Raid on The Socialist and Labor Star

Conditions in the Paint Creek District, West Virginia. Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor, United States Senate (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1913), Part 2, 2092-2104.


(W. H. Thompson was called as a witness and, having been sworn by the chairman, testified as follows:)

Mr. BELCHER. Where do you live?

Mr. THOMPSON. Huntington, Cabell County, W. Va.

Mr. BELCHER. What is your business?

Mr. THOMPSON. Newspaper publisher and printer.

Mr. BELCHER. What newspaper do you publish?

Mr. THOMPSON. The Socialist and Labor Star.

Mr. BELCHER. How long have you been publishing that paper ?

Mr. THOMPSON. About a year and a half.

Mr. BELCHER. Was that paper confiscated by the order of the governor of West Virginia ?

Mr. THOMPSON. It was.

Mr. BELCHER. Please tell the committee all you know about that, in your own way.

Mr. THOMPSON. I think it was on the night between May 8 and 9, between 12 and 1 o'clock, that the -

Senator BORAH. In this year?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir: the houses of the owners, five of us. were surrounded by the deputy sheriffs of Cabell County, who had a typewritten order from Gov. Hatfield for our arrest and incarceration in the Cabell County jail. I was arrested and taken by the plant and found it in charge of a squad of militia under command of Maj. Tom Davis. We were taken on down and placed in the Cabell County jail. The next morning we received the details of the confiscation and destruction of the plant. It was not only confiscated, but the material itself was destroyed.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you got a copy of the order on which you were arrested?

Mr. THOMPSON. No; I never had a copy. However, I was permitted to read it when I was placed under arrest.

The CHAIRMAN. Tell us the substance of it, as far as you can.

Mr. THOMPSON. It was simply typewritten, with a blank space left at the top to fill in the name. and a blank space at the bottom, signed by Gov. Hatfield. As well as I remember, the substance was, "You are ordered to incarcerate W. H. Thompson in the Cabell County jail pending further orders by the governor," and incorporated in that order was the section of the Code of West Virginia which is supposed to allow such orders to be issued.

Senator BORAH. What was the number of that section?

Mr. THOMPSON. I don't know the number. Mr. Belcher probably knows.

Mr. BELCHER. Some section of chapter 14 of the code, which I do not think applies at all to this sort of proceeding.

Senator BORAH. I wanted to get the authority under which he proceeded.

Mr. THOMPSON. Section C. I believe, of chapter 14 of the code, known as the Red Man law. lifted bodily from the old Virginia constitution, at the time our State was formed, in 1861.

Mr. BELCHER. Was this within the martial-law zone?

Mr. THOMPSON. This was 80 miles from the outside edge of the martial-law zone, across about three counties.

Mr. BELCHER. Well, what did they do with you - put you in jail?

Mr. THOMPSON. They placed me in the county jail of Cabell County, about 1 o'clock on the morning of May 9, and I stayed there until about 2 o'clock that evening, when the jailer came and told us to get ready to be turned over to the military authorities. I did not know where we were going and I asked to see the sheriff. The jailer brought the sheriff and while we were in there I protested against being turned over to the military authorities, being deported from my own county, and I asked his protection, saying that I had committed no crime and that I was in charge of the legal authorities.

The CHAIRMAN. You say you made a protest to the sheriff?

Mr. THOMPSON. I did personally to the sheriff; but over the protest we were turned to Maj. Davis and a squad of militia and carried to Kanawha County jail that night and lodged in the Kanawha County jail; turned over to Sheriff Hill.

Mr. BELCHER. How long were you kept incarcerated?

Mr. THOMPSON. I was in Kanawha County jail 13 days and nights.

Mr. BELCHER.. How long were you in prison, all told?

Mr. THOMPSON. Fourteen days.

Mr. BELCHER. Were you ever tried ?

Mr. THOMPSON. I was never tried, and there was no charge placed against me that I know of.

Mr. BELCHER. You were simply turned loose on an order of the governor?

Mr. THOMPSON. Simply turned loose.

Mr. BELCHER. Does the committee want to hear the character of the treatment he received while in jail?

