people, the people who went to work every day, and in one of the portions of his summation he evokes that. And what he evoked was that the jury was being watched — not only by the capitalists but by the working people. Not only of the United States but of the world.

And I think that was his forte, that he was able to humanize for the jury what their real decision was. It was not a technical decision. They simply had to decide whether to kill Bill Haywood or not.

BR: When the jury came back and rendered their Not Guilty verdict, it must have surprised most people.

BJ: They were astonished. I think the public generally, especially in Boise, was convinced that Haywood was guilty, and therefore it was just a matter of going through the motions. The intricacies of the trial eluded some of them I'm sure.

I think the press may not have captured the sentiments that were developing among the jurors. The jurors, when they were debriefed after they had rendered their verdict, said on the first ballot there were eight of them for acquittal, already, on the very first ballot, so the defense had done its work of casting doubt on Orchard's testimony, preventing corroboration from occurring of his testimony.

But most of all, I think the jurors followed the instructions of the judge and rendered the verdict that was really required of them. They did, many of them, refer to Darrow's advocacy, but the people on the street, I think, were generally not as convinced as the jurors were of what the verdict should be.

BR: So it sounds like Judge Fremont Wood had a major role to play in the verdict.

BJ: He had an enormous role to play. I think he is the unsung hero of the case, because he was criticized immensely for the instructions he gave. It was said that he gave too many instructions about presumption of innocence, of reasonable doubt, and that he emphasized too strongly the need for corroboration.

I think it was called for under the circumstances, but certainly he was very strong in giving instructions that stated the case that the defense had tried to make.

I think it needs to be said that the trial judge might have turned this into a totally different story if he had done what he later said he was almost prepared to do, and that is to dismiss the case at the end of the prosecution's witness, because the defense moved for acquittal when the State rested, and it appears from subsequent comments that Judge Fremont Wood made that, but for the presence of his former law partner Edgar Wilson as one of the defense lawyers, he might have terminated the trial at that point,because there was not sufficient corroborating evidence.

He said one of the reasons he didn't is because that would have looked like he was favoring his former law partner. But that indicates how weak the prosecution case was, even after they had presented their evidence and the defense hadn't presented any evidence. Indeed, the trial judge said that there was more corroborating evidence [that] came in through the defense's case than there was through the prosecution's case.

BR: Judge Wood paid a price for his part in the case.

BJ: He was the subject of a very aggressive campaign to defeat him. It was led by former Governor Gooding. He was defeated in his bid for re-election in 1908 and solely because of the Haywood case.

BR: He was, in your view, the unsung hero.

BJ: I think he was, because in our society, justice is the center of our concern, justice based on the Rule of Law; and the Rule of Law depends in a jury case on the jury being correctly instructed on the law, and the jury following the law they are instructed on.

Both of those things happened in this case. Maybe Big Bill Haywood hired Harry Orchard to kill Frank Steunenberg, but if he did — and I think there is plenty of evidence to indicate that he did — it wasn't proved as the law required it to be proved; and in my view, that makes the Haywood trial verdict probably the best example of the Rule of Law that I know of in American History, because it went against all the odds at the beginning of the case and at the conclusion of the evidence as to what the public thought was going to happen. Public sentiment did not rule the jury's verdict, the law did.

BR: Clarence Darrow was quite impressed with the town of Boise, Idaho.

BJ: When Clarence Darrow arrived in Boise with his wife, he looked around, he saw the library, he saw Table Rock, he saw the many literary and other events going on around Boise, and he called it "the Athens of the Sagebrush."

It was intended to be a compliment, because Table Rock symbolized the Acropolis, and the way people were educated, and the things they discussed brought to mind the Greek Society. He was very fond of Boise during the time he was here.

BR: And yet he was surprised by the verdict.

BJ: I think Clarence Darrow's knees undoubtedly buckled at that moment, because I'm convinced he thought Haywood was going to be convicted.

He was very surprised. Of course, lawyers need to be guarded. I can tell you, from many years of experience, that the longest time in the universe is the time between when the foreman of the jury hands the sealed envelope to the bailiff, the bailiff gives it to the judge, the judge opens the envelope, looks at the verdict, hands it back to the bailiff who hands it to the clerk and the judge says, read the verdict. That is the longest interval of time in the universe, because all of your work is in the balance, and whenever the clerk reads the verdict, you either collapse from exhaustion or from joy.

BR: What do you think of the phrase, "Trial of the Century"?

BJ: It all depends on which century we're talking about. This is really, in my view, a 19th Century case, because that's where the events, the struggles, the conflict that lead to it arose. So I would say it's really a trial of two centuries, of both the 19th and the 20th Centuries, because it was symptomatic of a new attitude that was growing in America that would balance the means of production with the working people.

It didn't happen overnight, and some would question whether it's happened now, but I think it was a beginning and I would think "The Trial of the Centuries" is a more appropriate title.

BR: What did the verdict mean to the nation as a whole?

BJ: As this began to be broadcast around the world, I think the world was affected by it positively, and they could see that America was growing up, America was reaching the status where difficult cases could be handled in a just manner, and there wouldn't be mob violence, there wouldn't be hangings that weren't called for. I think it was a beginning of an era where we could expect that justice would be done.

BR: Who were the losers in this trial?

BJ: The losers clearly were people like former Governor Gooding, who had reached the conclusion about Haywood's guilt even before the evidence was presented. Certainly, all of those who had invested in the prosecution, like the mine owners and the Pinkertons, certainly weren't winners in this case. Those were the primary losers.

BR: And the winners?

BJ: Obviously Haywood, but curiously the Western Federation of Miners was not a winner, because there had grown an estrangement between Haywood and Moyer during the eighteen months they were incarcerated together. They grew to dislike each other. When they emerged from the Haywood trial, Haywood went back to Denver, and Moyer was actually released on bond pending his own trial, but he resumed presidency of the Western Federation and Haywood was cast out and became president of the Industrial Workers of the World and ended up being convicted of sedition during the First World War and ended up in Russia, died, and part of his ashes are in the wall at the Kremlin.

So I think he took an extreme route after his acquittal that some people wouldn't think exemplified the cantor of a winner.

BR: Did you find any heroes in this trial?

BJ: I still think Fremont Wood is the one who needs to be remembered as having carried out his duties in a dispassionate manner without being swept away by the sentiments of the public, by not being influenced by what he knew was going on around him in his community, doing what the law required. That's what we would hope all judges will do, however unpopular it is.

BR: The verdict did not seem to hurt William Borah or James Hawley's careers.

BJ: James Hawley went on, in just a few short years, to become Governor of Idaho. Borah had already been elected to the Senate. He was acquitted of timber fraud in short order after the Haywood trial and went on to serve for thirty-three years as senator from Idaho, from 1924 to 1933. He was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in 1936 he was one of the leading candidates early on for the Republican nomination for President. And he died the hero, I think, of most Idahoans; and he is one of the two people who are memorialized by statues in the United States Capitol.

BR: And former Governor Frank Steunenberg has a statue in front of the Idaho capitol.

BJ: The Steunenberg statue that stands in front of the Idaho Capitol building was dedicated in 1927. James Hawley gave the dedicatory address. William Borah was supposed to, but he was held over in Washington, so Hawley did it.

Interestingly enough, James Hawley's grandson, Jess B. Hawley, Jr., has told me that it was his grandfather, James Hawley who intervened in the planning of the placement of the statue, because originally it was planned that it would face south on Capitol Boulevard, away from the State House.

James Hawley said, No, Frank Steunenberg needs to be looking at the State House so that those in the State House in the executive and the legislative and judicial branches will see him every day and appreciate his significance in the history of Idaho.

Because, whatever the verdict revealed about the legal process, the origin of this case, the assassination of Frank Steunenberg was a dastardly thing. It could have led to almost revolution in Idaho, if it hadn't been handled in a sensitive manner by the authorities who carried out the trial; and we ought to thank all of them for having done it in a civilized manner, despite the dastardly deed that set it into motion.

BR: What's your take on the conversion of Harry Orchard?

BJ: It was very convenient that Harry Orchard converted, and remarkably, it was really under the guidance of Frank Steunenberg's widow, Belle, who visited Harry Orchard every week during her lifetime at the Idaho State Penitentiary. And he converted to her faith, the Seventh Day Adventist faith.

It was said he was a model prisoner. He was given certain advantages at the prison. Twice it was requested that he be released outright from his life sentence in 1922 and again in 1931. Both times former Governor Gooding supported his outright release and on the first occasion, in 1922, James Hawley did. The reason he wasn't released is the outpouring of correspondence from Caldwell by the people who said, this is the man who killed our beloved Frank Steunenberg. How can you possibly release him?

