The Iron Heel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 324 pages of information about The Iron Heel.
mysteriously murdered.  The crime, at the time, was openly charged to the mine owners by the socialists and miners.  Nevertheless, in violation of the national and state constitutions, and by means of conspiracy on the parts of the governors of Idaho and Colorado, Moyer and Haywood were kidnapped, thrown into jail, and charged with the murder.  It was this instance that provoked from Eugene V. Debs, national leader of the American socialists at the time, the following words:  “The labor leaders that cannot be bribed nor bullied, must be ambushed and murdered.  The only crime of Moyer and Haywood is that they have been unswervingly true to the working class.  The capitalists have stolen our country, debauched our politics, defiled our judiciary, and ridden over us rough-shod, and now they propose to murder those who will not abjectly surrender to their brutal dominion.  The governors of Colorado and Idaho are but executing the mandates of their masters, the Plutocracy.  The issue is the Workers versus the Plutocracy.  If they strike the first violent blow, we will strike the last.”



Of myself, during this period, there is not much to say.  For six months I was kept in prison, though charged with no crime.  I was a suspect—­a word of fear that all revolutionists were soon to come to know.  But our own nascent secret service was beginning to work.  By the end of my second month in prison, one of the jailers made himself known as a revolutionist in touch with the organization.  Several weeks later, Joseph Parkhurst, the prison doctor who had just been appointed, proved himself to be a member of one of the Fighting Groups.

Thus, throughout the organization of the Oligarchy, our own organization, weblike and spidery, was insinuating itself.  And so I was kept in touch with all that was happening in the world without.  And furthermore, every one of our imprisoned leaders was in contact with brave comrades who masqueraded in the livery of the Iron Heel.  Though Ernest lay in prison three thousand miles away, on the Pacific Coast, I was in unbroken communication with him, and our letters passed regularly back and forth.

The leaders, in prison and out, were able to discuss and direct the campaign.  It would have been possible, within a few months, to have effected the escape of some of them; but since imprisonment proved no bar to our activities, it was decided to avoid anything premature.  Fifty-two Congressmen were in prison, and fully three hundred more of our leaders.  It was planned that they should be delivered simultaneously.  If part of them escaped, the vigilance of the oligarchs might be aroused so as to prevent the escape of the remainder.  On the other hand, it was held that a simultaneous jail-delivery all over the land would have immense psychological influence on the proletariat.  It would show our strength and give confidence.

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The Iron Heel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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