The CHAIRMAN. Yes. I don't see any objection to it.

Mr. BELCHER. Go ahead and tell that.

Mr. THOMPSON. In the Cabell County jail - it was comparatively empty at the time - we were placed there; in fact, the other prisoner who was in the same corridor that I was in, there were four cells and there were no other prisoners. I was taken out of this jail to Kanawha County, built for 36 prisoners, the jail was. At the time we were put in there that night, there were 60 men in that jail. It is a very peculiarly constructed jail, the cells are round or V-shaped; 18, I think, on each floor. They measured 7 feet across the front and ran back 9 feet to the end or to a closet in the end of the V. These cells are intended, in the first place, for two men, having two bunks. At that time there were three or four in the cells, consequently two, at least, where there were four in the cell, had to sleep on the floor.

Mr. BELCHER. What was the character of the floor?

Mr. THOMPSON. Steel. The building was solidly of steel. I was put in the white department; the upstairs is the white department. I was placed in there the first night and slept on the floor in a cell with four men. The next morning when I stepped out of the cell the jailer took me down to the colored department, and explained on the way it was the orders from the governor to put me in the niggers' department. I was put down there in cell No. 5, that had one bunk torn out. The other bunk was occupied by a colored man. I slept on the floor of that cell for 13 nights, on the steel floor, in the early part of May. It was very cold. There was no bedding or anything. I protested to the jailer the first night, the night jailer, and he called up Mr. Hatfield and asked him if he could not put me back in the white department; that he had more room up there than he did down in the colored department, and his answer to me was the governor said, "That is where he belongs, in the negro department," and he left me there.

The CHAIRMAN. Kept you in the negro department the entire time?

Mr. THOMPSON. The entire time.

Mr. BELCHER. Was this negro suffering from any disease; and if so, state what it was, if you know. I

Mr. THOMPSON. He was suffering from syphilis.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean you and a negro with that disease occupied the same cell?

Mr. THOMPSON. The same cell, a 7 by 9 cell.

Mr. BELCHER. Was that disease pronounced so that you could see it readily?

Mr. THOMPSON. You could see that plainly. There was a doctor waiting on him at the time.

Mr. BELCHER. The officials of the jail knew that?

Mr. THOMPSON. They did. There were three cases of that disease on that floor.

The CHAIRMAN. Had you visited the Paint Creek or Cabin Creek districts where martial law was declared?

Mr. THOMPSON. I haven't been in that section for years.

The CHAIRMAN. Never made a personal visit to the military zone?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Had you distributed papers there?

Mr. THOMPSON. Probably had a few subscribers in there.

Mr. BELCHER. Have you a paper that you published prior to the confiscation of this plant?

Mr. THOMPSON. I have a copy preceding the confiscation.

Mr. BELCHER. That you think was the cause of your arrest?

Mr. THOMPSON. I think so.

Mr. BELCHER. Does the committee want a copy of that paper?


Senator BORAH. Better put it in evidence.

(The paper submitted by Mr. Belcher is a copy of No. 52, volume of the Huntington (W. Va.) Socialist and Labor Star, of May 2, 1913.)

Mr. BELCHER. Is there anything else you know about or would care to tell the committee?


Senator BORAH. How long have you lived in West Virginia?

Mr. THOMPSON. I was born in West Virginia.

Senator BORAH. In that immediate neighborhood?

Mr. THOMPSON. In Kanawha County; yes, sir.

Senator BORAH. What is the name of the county in which you were living at the time you were arrested?

Mr. THOMPSON. Cabell County.

Senator BORAH. Kanawha County is the county in which Charleston is situated?


Senator BORAH. You were born in Charleston?

Mr. THOMPSON. East of Charleston, about 15 miles.

Senator BORAH. Do your folks live there now?

Mr. THOMPSON. My mother.

Senator BORAH. You grew up in that State?

Mr. THOMPSON. Right in that valley.

Senator BORAH. How long had you lived at Huntington?

Mr. THOMPSON. Eight years, I think.

Senator BORAH. What had been your business during that time?

Mr. THOMPSON. Printing.