BR: Why should this trial matter to people today?

BJ: I think there is still a notion that trials can be vehicles to carry out political, economic, social agendas. That was certainly how this trial came to be. It wasn't about who should be punished for killing Frank Steunenberg, because Harry Orchard had confessed to that. It was about trying to carry out the agenda of people who wanted to destroy the Western Federation of Miners.

And I hope that the trial will be clear evidence that that's not a good thing to spawn trials of this significance. There are other political means to do it rather than turning the criminal justice process into a sideshow, which, in fact, this trial was.

BR: Now, apparently there are some who wonder if the right man was imprisoned for the murder of the former governor.

BJ: Several months ago, while researching the Haywood trial in the archives of the Idaho Historical Society here in Boise, I went through the prison file of Harry Orchard, page by page, and I came across this sheaf of documents that I thought was very puzzling.

The first document was a letter dated May 3rd, 1939, addressed from Belt, Montana, to the Governor of Idaho; and what this letter said in effect was, you've got the wrong man incarcerated in the Idaho State Penitentiary. That's not the real Harry Orchard. The real Harry Orchard bought his freedom for $200,000.00 many years ago, and you ought to find out who is serving in his place.

Well, this befuddled the Idaho authorities a great deal, so they asked for clarification. The individual, whose name was O'Reilly, came back with the explanation that his brother-in-law had died avowedly by being thrown from a horse, but O'Reilly was convinced that a band of criminals in Montana had killed him, and that the leader of that band of criminals was Harry Orchard.

The Idaho authorities just couldn't make heads nor tails out of this despite some evidence that had been presented by Mr. O'Reilly.

As I have contemplated what might be behind this correspondence, I have concluded that there is at least a distinct possibility that Mr. O'Reilly had stumbled on what happened to Jack Simpkins, that Jack Simpkins may have changed identity; and since he is mentioned vaguely — although under the name of Simmons in this correspondence — that maybe Jack Simpkins had secreted himself in Montana, and maybe he did have a band of criminals that he was leading, and that we may actually have the final chapter of the story in this correspondence. And some day I hope maybe somebody will get to the bottom of what Mr. O'Reilly was talking about.

And I think the study of this case will never end. I expect a hundred years from now there will be somebody in some medium that has been developed technologically who will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of this trial, who will have new evidence, perhaps based on the correspondence of Mr. O'Reilly from Belt, Montana, perhaps based on new evidence that comes to light from sources that we do not yet know.

One would think after a hundred years we'd plumbed all those sources, but I am surprised every time I begin to look at this freshly, that I find a new interpretation of events, and I think some day we may have even a fuller understanding of all the ingredients of this case.

Why the Trial Still Matters

Dean for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Idaho. Her latest book is Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1925.

The Haywood trial still matters because the issues that were at the forefront for Idahoans and Americans in general in 1907 still matter. The tensions between workers and owners/managers continue to exist.

People in Idaho dislike violence and worry about acts of terrorism. Idaho citizens are suspicious of outsiders and their influence. But in the final analysis Idahoans are committed to the rule of law and their sense of fair play is paramount.

Historian and writer who has written several books, including Debaters and Dynamiters: The Story of the Haywood Trial.

When I wrote my book on the Haywood trial in about 1960 one of my goals was to show what the trial meant to the people of Idaho and the United States. The fifty-plus years since the trial provided an opportunity to assess what transpired in that case in a quieter and more objective atmosphere than that which had prevailed in 1907. I concluded that the trial had indeed been important to Idaho in demonstrating her ability to administer justice fairly under very difficult circumstances. Almost as much time has elapsed again, as the centennial of that trial enters its final months. The question has been asked, quite properly, is there still a useful message for society in the outcomes of the trial. My answer is yes.

The trial demonstrated that a kind of enlightened pragmatism is at work in any great trial that results from socio-economic conflict. The issues are debated from every point of view, and the twelve jurors who are called upon to decide the guilt or innocence of the accused — with neither a mastery of the law nor of the principles of economics — utilize common sense and societal standards of behavior, both of which are generally useful guidelines, in arriving at their decision. I submit that today society still benefits enormously when such enlightened pragmatism shows us the way through the minefields of prejudice and disagreement, and between the extremes of an ACLU and a "law and order" approach to justice.

I am deeply grateful that I had an early opportunity to examine the Haywood trial, and equally pleased that society has now taken another critical look at this great event.

Retired Idaho Supreme Court Justice and defense attorney. He has had a life-long interest in the Haywood Trial.

In an age when the rule of law is not honored as highly as the expediency of the moment, when habeas corpus is an antiquated concept that never has really received the support and respect it is due, when unions are attacked as instruments of intermedling with the "free enterprise system," when the presumption of innocence is almost uniformly announced, but seldom followed, the Haywood trial of one hundred years ago reminds us that all of these facets of the American legal system are not only part of our heritage, but are abused today as they were then.

The Haywood trial should be a beacon for our conscience to strive to live up to the idealism these concepts encompass. Thank God for the faithfulnness to the law of twelve Ada County jurors who salvaged what could have been a total defeat of our justice system!


The Verdict, July 28th, 1907

John T. Richards, Jr. - Great-grandson of Governor Frank Steunenberg

First off, let me say these are my views and not necessarily shared by other family members. Governor Frank Steunenberg was a loved and respected member of our family who was brutally murdered. Even today the emotional scars and disagreements remain from those events of 100+ years ago. I was obviously not around at that time but am forever linked through the documented record of history and the even stronger links of our family. To give a little perspective on where I am in the family chain, my grandfather was Julian Steunenberg, eldest son of the governor who was home from college for the holidays at the time of his father's assassination on December 30th, 1905. Julian later testified briefly at the trial regarding Orchard's presence in Caldwell. Orchard had seen the young Steunenberg in town and, under the guise of having an interest in purchasing sheep, inquired about the whereabouts of his father. I believe Julian/my grandfather carried the scar of that conversation throughout life and to his grave. My mother is eighty-nine years young Brenda Steunenberg Richards, youngest child of Julian and Francis Steunenberg. She was born in Caldwell and along with my father John Sr. resides not far from me here in San Luis Obispo county, California.

As an amateur historian I try to separate myself as much as possible from the personal biases and emotions in an attempt to be as objective and as factual as possible when researching these events. Sometimes I am successful in that regard and at other times I am not. Now over a hundred years later the events still trigger debate among our family as they do among all those with an interest in law, labor and the history of the west. My historical studies, my views, and my biases are all reflected in the following comments.

Before I get to the verdict, let me say up front that I believe Harry Orchard was generally truthful in his confession. I have read the original confession given to James McParland; the Harper's magazine published version; Orchard's book, The Man God Made Again; and many other associated accounts, documents and opinions. There may have been details that were tainted, enhanced or left out but in general I believe he was telling the truth. Did Orchard confess due to the influence of James McParland or to save his neck or because of a religious conversion? Probably all of the above but that doesn't change the basic facts that he was the bomb-maker that murdered my great grandfather and Haywood along with Petibone and Moyer were co-conspirators. Haywood was certainly the most radical of the group and espoused violent tactics throughout his involvement in the labor movement. Even Darrow, a firm supporter of labor but with just as firm a belief in non-violence, found it difficult to reconcile the vastly differing viewpoints that existed between himself and Haywood.

In terms of Orchard's much debated religious conversion and whether it was genuine or contrived — I have always viewed it as a moot point as he will be judged by a far greater entity then this mere mortal. Perhaps it was Charles "Pete" Steunenberg, brother of the fallen governor, who found the perfect blend of religion and punishment. Pete said something to the effect that if Harry Orchard had found religion then the sure-fire way to guarantee he kept it was to keep him right there in the Idaho penitentiary! His letter published in the Idaho Statesmen raised a pubic outcry and served to snuff out a near successful attempt by Gooding, Hawley and others to obtain Orchard's release.

One matter on which much of our family probably does agree is the post-trial treatment of Orchard during the long years he spent at the Idaho penitentiary. He became a trusty, had his own cabin outside the prison walls, was given freedom to roam about as he pleased, and was photographed with governors and their children and grandchildren. As he grew older, Orchard was written about and pictured in the press as the nice old grandfatherly type. I cannot think of any mass murderer ever receiving such favorable treatment in the history of the American prison system! One can argue whether Orchard should or should not have swung from the gallows, but to go from a wanted poster to a poster child for Idaho was and is a tough pill to swallow for our family and friends. Frank Steunenberg never had his opportunity to grow old or to enjoy being a grandfather to my mother Brenda or his other grandchildren. Were it not for that dastardly deed of Harry Orchard on the evening of December 30th 1905, he would have most likely lived to see some of his great grandchildren — perhaps even this one.