Senator BORAH. Had you been running a paper all that time?

Mr. THOMPSON. Not all the time.

Senator BORAH. How long had you been running this particular paper?

Mr. THOMPSON. Ever since it started. I think it is l5 or 18 months old now.

Senator BORAH. This paper is a Socialist paper?

Mr. THOMPSON. Socialist paper; yes, sir.

Senator BORAH. You say you haven't a copy of that order?

Mr. THOMPSON. No; sir; I was never presented with it; only permitted to read it.

Senator BORAH. Could you secure a copy of the section of the statute which you say was incorporated in that order and insert it in connection with your evidence ?

Mr. THOMPSON. I could; yes, sir.

Mr. BELCHER. I will find it.

Senator BORAH. With that section of the statute incorporated, you have given us, in substance, what the order was?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Senator BORAH. Was there ever any charge made against you of any other kind ?

Mr. THOMPSON. Never any charge stated that I know of.

Senator BORAH. Any charge of inciting a riot, or anything of that kind?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir; not that I know of.

Senator BORAH. No complaint ever lodged with any justice of the peace or any court or anything of that sort?

Mr. THOMPSON. Never was a warrant issued.

Senator BORAH. You were imprisoned under that order for 141 days? Mr. THOMPSON. Fourteen days.

The CHAIRMAN. Were you under authority of the military officers or the sheriff?

Mr. THOMPSON. Only between the prisons. I was taken from one prison by the military authorities and turned over to the sheriff at the other end of the line.

The CHAIRMAN. Then you were under control of the sheriff of Kanawha County, who was a civil authority?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Arrested by the civil authorities under a military order?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. And turned over by the civil authorities to the military authorities, and then turned over by the military authorities to the civil authorities?

Mr. THOMPSON. Of Kanawha County; yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you ask to have counsel?

Mr. THOMPSON. No. I did not think that I needed counsel, as there were no charges against me.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you try to get any habeas corpus proceeding, or otherwise?

Mr. THOMPSON. We made that attempt in Huntington, but could get no attorneys at the time to handle it.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you approach any?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes. Friends on the outside made an attempt with various law firms in Huntington, but they all seemed to be afraid to attempt it.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you ask to be delayed until you could get counsel?

Mr. THOMPSON. No; I do not believe I asked that, exactly. I asked to be kept in my home county.

The CHAIRMAN. What was done with your paper?

Mr. THOMPSON. Suppressed. Left in the hands of the military authorities and the material destroyed.

The CHAIRMAN. By whose authority was the material destroyed?

Mr. THOMPSON. The soldiers claimed to be acting under the orders of the military authorities - of Gov. Hatfield.

The CHAIRMAN. What destruction occurred?

Mr. THOMPSON. Smashing up the type and carried off cuts and heads and copies of the paper.

The CHAIRMAN. Were they ever returned to you?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir, although we have demanded it from the adjutant general.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you see where that type was destroyed?

Mr. THOMPSON. Seen it after my return.

The CHAIRMAN. Where was it?

Mr. THOMPSON. In the office. It is all broken and mashed type, and for three blocks around it is scattered over the streets. We have been picking up type ever since. On the 4th of July a man brought me 4 pounds of mashed up type he said he found a square from the office.

The CHAIRMAN. Were you ever carried before the grand jury or a justice of the peace?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir; never was.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you have a copy of the order by which you were finally released?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir. I suppose it was a verbal order.

Senator BORAH. Is there anything you know of at all charged against you except the publication of this paper?

Mr. THOMPSON. That is all I know of.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any further statement you want to make?

Mr. THOMPSON. No further than to say we have never secured any recompense from the State authorities for the destruction of our plant, although it was promised verbally to a committee that waited on the State authorities.

The CHAIRMAN. What does the damage amount to?

Mr. THOMPSON. We estimated at that time $2,000 actual damage.

The CHAIRMAN. You may stand aside.

Mr. VINSON. May I have an opportunity to ask him a few questions?

The CHAIRMAN. Oh. yes. I did not know that you represented the State.

Mr. VINSON. I do not. I want to state on the record that I think that the authorities of the State of West Virginia, if they see fit to do so, should have the right to cross-examine this witness, and particularly the sheriffs and jailors of Kanawha County and Cabell County.

Mr. BELCHER. We have no objection as far as we are concerned.

The CHAIRMAN. After they read his evidence they can communicate with us, and we will give it every consideration.

Mr. VINSON. Now, on behalf of the coal operators whom I represent - but I do not represent the State officials, nor the sheriffs, nor the jailors - I would like to ask this witness a few questions.

The CHAIRMAN. You may do so.

Mr. VINSON. Mr. Thompson, have you ever instituted any suits against Gov. Hatfield or any of the officers of the militia for the destruction of your plant?

Mr. BELCHER. I don't care about his answering that question, but I don't see why it is pertinent, unless it is to show the operators are interested in that. Go ahead and answer it.

Mr. THOMPSON. I have.

Mr. VINSON. Where is that suit pending?

Mr. THOMPSON. In Cabell County circuit court.

Mr. VINSON. You understand if the order of incarceration is illegal or not justified by law you would be entitled to collect damages?

Mr. BELCHER. That is a legal conclusion.

Mr. VINSON. I am asking it as a legal conclusion.

Mr. THOMPSON. I hope so.

The CHAIRMAN. He having brought suit would show that.

Senator BORAH. Under the Moyer case that becomes a very doubtful proposition.

Mr. BELCHER. Yes, sir; it does.

Mr. VINSON. Have you made any effort before the Cabell County grand jury to have these people or any of them indicted for destroying your property?

Mr. THOMPSON. We made that effort. I did not do it, but it was made.

Mr. VINSON. Were any indictments made ?

Mr. THOMPSON. No. Our witnesses were refused admittance to the grand jury.

Mr. VINSON. You state that positively?


Mr. VINSON. When was that?

Mr. THOMPSON. At the last term of the grand jury.

Mr. VINSON. What was the date?

Mr. THOMPSON. I don't remember the date exactly. Probably a month ago.

Mr. VINSON. You mean a month ago - that would be, then, sometime in July or August?

Mr. THOMPSON. I should say so. I would not say that for certain.

Mr. VINSON. 1913. Chapter 14 of the code, which you have referred to in your examination in chief, authorizes, does it not, the governor to detain anybody who he has reason to believe has committed a crime against the laws of the State?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. VINSON. It does not?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. VINSON. Do you know why this order for this arrest was given?

Mr. THOMPSON. No; I don't believe I do.

Mr. VINSON. What do you think?

Mr. THOMPSON. I think that the intention was to suppress the only two papers down there who were against the proposed settlement of the Cabin Creek strike.

Mr. VINSON. You were opposed to that?

Mr. THOMPSON. I was, under the conditions.

Mr. VINSON. An[d] urged against it?

Mr. THOMPSON. I did.

Mr. VINSON. That was a settlement that had been made through the governor, between the miners that had theretofore been on strike on Cabin Creek, and the owners of property on Cabin Creek?

Mr. THOMPSON. It was the proposed settlement that was never accepted by the miners.

Mr. VINSON. Didn't their officials sign up that agreement, or authorize the governor to make it?

Mr. THOMPSON. Well, that is a question.

Mr. VINSON. Wasn't there an agreement, as a matter of fact, a written agreement, that the governor issued, which was agreed to by the mine workers' officials?

Mr. THOMPSON. It was partially agreed to by the mine workers' officials, but it was never agreed to by the rank and file of the miners, on whom it was supposed to be binding.

Mr. VINSON. Now, it was your effort to try and induce the rank and file of the miners not to accept that agreement; or rather that settlement?

Mr. THOMPSON. It was my effort to point out the clauses in that proposed agreement wherein they were not being treated fairly.

Mr. VINSON. Do you remember those particular clauses? State one of them, or some of them.

Mr. THOMPSON. No; I don't care to go into that.

Mr. BELCHER. You don't have to.

Mr. THOMPSON. Unless it is absolutely necessary.

Mr. VINSON. That agreement did not provide for the recognition of the United Mine Workers' organization, did it?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. VINSON. Wasn't that the feature that you more particularly complained about in your articles against it?