All the above being said, the verdict finding Haywood not guilty was the only verdict that the jury could reach under the then and still existing law in Idaho. I am not a lawyer but I believe Judge Byron Johnson and I agree on this matter. As a side note, I would like to thank Byron for spending some time with me back in March 2007 during my visit to Boise, and Idaho Public Television (IDPTV) for inviting me to make an appearance on their program "Assassination: The Trial of the Century." Hopefully Byron and I might someday have an opportunity to discuss the ethics of one Clarence Darrow. But alas, I cannot pick on just Darrow, as ethical considerations were not a very high priority in those days and there were few among the defense or prosecution teams, the camps of labor and capital or in Idaho State Government that were not tainted in some way by questionable practices. Byron would be pleased to know that my recent readings have focused a great deal on his hero Darrow and I have mellowed a bit in my views.

The "not guilty" verdict in the Haywood trial was not an O.J. Simpson moment in history. This was NOT jury nullification and there was no evident tampering or payoffs (not to say that such efforts weren't made). This trial was essentially over before it started when Steve Adams recanted his confession as that would have served as the legally required corroboration of Orchard's testimony. Without Adams it is questionable if the trial should have even gone forward. If the case had been of lesser importance and without the accompanying publicity it probably would have been tossed out by Judge Fremont Wood.

Just like with the jury in that Boise courtroom in 1907, the law was also carried out as best it could be by Governor Steunenberg during 1899 in the Coeur d'Alene. Neither instance was without controversy. Influence pedaling, payoffs and questionable ethical procedures were evident on all sides. Idaho was a young state and we must evaluate these events against the law, the politics and the ethical guidelines (or lack thereof) that existed at the time and not the standards and law practices that exist today.

My great grandfather's murder was a brutal senseless killing, as were all those carried out by "dynamite" Harry Orchard. Orchard's use of explosives as a terrorist tactic in the late 1800's and early 1900's provides an historical lesson that remains all too real and applicable well over a century later. I grieve not only over the cold blooded murder of my family member — but for all of the death, mistreatment and suffering inflicted upon miners and other members of the so-called working class.

In July of 1907 twelve Idaho citizens, mostly farmers, withstood the greatest media blitz of the time and came back with the only verdict they could under the law. It certainly would have been easier and more popular in their home state to have done otherwise. Ultimately, even though found not guilty, the violent tactics of Big Bill Haywood were exposed and his influence diminished. Years later he would flee to Russia, a fugitive from the very justice system that had served him so well in that Boise courtroom.

If Haywood had been found guilty and hanged, he would have become a martyr and a spark for further violence in Idaho and around the country. Governor Steunenberg died a martyr for law and order in 1905 — a direct result of the murderous and vengeful views espoused by Big Bill Haywood. The processes, legal procedures and resources in place at the time weren't always perfect, and all sides suffered and made mistakes — but the decisions of Governor Steunenberg in 1899 and that Idaho jury in 1907 had to be made. In the end I believe each made the right decision and that the Governor would have felt proud that twelve fellow citizens followed the law . . . in that jury room . . . on July 28, 1907 . . . in his beloved state of Idaho.

We cannot envision where we are going in our future unless we first look back at where we have been in our history. The suffering on all sides of the battle between labor and capital was intolerable by any standard of decency — but perhaps unavoidable at a time when law and order in the West was still in its infancy. A small number of greedy mine owners and overzealous labor leaders took advantage of a group of miners who merely wished to make a reasonable, respectable and safe living for themselves and their families. Instead they became the pawns in a bloody battle that cost many their lives and resulted in the revenge assassination of a resolute governor that believed in the necessity of establishing and maintaining law and order. None, the governor included, could claim sainthood — but all were the victims of a minority few who were driven by power, greed and violence.

It has now been one hundred years since the end of the Haywood trial. We cannot stand immune from the events of 1899-1907 as evidenced by the subsequent periods of labor unrest and violence that have occurred in the decades following that verdict on July 28th, 1907. Such clashes shall continue in the future if we allow greed in the boardrooms and legislative halls to prevail, the gap between rich and poor to grow, the flames of ethnic discontent to be fanned — and we fail to heed the historical lessons from a century ago in the state Idaho.

Retired Idaho Supreme Court Justice and Member of the Idaho Legal History Society

How did the Haywood trial of 1907 evidence the existing criminal law in Idaho and the rest of the United States in the early Twentieth Century? This article will compare some current criminal procedures that highlight how the law has developed here in Idaho and throughout the country in the past one hundred years.

The Defense Had No Access to Orchard's "Confession"; The Differences in Procedures Today

In 1906 and 1907, there were no procedures in Idaho that required the prosecution to deliver a copy of Harry Orchard's confession to a defendant who was charged because of the statements contained in it. When Haywood went to trial in 1907, his lawyers had not seen this confession, but had only seen published accounts of it. Before trial, defense counsel sought a bill of particulars, listing the factual allegations the prosecution intended to prove, but the trial judge denied the request.

These were the days when criminal trials were considered to be warfare. The prosecution could play "hide the ball" in dealing with the defense. Some called this style of trial "ambush and surprise." This has changed significantly today, with well-established standards of discovery in criminal cases.

For instance, in 1963, in the case of Brady v. Maryland, the United States Supreme Court ruled it was a violation of due process of law for the prosecution to fail to provide the defense, upon its request, with a statement of a companion in crime of the defendant that was favorable to the defendant.

Under rules of criminal procedure established by the Idaho Supreme Court several years ago, upon request, defense lawyers are usually entitled to receive from the prosecution copies of any statement by a prosecution witness made to the prosecutor or the prosecutor's agent. Idaho Criminal Rule 16(b)(6). These rules also provide for discovery by the defense of other evidence, such as any statement of the defendant, statements of co-defendants, the defendant's prior record, documents and tangible objects, reports of examinations and tests, a list of state witnesses, and police reports.

Even the defense is required to divulge upon request by the prosecution some items the defense intends to offer in evidence at the trial, such as, documents and tangible objects, reports of examinations and tests, and a list of witnesses the defense intends to call at the trial. Idaho Criminal Rule 16(c).

The Law Permitted the Denial of Habeas Corpus to Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone and Bringing Them to Idaho, And Would Today

Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone were only alleged accomplices to Orchard's actions, but under Idaho law they could be charged in the same language as if they were principals.

For example, the criminal complaint against Haywood stated that he made an assault on Steunenberg by use of "a certain bomb, then and there loaded with a certain destructive explosive," and "did throw [it] at and against the person of the said Frank Steunenberg." The prosecution had no evidence that this was true, only that Orchard said Haywood and the other officials of the Western Federation hired him to kill Steunenberg. But, this complaint was necessary in order to lay the foundation for a purported extradition of Haywood and the others as "fugitives from justice."

There was nothing in the extradition request to indicate that the officials of the Western Federation of Miners were not in Idaho on December 30, 1905, when Steunenberg was assassinated. There was nothing on the face of the extradition papers issued by the Idaho court that disclosed that the officials were not "fugitives from justice." As the U.S. Supreme Court said in 1903 in Hyatt v. New York, the extradition clause of the U.S. Constitution authorizes extradition only of "fugitives from justice." In this case, under the Constitution, extradition was authorized only if Haywood and his compatriots had escaped from Idaho after the assassination.

On this basis, an order to extradite Haywood, Moyer, and Pettibone from Colorado, was secured by the prosecutors. They then obtained the cooperation of the governor of Colorado, who was an adversary of the miners' union, to facilitate the execution of the arrest warrants in his state. Through this procedure, the Western Federation of Miners' officials were brought into Idaho to stand trial, without any opportunity of their lawyers to challenge their removal from their home state as purported "fugitives from justice."

The Idaho Supreme Court, the U.S. Circuit Court in Idaho, and the United States Supreme Court all denied these defendants habeas corpus, stating that it didn't matter how they had been brought to Idaho, because once here, they were subject to the jurisdiction of the court in the Haywood case and had to stand trial. This rule was reaffirmed by the United States Supreme Court in 1952 (Frisbie v. Colliins) and 1975 (Gerstein v. Pugh) and is generally the rule, except in the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court, where habeas corpus will be granted, if "shocking misconduct" involves "brutality" by government agents (U.S. ex rel. Lujan v. Gengler, 510 F.2d 62 [2nd Cir. 1975]); and in Tennessee, if misconduct of governmental authorities "shocks the conscience of the court."