Mr. THOMPSON. No; I can not say that it was.

Mr. VINSON. That was one of them, wasn't it?

Mr. THOMPSON. That probably would have been one. There were some four or five demands when that strike was made. The proposed settlement took no notice of any of those demands of the miners. One of those demands was the abolition of the Baldwin guards. That was not touched upon in that proposed settlement. That was one of the things that I had mostly against the settlement.

Mr. VINSON. Name another one.

Mr. BELCHER. Well, I submit here the fact of what his opinion was. What he wrote about it has nothing to do with it. If the governor had the right to confiscate his paper, very well and good. The paper is here in evidence. I do not see how his private opinions have anything to do with the matter we brought out on direct examination. [Addressing the witness.] You are not a member of the United Mine Workers?

Mr. THOMPSON. Not at present.

The CHAIRMAN. We will let this go on for a while, although we do not see the exact materiality of it, although it may be developed later.

Mr. VINSON. Do you know whether or not your arrest was caused on the charge that you were inciting the miners in Paint and Cabin Creeks to acts of violence and insurrection?

Mr. THOMPSON. If that was the charge, it was never made known to me.

Senator BORAH. Is this Red Man's act - is that what you call it?


Senator BORAH. That is a statute or provision under the constitution?

Mr. BELCHER. A statute.

Mr. VINSON. A statute. Under that statute, hasn't the governor of the State, as such, and not as the head of the military organization, power vested in him, by chapter 14 of the Code of West Virginia, to cause the arrest and detention of anyone whom he has reason to believe is engaged in a conspiracy to incite riot or do violence or violate the law ?

Mr. BELCHER. I would suggest that we send down and get that, because I do not concede that to be the law.

The CHAIRMAN. We will have that filed in the record.

Mr. BELCHER. I think it is not fair to this witness. He is not a lawyer.

Senator BORAH. I think you will concede the law itself had better be introduced.

Mr. VINSON. Yes. He has complained of a certain act on the part of the governor. I want to know if this witness understands that the governor was acting under the authority of the law in doing the act that this witness complains about.

Mr. BELCHER. We contend that the governor did not act within the law and had absolutely no justification, as a proposition of law, to do the thing he did.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you think the governor had any authority to arrest you and seize your paper, under any law of West Virginia?

Mr. THOMPSON. Not the least.

Mr. VINSON. Then you understood that the law under which he pretended to act did not justify him in taking the step he did take in causing your arrest and detaining you?

Mr. THOMPSON. I did. If he had a complaint against me, there were several courts open and he could have preferred charges against me.

Mr. VINSON. Does he have to do that under the statute?

Mr. BELCHER. Let us wait a few minutes until we get the statute.

Mr. VINSON. I think the statute speaks for itself.

Mr. BELCHER. That is just the reason I am objecting to the questions.

Mr. VINSON. When did you begin publishing your paper, Mr. Thompson?

Mr. THOMPSON. I have one here under date of May 30, 1913, which is volume 2, No. 1. That would be the first number of the second volume or the second year.

Mr. VINSON. A volume means a year's publication?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Mr. VINSON. Then, if that statement of your paper there is correct, your first publication came about the 1st of May, 1912?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes; along there.

Mr. VINSON. Where did you start the publication of that paper at that particular time?

Mr. BELCHER. We object.

Mr. THOMPSON. That is so far back and there has been so many things happened since I can't say.

Mr. VINSON. Wasn't your publication started to encourage the miners in striking on Cabin and Paint Creeks?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. VINSON. It was not?

Mr. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. VINSON. Your paper circulated in that section, did it not?

Mr. THOMPSON. To a small extent; yes.

Mr. VINSON. It circulates to a small extent everywhere, doesn't it - you haven't got many subscribers?

Mr. THOMPSON. I should say the bulk of our circulation is in the city of Huntington.

Mr. VINSON. Also it extended to Cabin and Paint Creeks?


Mr. VINSON. Did you have any connection with the United Mine Workers in regard to the circulation of your paper?

Mr. THOMPSON. Never.