May 22, 2007

"Call Harry Orchard!" bellowed James Hawley, from the prosecutor’s desk in the court room. Seated next to him, William Borah winced, then managed a one-liner that brought down the house. "Where the hell is he, in Kuna?!"

It was just one of the special moments our Production team was laughing about Friday evening, after five hectic days of prep work and shooting for "Assassination: Idaho’s Trial of the Century."

We had taken over the court room in Boise’s ancient Borah Building, intent upon re-enacting the pivotal moments in a trial that put Idaho on the map 100 years ago this month.

The actors played their parts to perfection. James Hawley and William Borah for the prosecution. Clarence Darrow and Edmund Richardson for the defense. Harry Orchard as the dynamiter who found religion. And Big Bill Haywood, on trial for his life, for supposedly paying Orchard to assassinate former Governor Frank Steunenberg.

While the actors were all professionals, our audience consisted of folks from the community willing to dress up in costumes, put on make-up, and have someone mess with their hair. Every day different people sat in the benches, happy to play a small role in this big story.

"I can’t tell you what this has meant to me," said one woman who had answered our call for audience members. "It was wonderful! I thank you so much for giving me this experience."

Our jury was a collection of some of the best beards in the state. They were the first ones you saw upon entering the court room, and right away you knew this was going to be a wild week!

Television is a collaborative effort and reenacting a 100 year old trial could not have happened without the efforts of folks like Joan Yost, who handled all our costuming; Judy Austin and Byron Johnson, who provided invaluable assistance on the script; Frances Alves, our make-up person; Rex Morris, our "resident skeptic" and gaffer; Pat Metzler and Jeff Tucker, our experts behind the camera; Ric Ochoa, our audio guy; Morgan Dethman, our artistic counsel; Johnnie Whitby, our hair stylist; Pat Cosgrove, our handyman extraordinaire. And there are literally dozens of others who deserve to be upset because I haven’t mentioned them here.

We still have a few more scenes to shoot outside the court room, before we can begin editing the hour-long program that will air statewide in November.

But I know, in my heart, that this past week will be the highlight of our efforts. There are just some events that have "magic" written all over them.

We may have begun as strangers, but for one shining week in May, we were all family.

The Making of "Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century"

From the beginning it was clear that this production would not be complete without reenactments of the critical moments of the story. Reenactments require people and costumes, and I volunteered eagerly. Little did I know what a magical ride lay ahead for me!

The first reenactment was the assassination scene. It took place in the cold of January at a beautiful old home in Parma, Idaho. The home looked a great deal like the Caldwell home of Governor Steunenberg, but Pat Cosgrove had built the fatal gate in front of the house.

We arrived with the Governor's costume at 4:00 p.m. and were surprised to see a vast amount of technical equipment already assembled in the driveway. The crew had been lighting the scene since noon. My husband, who like me, was seeing his first field shoot, was quickly recruited to play Harry Orchard setting the bomb by the gate — just in case it would be useful in telling the story later on. Even if that piece ends up on the cutting room floor, it started what would be an incredible six month journey for me. Everyone watched in awe as the explosion took place around midnight. We all agreed that the magic of that shoot foretold the power of the docudrama to come.

The courtroom scene was the biggest of the several reenactments. It meant many people in costumes. Well, what could be easier? Just go to the library and research clothing for the period. Study all the wonderful photographs of the people who were involved in the story and, on a slim public television budget, go to the thrift store! Oh, wait! What about the people? While the actors with speaking parts had been commissioned, the others were but a dream. It is pretty hard to dress a dream, so the fun began.

Selecting the jury was a priority. We needed beards, beards, beards! Many men have great beards, so we invited only those who were recruited by the Producer, Bruce Reichert and his principle historians, Byron Johnson and Judy Austin.

Easy again. The jury foreman would be George Dilley whose home was used for the shoot of the assassination. Other potential jurors were contacted. Oh, wait! The Director should be consulted. The trial was to run over four days. A fundamental question remained unanswered. What days would the jurors be needed? After a visit to the old courthouse with Director Pat Metzler, it was decided that, given the camera angles, the jury would be in almost every scene and all jurors would need to be there for eight plus hours every day!

Now this may sound like a time to tear your hair out, but this is when the "magic" that surrounded this show really started to happen for me. Just listen to what the jurors said. "Four days? I'd have to take vacation from my job. But, yes, I'll do that." "Well, yes, I can run my business on my cell phone in between scenes." "Yes, yes. I once met Senator Borah and I want to be a part of this great story, whatever it takes." And the magic continued when, during dress rehearsal, all these men, their thrift store costumes, and their professional hair and makeup finally came together. Behold! We had the stunning "Gentlemen of the Jury."

I flinched when I was asked to oversee the costumes for the professional actors. I knew they needed professionals to dress them. So I joined forces with the very fun and talented wardrobe staff at the Costume Shop in Boise. I knew that each actor's career was about creating his own magic when in character. What I didn't know was how down to earth and helpful they would be out of character! I'll remain forever amazed at the transformation of the men we costumed to the men playing the emotional roles in this story. To this day, their courtroom scenes bring tears to my eyes.

They are all very busy professionals, so we pieced together many of their costumes in the last week before the shoot. We had cravats and stick pins and walking sticks and high laced shoes. We had vests and jackets and ties and boots. We tried toupees and moustaches. Haywood even had to wear a "fat suit" — that is, stuffing to make him look rotund. And he had fantastic makeup. His eyeball was actually covered with an opaque contact lens, and he never once complained!

We needed an audience. It never quite became clear when we needed the audience. I just knew that we wanted to pack the courtroom the day Harry Orchard entered! Oh, yes. These people would have to be volunteers too. And they needed to be in period costume! We started passing the word that we needed men for the audience. A few volunteered. Still, it was slow going.

Costuming was going slow, too. I had made several contacts at theatre departments asking to "borrow" costumes. It wasn't a popular idea. Then I heard from Judy Kreuger, a relative of Steunenberg. She was mailing old family shirts, detachable collars and studs to me. And her brother, Bill Crookham, would be delivering boxes of hats! My first break? Or was it more of the magic?

I contacted Linda Snodgrass, a veteran costumer at Boise Little Theatre. She knew immediately what I was looking for and poured through racks of clothes. I came home with a car full and felt like I had the world by the tail. Jody Ochoa, administrator of the Idaho Historical Museum, connected me with Judy Stuppy and "Style N Time," a group of women who dress for special occasions in period costume. Judy was thrilled to be asked to be in the docudrama. When I told her the dates of the shoot, however, she paled. She was going to be on vacation. But, true to the special karma around this show, she postponed that vacation just to be at the trial. She came with beautiful ladies and two absolutely charming teenage girls who played Haywood's daughters.

The dress rehearsal finally arrived on a hot May day. We needed a place for everyone to dress — and our space had disappeared! What happened to the magic? When the old courthouse was secured for the reenactment of the trial, the building was partially vacant. There would be so much room we could sleep there! Then the remodeling of the State of Idaho capital building became a reality and, the week of our shoot, state officeholders moved into the vacant parts of the building. In fact, the only bit of space left to us was Treasurer Ron Crane's office (thank you, Ron), the courtroom, and the hallway.

When I arrived with carloads of costumes and a portable dressing room, the hallway was filled with technical equipment. Our professional hairdresser, Johnni Whitby, was cutting one actor's hair and the pieces were falling on the rich blue carpet of the Treasurer's office! Luckily his Executive Assistant, LeeAnn Sullivan, found an empty conference room for us. Hair, Makeup and Costume moved in with sighs of relief all around! Often we had over 50 people getting ready in that room at one time. Can't you just see us in the Treasurer's office?

My behind the scenes volunteers were the star dust on the courtroom reenactment. Kay Hummel managed all the database work and release forms during the courthouse shoot. Lynn Allen, Gens Johnson, and Judy Austin juggled collars and costumes and people every day. Sixteen year old Maeryn Johnston became a star in the audience plus a makeup assistant. And the crown jewel of the Hair/Makeup/Costume world was Kirsten Strough, a high school senior who just volunteered because she wanted to know what was involved in producing a show. She got a chance to work in every aspect of this show, and we may have started her on her career path.

For me, my life changed forever! I will never again watch a movie or television or stage production in the same way I did before the "Trial of the Century." Costumes, hair, makeup, set, lights, actors . . . they all capture most of my attention now.

And I will always remember — and count as friends — the great people who worked so hard to bring this show to life — with the help of a little bit of magic!

Little did I know when I joined the Idaho Legal History Society what I'd be getting myself into!