Mr. VINSON. Or any representative of it?

Mr. THOMPSON. Never.

Mr. VINSON. The policy of your paper there was entirely to encourage the striking miners in the strike that was going on in those districts, was it not ?

Mr. THOMPSON. In so far as we handled matter from that district at all.

Mr. VINSON. That is all I care to ask, but I want to reiterate, if the Senators please, the request that the State authorities that have been mentioned by Mr. Thompson be permitted to cross-examine him, if they elect to do so. I make that as a request in the form of amicus curai.

The CHAIRMAN. As stated.before, when the State authorities read this evidence and make a request for cross-examination, we will give it consideration. We have always treated them very fairly and considerately in this matter.

Senator BORAH. Did you, in your paper, advise the miners to commit crime or murder or anything of that kind ?

Mr. THOMPSON. Never.

Senator BORAH. You urged the strike, you say. but you don't want to be understood as saying then that you urged them to acts of violence or violations of the criminal law?

Mr. THOMPSON. I think you misunderstood Mr. Vinson's question. He asked me if I comforted the strikers or encouraged the strikers. I took that to mean that we extended encouragement in the hopes that they would win that strike. Of course I did not mean that we encouraged violence.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you have any editorials or writings advocat- ing overt acts of violence contrary to the laws of West Virginia?

Mr. THOMPSON. I think not.

The CHAIRMAN. That is all.

Mr. BELCHER. We will read, at this point, the statute of West Virginia.

The excerpt from the code to be furnished by Mr. Belcher is as follows:

Sections 5 and 6 of chapter14, Coilo i)i' West Virginia, defining "Powers .ind duties of governor,"

SEC. 5. The governor may cause to be ui)i)relieiided and imprisoned or may compel to depart from this State ;ili suspicious subjects, citizeus, agents, or emissaries of any foreign state or piiwer at war with the United States.

SEC. 6. He may also cause to be apprehended and imprisoned all who in time of war, insurrection, or public danger, shall willfully give aid, support, or information to the enemy or insurgents or who, he shall have just cause to believe, are conspiring or combining together to aid or support any hostile action against the United States or this State.

Mr. BELCHER. It would seem that section 5 of chapter 14, above quoted, is void, because of its conflict with section 5 of article 3 of the constitution of West Virginia, which provides as follows:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. Penalties shall be apportioned to the character and degree of the offense. Mo person shall be transported out of or forced to leave the State for any offense committed within the same; nor shall any person be compelled to be a witness against himself, or be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty for the same offense.

The CHAIRMAN. Call the next witness.

Mr. BELCHER. I will call Mrs. Thompson.


(Mary Thompson was called as a witness, and having been sworn by the chairman, testified as follows:)

Mr. BELCHER. You are the wife of the witness who has just left the stand, W. H. Thompson?

Mrs. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELCHER. You live in Huntington?

Mrs. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELCHER. Were you at home on the night your husband was arrested?

Mrs. THOMPSON. I was.

Mr. BELCHER. Did the soldiers come to your house, your home, Mrs. Thompson?

Mrs. THOMPSON. Yes. sir.

Mr. BELCHER. Please state what they did.

Mrs. THOMPSON. When they searched the house?

Mr. BELCHER. Yes: just what they did while there.

Mrs. THOMPSON. Well, I was back in the kitchen, and I heard the screen door knock, just thumping together, and I went and there was two soldiers - I guess they were soldiers - they had on, one of them had leggings and the other just had a regular soldier hat. He said, "Is this Mrs. Thompson?" I said, "Yes, sir." He said, "Has Mr. Thompson got a desk in here?" He said, "I want to look in it." I said, "Have you got a search warrant?" He said, "Yes." I said, "Let me see it." He said, "The major has it." So I looked out and I did not see Maj. Davis anywhere, and he passed right by me and went on in the room, and the other fellow followed. A big table stood there with private letters, and they went through the books, and if they came across anything they did not want, they just threw it on the floor. They went through the bookcase and everything around, looking for first one thing and another.

Senator BORAH. Did they have arms - were they armed in any way with guns?