In fairness to ILHS, it's really not that organization's doing. But it put me very much in the line of sight of Byron Johnson, a retired justice of the Idaho Supreme Court and an old friend. Byron's interest in the Haywood trial dates back to his college days; Clarence Darrow was the subject of his senior thesis. And it was Byron who'd gone to Idaho Public Television to ask that it consider a program on the trial in 2007 — the trial's centennial.

Once funding was available and the project was under way, Byron alerted me: Bruce Reichert, IPTV executive producer and the scriptwriter for "Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century," might be calling to ask if I'd get involved. Indeed Bruce did, and his specific invitation was to help with research and doublechecking of historical details.

Not only had I spent 35 years as an editor and historian at the Idaho State Historical Society, but I'd also worked some with Tony Lukas as he researched and wrote Big Trouble — a wonderfully wide-ranging history of the trial and its times. I knew where the trial transcripts were, where many relevant photograph were, where in Boise newspapers could be found. What I didn't know was how a television program (in this case a "docudrama," but any program) is put together. As a result, Bruce and his colleagues have learned from what I could provide, and I've had an incredible time learning something of the extraordinary technology, artistry, and teamwork that go into a successful program.

My first assignments were to compare the script with the trial transcript and to track down newspaper headlines and stories about Frank Steunenberg's assassination, the trial, and related events in the sixteen months between the two. The historical society has copies of most of the transcript, which are part of James H. Hawley's papers; Hawley was one of the two special prosecutors in the trial. Thanks to the kindness of my former colleagues at the society, I spent hours in a small office, cotton gloves on my hands, comparing script with the actual transcript — using only a pencil to take notes and mark up copies of various versions of the script — and photocopying sections I thought might be of further use to Bruce. Along the way, I realized that even such minor matters as punctuation — a comma here, a dash there — would make a difference in how actors spoke their lines. At the same time, I cranked through many, many microfilmed copies of newspapers: at the society's library, Boise and Caldwell for the events of 1905-1907 and Spokane for the dynamiting and arresting and incarceration of miners in the Silver Valley in 1899; at Boise State University for newspaper coverage beyond this region. The treasure at BSU was the New York Times, which had a reporter — Oscar King Davis — in the courtroom every day of the trial. His stories appeared in the Times every day as well, and they contained the details of not only the trial itself and the courtroom but the demeanor, tone of voice, gestures, and accents of the participants. Davis' record of the trial humanizes it, and the information he provided on the individuals involved was promptly shared with the actors who portray them.

Another treasure, back at the historical society, was the photo collection. I photocopied, and ultimately Bruce scanned, a large number of pictures of the trial and its participants. Many of these are on this website; they are also part of the program itself. Early on, some of them were a great help in laying out the courtroom scenes. My colleagues at the historical society were helpful beyond measure in making resources available, and we're all very grateful. What's more, it was a lot of fun to work with them again!

Not all my time was spent in libraries, however. I asked if I might attend the "shoots," and I was welcomed as an observer and assistant in several ways. Joan Hill Yost roped me into helping with costumes, and I also kept an eye on details during the filming lest something just not ring true historically. This was a remarkable experience for me, both in terms of how the filming was done and in watching a community form: the IPTV staff, the wonderful (and almost exclusively local) actors, the local folks who were jury and audience, those of us on the sidelines doing costumes and makeup and hair and watching for anomalies and anachronisms. It was hot, costumes were warm and often heavy, the days were long. None of that mattered. We were in this together, and we were all determined to make the program the very best and most authentic docudrama possible.

In recent weeks, I've watched the edited film — including "talking heads" and the acted-out segments — come together in the hands (and eyes and ears) of Bruce and Pat Metzler, the program's very gifted videographer and editor. I've also watched the half-hour "Making of," which captures the sense of community and enthusiasm better than any written words could.

As I write this, the program's broadcast is two weeks away. I'm torn: eager to see the finished product, sorry that the adventure is coming to an end. Maybe Bruce will have another project that needs a researcher . . .

Costume & Volunteer Coordinator Joan Hill Yost offered detailed advice to volunteer extras who wanted to dress up and appear in the reenactment.

Thank you for volunteering to be a member of the audience for the trial portion of Idaho Public Television's docudrama, Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century. The audience in the court room plays a very important part in this reenactment. In 1907 the court room itself was large and many people crowded in each day to see the action. And they responded enthusiastically to the drama of the trial.

The court room for the reenactment is on the second floor of the Borah Building at 8th and Bannock with entrance on the 8th Street side.

We plan to shoot the largest audience scenes on the same day we are scheduled to shoot the entrance of Clarence Darrow, May 17th. We invite you to join us on this day, but also we can certainly use you on the 15th, 16th and 18th of May when the audience was smaller. We will be shooting from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. all four days. As we get closer to that time, I will be able to give you a better idea of the time of day we will definitely need the audience if I have your e-mail address. I can assure you, it won't be dull. Cameras, lights, some of the best actors in the Treasure Valley — and you!

We are costuming — in fairly authentic period costumes — a number of people we have asked to sit in the front row of the court room. Many will be playing family members of the defendant and others involved in the trial. While the cameras are on the audience, you will either be sitting behind this row, or possibly standing against the wall. We want to stay true to the period of 100 years ago and therefore ask you to use some of the tips below to create your costume from the things you already own. While the camera may not see you below the waist, it might, so I'm recommending tips from head to toe.

In addition to the tips for dressing yourself, I have condensed my research notes from various sources on the clothing worn 1907 for you. I've concentrated on the styles I have seen in the pictures of this trial. Please glance at the Notes before the Tips. Hopefully it will give you a feel for the period and help you put together your costume.

Thank you again for volunteering your time and thank you for coming dressed as you might have in 1907. Please, let me know you are planning to attend so I can keep you updated on any last minute changes.

Notes On The Dress For Men In 1907

Before the 1900s most of the clothes for a family were made by mom. But "by 1900 tailored and tailor made suits were firmly established."

Fashion for Men: An Illustrated History says that in the Naughty Nineties (1898) there was a determined attempt to replace frock coats (long to knee with round edge on front bottom of coat) with "sack coats" (shorter jackets to mid-thigh with square edge on front bottom of coat). The idea was that frock coats could be made acceptable in town by dressing them up — a three piece suit with a watch fob. Laver, in The Concise History of Costume and Fashion, says the "sack" coat soon replaced the frock coat for most informal and semi-formal occasions. The coat was a straight line coat with three buttons and was loose and boxy. The Blue Book of Men's Clothing 1907 called the sack coat the great American business coat — roomy and comfortable. Pants were short, often cuffed and creased. Vests buttoned high on the chest and often had rounded shawl collars. The suits were almost always dark — black, grey or brown — made of heavy worsted wool. A Falk's Mercantile ad in the May 2, 1906 edition of the Idaho Statesman featured men's suits for $6.15 to $11.85.

On the same day the Golden Rule Store advertised men's cotton shirts for 39 cents! They were often collarless, intended for use with detachable collars and cuffs so one wouldn't have to wash the shirt too often! According to Costume Manifesto, these detachable items were invented in 1827 by a housewife and made of cardboard. Making and selling them soon became a large cottage industry in the United States. The cardboard collars went out of style around in 1862 when George K. Snow invented machinery to laminate cardboard and cloth. Amazon Dry Goods website gives us this history, and they still sell the authentic collars. The 1908 Sears and Roebuck Catalog advertised these fine collars for seven cents each.

The same issue of the catalog featured pure silk, two inch wide "Four in Hand" ties for 19 cents and Band Bows with hook and elastic fastener for 14 cents. Both were popular. Hair was generally short, tight to the head, often with a long part on the side. And beards and facial hair were in vogue! Hats varied. Many still wore the bowler, aptly named for its shape. Straw boaters with colorful ribbons were coming into style. And there were certainly Stetsons hanging on the rack in the court room.

Tips For Men On Putting Together A Costume From Your Closet

From photos we know that most people wore their "good" clothes to court — maybe the same they would wear to church. Whether you were a lawyer, a farmer, a business man, a real estate agent, etc. you wore your best to court. Most men wore black, brown or dark grey. I suggest that you:

  • Wear dark slacks or pants (not Levis) — with or without a crease or cuffs.
  • Wear a white or off white shirt with a collar (not button down.)
  • If you have a vest, wear it — with a collar, even better!
  • Wear a regular tie in a bold pattern (not overly bright colors) or a bow tie.
  • Wear your darkest, longest, winter suit jacket or sports coat. Wrinkled is fine.
  • If you have suspenders, wear them.
  • If you have a watch fob, wear it.
  • Lace up leather shoes are good — ankle boots great — no tennis shoes.
  • You won't need a hat. They will all be hanging on a hat rack in the court room.
  • Plan to layer down to something cooler when the cameras are not on the audience. If it is hot in Boise, it will be warm in the court room.

David H. Grover, in Debaters and Dynamiters (p. 106), quotes Kendrick Johnson saying, "hundreds of miners from northern Idaho poured into Boise. Those unable to obtain accommodations camped on the outskirts of town and even on the courthouse lawn. . . . these men were indignant at the arrest of three top officials of the WFM — champion of the miners." (Western Federation of Miners). Historical pictures show miners wearing work pants with suspenders over dark, long sleeved shirts. Some wore vests or jackets. Clean wasn't a priority. If you would like to dress in this manner, you'd be welcome to!

Again, thank you for volunteering to be a part of the audience. Don't even consider thinking about the camera. You will definitely be a face in a crowd. The fun part of this will be the great piece of Idaho history you will see reenacted by some unbelievable actors!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail me. I would appreciate knowing you are coming and the days you plan to come. And, if I hear from you, I will be able to keep you up to date on the latest developments prior to May 15th. Thank you. I hope this will be a great experience for you!

Women's Fashions In Early 1900: Selected Notes For "Trial"

The popular silhouette of the time was termed the "Grecian bend" and was "made up of the pigeon-breasted bosom, tiny corseted waist, and full, swayback hips" according to the Vintage Vixen website which gives a history of the period. We won't ask you to go anywhere near there!,, and outline many points of the history of women's fashions of the early 1900s. I've condensed some of them here. The common designs for daytime clothing for women were either a one- or two-piece shirtwaist dress, or a high-necked cotton blouse with boned collar and long sleeves worn with a heavy dark skirt. However, a 1907 advertisement for Arrow showed young women wearing a stiff, high collared men's shirt with a narrow tie. Hemlines were to the floor or just above for both day and night wear. Bustles were becoming a thing of the past. Tailor-made, waist length jackets and matching skirts were popular for working women. Women often added a shawl over their shoulders rather than a jacket.

Fabrics were natural fibers — linen, cotton, wool and silk. Colors were neutral with shades of white, brown, and black most common. Small figured or floral prints and even polka dots were popular. Fancy trim on women's clothing meant status, so excessive trim on shoulders, waist and lower half of the skirt was important. Popular trims were buttons, lace, or taffeta and velvet ribbon. Wide sashes often embellished the waist and tied in the back adding to the "swayback" look. Tucks were also considered fancy trim and were especially common in wide bands on the lower half of the skirt. The invention of the serger helped make the profusion of tucks possible. The Mode advertised in the Idaho Statesman on March 15, 1907 "in anticipation of Easter: Walking Skirts at Wholesale Prices - $4.98 - with over 350 different skirts to select from."

Popular shoes were called oxfords and they laced or buttoned to the low ankle. The toes were pointed and the heels were probably 1 to 1 ½ inches. The Idaho Statesman on July 7, 1906 advertised White Duck Embroidered oxfords but most were tan or black leather for daytime. Kid gloves were in vogue as well as pure linen handkerchiefs and small, fine leather handbags.

Masses of wavy hair were fashionable but old pictures confirm that not everyone had such hair. If hair was long, it was swept up to the top of the head over horsehair "rats" and tied in a knot. In fact, pictures confirm that many women wore their hair behind their ears. Hats were almost mandatory for church or court. They were most often huge and broad brimmed in 1907. Most were dark in color and were filled with flowers and ribbons or feathers. Some even had birds!

This story would not be complete without mentioning the corset! An ad in the Idaho Statesman on May 1, 1906 described Kabo Corsets as a "straight front, dip hip, gored, eleven inch high, five-hook garment." The March 15, 1907 issue contained an ad from The Mode for Redfern and Henderson corsets for $1.19 to $2.19.

Tips For Women On Putting Together A Costume From Your Closet

The Boise women who attended "The Trial of the Century" were citizens of the thriving city. They might have been wives of bankers, lawyers, or real estate tycoons. They would have worn their Sunday best daytime wear. They wouldn't have worn off the shoulder gowns. So think modest and conservative, and you will fit right into the audience of this famous trial.

  • Wear the longest, darkest, fullest, heaviest skirt you have.
  • Wear black or dark knee socks or tights to add to the length of the skirt.
  • Wear black or brown shoes. The ankle high, lace-up boots are easy to find in the thrift stores, if you care to do that, but certainly not necessary.
  • Wear a high necked, long sleeved shirt or blouse — especially one with puffy shoulders unless you have a jacket or shawl. It does not have to be white (the cameras don't like too much white) but the color should be quite subdued. Quaint patterned fabric is great.
  • Wear a short, dark jacket if you have one — buttons on sleeves are a plus — you can even add some extra buttons or ribbon.
  • Add a ribbon bow to the neck or collar of your blouse, or a dickey, or use your grandmother's lace or crocheted collar to add to the height of the neck of the blouse.
  • Add a wide sash to your waist and tie it in back if you wish - this could be a scarf or a strip of satin or taffeta.
  • Bring a shawl if you don't have a jacket — crocheted or cloth or a dark colored scarf.
  • Wear a big, wide brimmed hat, or a 10 to 14 inch bowl shaped one where the brim turns up. Felt and straw were common. Dark colors are best for the hat but the trim can be brilliant. Fill your hat with flowers, feathers, etc. Have fun with this! We'll tell you if it works and have extras if it doesn't.
  • Bring a cloth hankie if you own one and want to use it.
  • Bring a small handbag if you want to — they usually had a handle and were wider at the bottom than top.
  • We will supply some period fans so you don't need to bring one.
  • Wear above the wrist gloves if you have them - it may be too warm to wear them.
  • We see parasols in the pictures — the frilly kind with a curved handle — but they will probably be very hard to see in the crowd.
  • Pile your hair up under your hat if you have long hair. Keep it puffy so it shows around the sides of the hat. If you have short hair, keep some pieces out and depend on your hat to carry the look.
  • Plan to layer down to something cool between shoots — it may be warm in the court room if it is warm outside.

Again, thank you for volunteering to be a part of the audience. Don't even consider thinking about the camera. You will definitely be a face in a crowd. The fun part of this will be the great piece of Idaho history you will see reenacted by some unbelievable actors!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me or e-mail me. I would appreciate knowing you are coming and the days you plan to come. And, if I hear from you, I will be able to keep you up to date on the latest developments prior to May 15th. Thank you. I hope this will be a great experience for you!

Links to Related Stories

Freedom A History of US. For Teachers. Teaching Index PBS

PBS has a comprehensive companion website to the sixteen-part series based on the award winning books by Joy Hakim. Website features an interactive timeline for students to explore; interactive games; workshop videos and teacher guides.

History of Labor Unions

The Social Studies Help Center has an excellent history of Labor Unions.

Legal Thriller Alternative: Trial Research by the Constitutional Rights Foundation

Legal Thriller Alternative is a plan of study for twelfth grade students which has students research and report on one of the "trials of the century" and then apply their analysis of the trial to a hypothetical case regarding the rights and responsibilities of students. Created in collaboration with the Center for Civic Education and the National Council for the Social Studies this unit is part of a larger workshop for high school civics teachers.

The West: Events from 1900 to 1917 (PBS)

Provides a timeline of events in the West to help give students a "larger picture" of the events and times surrounding the Haywood trial.

Violence and the Labor Movement

An online version of Violence and the Labor Movement by Robert Hunter (1914).

Labors' Greatest Conflicts (pdf)

An online version of Emma Langdon's Labor's Greatest Conflicts (1908).

American Experience "Emma Goldman" (PBS)

This episode of American Experience provides an in-depth look at the controversial and outspoken Emma Goldman and her and the formation of the International Workers of the World (I.W.W.)

American Masters "Woody Guthrie" (PBS)

American Masters provides an excellent organizer for students studying American Labor: Reading Guide for American Labor: 1830 - Present.

Independent Lens: "Strange Fruit: The Workers" (PBS)

Songs were a central part of the Industrial Workers of the World strategy for recruitment, solidarity and strikes. Many of these tunes adapted new lyrics to fit the moment - a trait common to many protest songs throughout history.

From Statehouse to Bull Pen

The Idaho Museum of Natural History's Digital Atlas Project has made available the article, "From Statehouse to Bull Pen: Idaho Populism and the Coeur d'Alene Troubles of the l890's" by William J. Gaboury as part of the overview of the mining wars in Idaho.

The Coeur d'Alene Mines strike of 1899

Article published in the Centennial Edition of the Coeur d'Alene Press in 1963 recounts the conflicts between the miners and mine owners in North Idaho and gives additional background on Harry Orchard a.k.a. the Dynamite demon.