Mrs. THOMPSON. I would not be positive. One had a belt. I don't know what he had in it. They looked behind the pictures on the wall and everything they could come across. They took letters out and read them and threw them down.

Mr. BELCHER. Did they go into more than one room?

Mrs. THOMPSON. They went and looked into the other rooms. They only looked in one room where his book desk was and the table.

Mr. BELCHER. Did they tell you why they were there?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No, sir; they did not say.

Mr. BELCHER. Did they read any warrant of seizure or anything of that sort?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. BELCHER. They didn't have any, did they?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No. sir. When they got through I told him, "You didn't let me sec the search warrant," and he said, "I had permission from the major to search the house."

Senator BORAH. Did they take anything away?

Mrs. THOMPSON. I didn't see them take anything, but there were some of his letters missing, some copies of books. I never seen them take anything, because I was scared to death.

The CHAIRMAN. Did they tell you the nature of the correspondence they were looking for?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No. After they got through looking and everything, they wanted to know who kept the subscription book. I told them I didn't know.

Mr. BELCHER. You mean by subscription book the book containing the names of the subscribers of your husband's paper?


Mr. BELCHER. They didn't get that, did they?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. BELCHEK. It wasn't at the house?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. BELCHER. Were you at the Kanawha County jail?

Mrs. THOMPSON. Yes, sir; I went once. They let him come out in the office and talk to me five minutes. That is all I could see him all. the time he was in jail. I was down at the other jail when he protested against their taking him away, when the sheriff came in.

Mr. BELCHER. You heard that protest?

Mrs. THOMPSON. I heard that protest; yes, sir. I didn't know they were going to take him until I got down there.

Mr. BELCHER, So they took him away while you were there?

Mrs. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BELCHER. Do you know what the reply was to his protest?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No; I don't remember what he said.

Mr. BELCHER. You don't know what the authorities said at the time he protested?

Mrs. THOMPSON. No, sir.

Mr. BELCHER. I believe that is all.

Senator BORAH. Anything, Mr. Vinson?

Mr. VINSON. I make the same request on behalf of the authorities of West Virginia.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; there is no use of repeating it.

Mr. VINSON. Mrs. Thompson, how many times did you go to the Kanawha jail while your husband was incarcerated there?

Mrs. THOMPSON. Only once.

Mr. VINSON. You saw him then for five minutes in the office?


Mr. VINSON. That is all, I think.

The CHAIRMAN. You can stand aside, Mrs. Thompson.

Senator BORAH. I want Mr. Thompson to return to the stand a minute.


(W. H. Thompson was recalled as a witness and, having been previously sworn by the chairman, testified further, as follows:)

Senator BORAH. Senator Swanson asked you some questions, but I did not get clear in my own mind about the matter. Did the sheriff of your county serve this order upon you and arrest you?

Mr. THOMPSON. His deputy; yes, sir.

Senator BOSAH. Then you were arrested by the sheriff or his deputy?

Mr. THOMPSON. His deputy; yes, sir.

Senator BORAH. And you were taken in custody by the sheriff?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir; I was.

Senator BORAH. Were there any soldiers with him?

Mr. THOMPSON. I seen soldiers around the place.

Senator BORAH. They had nothing to do with the arrest?

Mr. THOMPSON. Nothing to do with the arrest.

Senator BORAH. Then when you were taken from jail in your home county, into whose custody did you go?

Mr. THOMPSON. Into the custody of the military authorities.

Senator BORAH. Who turned you over to them?

Mr. THOMPSON. The sheriff of Cabell County.

Senator BORAH. And they in turn turned you over to the sheriff of Kanawha County?

Mr. THOMPSON. Turned us over to Sheriff Bonner Hill personally.

Senator BORAH. Then you went back into the hands of the civil authorities?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Senator BORAH. And remained there until you were turned out?

Mr. THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

Mr. VINSON. You, I believe, are a Socialist, and your paper advocates the principles of the Socialist Party?

Mr. THOMPSON. It does.

Mr. VINSON. That is all.

The CHAIRMAN. Call the next witness.

Mr. BELCHER. I will call Mr. Boswell.


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