The Legacy of the Bunker Hill Mine Part I - IWW

The Industrial Workers of the World outlines the turbulent history of the Bunker Hill Mining Complex in North Idaho.

Ed Boyce

Boyce began working in the Coeur d'Alene mining district in 1887. He became active in labor organization and was jailed for his participation in the 1892 labor disputes. In 1893 he joined the Western Federation of Miners, served as president, 1896-1902; and edited The Miner's Magazine, 1900-1902. During Boyce's reign over the WFM, the union waged three major labor strikes. The Northwest Digital Archives lists Eastern Washington State Historical Society as the repository for the Edward Boyce collection.

Allen Pinkerton

Learn more about Allen Pinkerton and the Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Pinkerton's Telegraph Cipher

An example of the "cipher" or code that Pinkerton Detectives employed to pass messages.

Charlie Siringo

Some history behind the Cowboy Detective who, despite his reluctance, was involved in the miners' strikes in Coeur d'Alene, the Haymarket anarchist trial, and the Haywood trial.

The Confessions and Autobiography of Harry Orchard

The Internet Archive has the entire text of The Confessions and Autobiography of Harry Orchard by Albert E. Horsley (1907) for you to download or read online.

The New York Times: Haywood Trial

The Haywood Trial garnered national attention and reporters from across the nation converged on Boise and reported on the trial. Visit the New York Times archives to get a glimpse of the national perspective on the trial.

William Borah's Closing Arguments (pdf)

The Debs Collection at Indiana State University contains Borah's Closing Argument in the Haywood Trial (large PDF file).

The Advocate (pdf)

The December 2006 issue of the Idaho State Bar Advocate has several fascinating reads regarding the events surrounding the Haywood Trial.

Additional Information

We wish to thank the following individuals for appearing in Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century.

  • Primary Cast
  • Gary Anderson - Clarence Darrow, Defense attorney
  • Matthew Cameron Clark * - Harry Orchard, Repentent assassin
  • R. Douglas Copsey - Edmund Richardson, Defense attorney
  • Keith Couch - Fremont Wood, Presiding judge
  • Marcia Franklin - Ida Crouch Hazlett, Socialist reporter
  • Joe Conley Golden * - James McParland, Pinkerton detective
  • Arthur Glen Hughes - "Big Bill" Haywood, Labor leader on trial
  • Richard Klautsch * - William Borah, Prosecutor
  • Stitch Marker - Narrator of the program
  • Dan Alan Peterson * - James Hawley, Prosecutor
  • Gordon Reinhart - Oscar King Davis, reporter, New York Times
  • Expert Commentary
  • Katherine Aiken - Historian, author of Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1925
  • David Grover - Historian, author of Debaters and Dynamiters: The Story of the Haywood Trial
  • Byron Johnson - Retired Idaho Supreme Court Justice and former defense attorney
  • John Richards, Jr. - Great-grandson of former governor Frank Steunenberg
  • Additional Cast Members
  • M.A. Taylor * - Stenographer
  • Dick Allen - Stenographer
  • Victoria Graham - Wife of William Haywood
  • Vern Bisterfeldt - Deputy
  • Mike Sciales - Bailiff
  • Richard Dees - Telegrapher
  • Lynn Allen - Haywood's Mother
  • Heidi Jensen - Haywood's Daughter
  • Rebecca Wendt - Haywood's Daughter
  • John Obenchain - Orchard as older man
  • Bud Yost - Orchard as dynamiter
  • Bruce Reichert - Governor Steunenberg
  • The Jury
  • Randy Barrett
  • Jan Boles
  • George Dilley
  • Gerry Fields
  • Charles Gill
  • Kay Johnson
  • Al Kiler
  • The Press
  • Gregory Hahn - Idaho Statesman
  • Jill Kuraitis -
  • Betsy Russell - Spokesman-Review
  • Karen Wagoner - Western Canyon Chronicle
  • Anna Webb - Idaho Statesman
  • Audience Members
  • Toni Barrett
  • Bob Bears
  • Susie Boring-Headlee
  • Norma Campbell
  • Jody Clark
  • Chris Clawson
  • Pat Cosgrove
  • Sandy Cosgrove
  • Ron Crane
  • Brian Cronin
  • Bill Crookham
  • Adelaide Crowne
  • Lori Durbin
  • Anne Edwards
  • Mike Emery
  • Jared Fairchild
  • Mia Fereday
  • Russ Fereday
  • Ron Fortner
  • Dan Gearring
  • Vickey Gearring
  • Cheryl Griebenow
  • Marshall Grooms
  • John Hetinger
  • David High
  • Marshall High
  • Fairy Hitchcock
  • Kay Hummel
  • Hans Jensen
  • Amy Johnson
  • Byron Johnson
  • Maeryn Johnston
  • Joe Kafka
  • Josephine Kiler
  • Jay Krajic
  • Colleen Leone
  • Danny Lowber
  • Mike Lynott
  • Georgia Marshall
  • Gerry Mattison
  • Sue Mattison
  • Pam Minshew
  • William Morris
  • John Murphy
  • Norm Nelson
  • Dan Peterson
  • Lynn Ratzlaff
  • George Rogers
  • Irene Rosey
  • Bob Secrist
  • Judy Secrist
  • Sylvia Sosoka
  • Greg Spohn
  • Floyd Steward
  • Kathleen Stuppy
  • Georgie Walker
  • Zach Wendt
  • Leonard Williams
  • Dr. Gordy Williamson
  • Suzanne Witschen
  • Bud Yost
  • Barzy Young
  • Joe Zimmer
  • * Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century was made possible through the generous financial support of the following organizations and individuals. Idaho Public Television wishes to thank these donors. This docudrama would not have been produced without their initial financial support and faith in the project.

  • J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation
  • Idaho Education Association
  • Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley
  • The Idaho Law Foundation, through a grant of interest on the Lawyer's Trust Accounts
  • Whittenberger Foundation
  • Idaho State AFL-CIO
  • Idaho Humanities Council
  • J.R. Simplot Company
  • Jody Olson and Victoria Hawley
  • McDevitt & Miller LLP
  • Idaho Legal History Society
  • Jess and Nell Hawley
  • Sara Moss fund, with the Idaho Community Foundation
  • Kendal McDevitt, McDevitt Law Offices
  • Elam & Burke
  • Litigation Section, Idaho State Bar
  • John Greenfield
  • Moffatt Thomas Barrett Rock and Fields
  • Sheet Metal Workers, Local 213, Boise, Idaho
  • Boise Central Trades and Labor Council
  • Plumbers and Fitters U. A. Local Union No. 296, Meridian, Idaho
  • Nancy & Don Longwith
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,Local Union 449, Pocatello, Idaho
  • SW Idaho E Oreeon Building & Construction Trades
  • ACLU of Idaho
  • Jeffrey Thomson
  • North Idaho Central Labor Council
  • Pocatello Central Labor Council
  • UFCW #1439
  • Sheet Metal Workers, Local 66
  • Yvonne S. and Paul Headlee
  • Roy Truby
  • Ernest Hoidal
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 77
  • United Steelworkers, Local 5114, Mullan, Idaho
  • William Dryden
  • Hildy Ayer
  • The Cone Family
  • J. Mark and Michelle A. Heil
  • Robert C. Rychert
  • Linda Gruen
  • Woodworkers Local Lodge W364, IAMAW
  • Mark Manweiler
  • Michael Weiss
  • Glenda J. Longstreet
  • Ted Creason
  • Jack Lockridge
  • Jim Thomas
  • T.L. Gilbert
  • Rick Luten
  • Additional funding was provided by the Idaho Public Television Endowment and the Friends of Idaho Public Television.

  • Bruce Reichert - Writer/Producer
  • Pat Metzler - Director/Editor
  • Byron Johnson - Fundraiser & Historian
  • Joan Yost - Costumes & Volunteer Coordinator
  • Judy Austin - Historian
  • Jan Boles, Archivist, The College of Idaho
    Courtroom Videographers & Producers
  • Pat Metzler
  • Jeff Tucker
  • John Crancer
  • Marcia Franklin
    Courtroom Lighting & Audio
  • Rex Morris
  • Ricardo A. Ochoa
  • Dan Misner
    Courtroom Production Assistance
  • Jay Krajic
  • Chuck Cathcart
  • Derek Stone
  • Frances Alves, Director
  • Joan Cartan-Hansen
  • Maeryn Johnston
    Hair Styling
  • Johnni Whitby, Director
  • Sandi Jones
    Set Construction and Design
  • Pat Cosgrove
  • Morgan Dethman
  • Sandy Streiff
  • Lisa Sommer
  • Cassandra Groll
    Photographs & Additional Video
  • Idaho State Historical Society
  • Jan Boles, Archivist, The Robert E. Smylie Archives, The College of Idaho
  • University of Idaho Library Special Collections & Archives
  • "The Man God Made Again," L.E. Froom, Review & Herald Publishing Association
  • National Archives
  • John Richards, Jr.
  • Mike Fritz
    Train Sequence and National Archives acquisition
  • Jim Peck, Producer
  • Alan Austin, Videographer
    Special Thanks
  • Elizabeth Newburn, Idaho Heritage Inn
  • Boise Little Theatre
  • Bill Crookham, Archival History
  • Ron Crane, Idaho State Treasurer, for building space
  • Tracy Whittington, Idaho State Department of Administration
  • George Dilley - Home for Assassination Scene
  • Kay Hummel - Volunteer Recruitment and Database Manager
  • Idaho State Historical Society
       Public Archives and Research Library, Carolyn Bowler, Linda Morton-Keithley
       Historical Museum, Jody Hawley Ochoa
       Old Idaho Penitentiary, Rachelle Littau, Milan Kovach
  • Susie Boring-Headlee, Idaho Legal History Society
  • Steven M. Kenyon, Idaho Supreme Court
  • LeAnn Sullivan, Idaho State Treasurer's Executive Assistant
  • Gens Johnson, Costumes, Seamstress
  • Lynn Allen, Costumes
  • Life's Kitchen, Lunches
  • Judy Kreuger, Historical Costumes
  • St. Michael's Episcopal Cathedral
  • Parklane Company, Inc.- The Rose Room
  • Bombay Grill
  • Sue Reents, Volunteer Recruitment
  • Linda Snodgrass, Boise Little Theatre, Costumes
  • Kirsten Strough, Food, Costumes, Make-up
  • Kathy Stuppy, Style 'N' Time
  • Carol Skinner, The Flicks
  • The Costume Shop, Star Moxley, owner
  • University of Idaho Department of Theatre & Film
       John Hill, Instructor, Costume Shop Manager
       Cheri Vasek, Associate Professor of Costume Design
       David Lee-Painter, Department Chair
  • Jeff Wright & James Riley, Pyrotechnics
  • Julie Monroe, University of Idaho Library
  • Ginger Jewell, Boise Depot, Boise City Parks and Recreation
  • Sally Greene & Katherine Aiken, for the Mock Trial for Teachers
    Web Design and Development
  • Sandy Streiff
  • Rick Penticoff
  • Stephanie Dickey
  • Strikefish, Inc. for Flash component
    Photography & Communications
  • Anne Peterson
  • Lisa Sommer
  • Karen Johnson
    Additional Photography
  • Jan Boles
  • Chuck Cathcart
  • Bruce Reichert
  • Joan Hill Yost
    Additional Production Assistance
  • Shane Chariton, Clerical
  • Kris Freeland, Web and Learning Services support
  • Kelly Hagans, Director of Major Donors
  • Molly Hill, Transcription
  • Kim Philipps, Director of Marketing
  • Kelly Ryan, Director of Corporate Sponsorship
  • Mary McMahon, Technology assistance
  • Kim Neilsen, Grant writing assistance
  • Kevin Rank, Computer assistance
  • Phyllis Smith, Database
    DVD Creation
  • Jeff Tucker
  • Sauni Symonds
  • Jay Krajic
  • Pat Metzler
  • Custom Recording
    DVD Distribution
  • Chris Clawson
  • Monica Degard
  • Kris Freeland
  • Jeanne Gayler
    Fiscal Office
  • Karen McConnell
  • Toni Ward
  • Michelle Koehler
  • Dawn Rose
  • Debbie Siddoway
  • Craig Koster
  • Michael Studor
  • Ted Poe
  • Jeff Tucker, Production Manager
  • Bruce Reichert, Executive Producer
  • Ron Pisaneschi, Director of Programming
  • Peter Morrill, General Manager

Gary Eller has been collecting songs about Idaho people, places and events and, along with his bluegrass group, Bona Fide, performing and recording selected ones. Gary has kindly shared several songs related to the Haywood trial with us. Songs on YouTube


Adamic, Louis. Dynamite: The Story of Class Violence in America. Peter Smith, 1963.

Aiken, Katherine G. Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1981. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2005.

Foner, Philip S. History of the Labor Movement in the United States, Vol. 4: The Industrial Workers of the World, 1905-1917. International Publishers, 1965.

Grover, David H. Debaters and Dynamiters. Oregon State University Press, 1964; Caxton Press, 2006.

Darrow, Clarence. The Story of My Life. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934.

Hart, Patricia and Nelson, Ivar. Mining Town: The Photographic Record of T.N. Barnard and Nellie Stockbridge from the Coeur d'Alenes. University of Washington Press, 1984.

Holbrook, Stewart H. The Rocky Mountain Revolution. Henry Holt and Company, 1956.

Johnson, Claudius. Borah of Idaho. Longmans, Green and Co., 1936.

Lukas, J. Anthony. Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America. Simon & Shuster, 1997.

MacLane, John F. A Sagebrush Lawyer. Pandick Press, 1953.

McKenna, Martin C. Borah. University of Michigan Press, 1961.

Ravitz, Abe C. and Primm, James. The Haywood Case. Chandler Publishing Company, 1960.

Stone, Irving. Clarence Darrow for the Defense. Doubleday & Co., 1941.

Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States, 1492—Present. Perennial Classics, 2005.


Conlin, Joseph R. "The Haywood Case: An Enduring Riddle." Pacific Northwest Quarterly (January 1968): 23-32.

Johnson, Byron J. "No Habeas Corpus for 'Big Bill.'" The Advocate (December 2006), Idaho State Bar: 14-16.

Legal materials

Black's Law Dictionary. "Habeas corpus."

Hyatt v. New York, 188 U.S. 691, 23 S.Ct. 456 (1903).

Idaho Session Laws (1943).

Idaho Revised Laws (1887).

State v. Kelley, 39 Idaho 668 (1924).

U.S. Constitution, Art. 4, cl. 2, §2.


"Famous American Trials: Bill Haywood Trial – 1907."

"Fire in the Hole." (KUED).

"The Idanha: Witness to History – Big Bill Haywood Trial – Online Gallery." (Boise State Univ.)

Teachable Subjects

Topic 1. The struggle between capitalists and laborers in late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century America.

Aiken, 3-39.
Grover, 9-57.
Hart and Nelson, 49-70.
Lukas, 98-154.
Zinn, 211-295.

Topic 2. The growth of radicalism in the early Twentieth Century American labor movement.

Adamic, 157—75.
"Fire in the Hole," "'Big Bill' Haywood: A Firey Radical."
Foner, 13-39.
Grover, 283-6.
Holbrook, 181-5, 289-296.
Zinn, 320-357.

Topic 3. The role of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in breaking unions in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century America.

Adamic, 19, 105, 143-5.
"Famous American Trials," "The Trial of William D. Big Bill Haywood," 2.
Foner, 41-6.
Lukas, 155-200.
Ravitz and Primm, 66-118.

Topic 3. What is extradition, what requirements for its use are contained in the U.S. Constitution, and what implication did it have for bringing Haywood from Colorado to Idaho to stand trial?

Grover, 65-8.
Hyatt v. New York, 23 S.Ct. at 458-9.
Lukas, 244-5.
U.S. Constitution, Art. 4, cl. 2, §2.

Topic 4. What is habeas corpus and how has its availability been restricted by the court in cases where an individual is brought into a jurisdiction by illegal means to stand trial?

Johnson, Byron J.

Topic 5. The significance of James Hawley in Idaho history.

Grover, 169-187.
Lukas, 288-90.
McLane, 83-92, 102-38, 153-65, 169, 174-7.
"The Idanha: Witness to History," "The Prosecution."

Topic 6. The significance of William Borah in Idaho and American history.

Grover, 231-5.
Johnson, Claudius, 73-500.
McKenna, 34-434.
"The Idanha: Witness to History," "The Prosecution."

Topic 7. The significance of Darrow in American history.

Grover, 207-9.
Lukas, 300-45.
"The Idanha: Witnesss to History," "The Defense."

Topic 8. Why were there no women on the jury?

Idaho Session Laws (1943), ch. 158, 320.
Revised Laws (1887), §§3935, 3938, 3941.
State v. Kelley, 39 Idaho 668 (1924).

Topic 9. What is corroboration and why is it required in certain cases?

Ravitz and Primm, 192-4.

Topic 10. Was justice done by the acquittal of Haywood?

Foner, 59.
Grover, 283-97.
Lukas, 750-4.
Ravitz and Primm, 200-19.