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You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Tuesday July 7, 1914
From The Voice of the People: Fellow Worker Joe Hill Convicted on Flimsy Evidence

Joe Hill, IWW
On the pages of the New Orleans Voice of the People, E. W. Vanderleith summarizes the trial and maintains that the Fellow Worker Joe Hill was convicted on "flimsy evidence" after a trial ruled over by a prejudice judge:
By E. W. Vanderleith.

Joe Hill was convicted of murder in the first degree before a jury of his "peers," consisting of real estate sharks contractors, farmers and one lone working man. In reality he was tried by the newspapers, and convicted also, long before, and during the trial.

Evidence of the flimsiest character, if put on by the prosecution was admitted, but if the defense tried to get in anything it was overruled by "his honor" as hearsay. One woman witness unblushingly admitted to a subpoena server that even if Joe Hill did not commit the crime he should be convicted as an undesirable citizen. The same witness swore at the trial that a man of Joe's description was in the neighborhood, while at the preliminary hearing she said that she could not say as to the man's height or general description. Her husband no doubt had been spirited out of town, because the defense wanted to use him as a witness. The eye-witness to the shooting, a boy of 14 years old, admitted under cross-examination that the prosecuting attorney told him during recess that a gray hat was worn by the taller man.

Witnesses, by whom the defense wanted to prove that the dead man had private enemies, who had sworn to kill him, and that he had been shot at many times, that he had told newspaper reporters that he expected to be killed any day, were overruled by the judge, and not admitted. Sensational newspaper articles were used to prejudice the public mind, such as "The I. W. W. will rescue Joe Hill if found guilty." "Sheriff increases guards at Hill trial," were published regularly.

The prosecuting attorney's speech was only abuse, appeals to the prejudices of the jury, and in his closing speech he admitted that he had no evidence, but that Hill should be convicted on general principles, etc.

Witnesses wanted by the defense could not be found by the State subpoena server, and when found were "seen" by the prosecution. At least two other men were shot the same night Morrison was shot, but none of them were held, tho they are still supposed to be under suspicion.

Now, Fellow-workers, this case must be appealed and an appeal takes money. so get busy and do the very best you can. We must show them that the I. W. W. has not started to fight yet.

Send all funds to                                                                   Geo. Shilds.
                                                           Treas. Joe Hill Defense Committee.
                                                 118 W. S. Temple St., Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Voice of the People
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
-of July 7, 1914

Joe Hill


Monday July 7, 1914
More on the Trial of Joe Hill and the Mormon Church

Members of the Industrial Workers of the World were not alone in blaming the Mormon Church (as well as the Copper Bosses) for the unjust trial, conviction, and eventual execution of Joe Hill. His attorney during the appeal, O. N. Hilton, as well as W. A. F. Ekengren, Swedish Minister to U. S., also condemned the Mormon Church as responsible, in part, for the murder of Fellow Worker Joe Hill by the State of Utah.

W. A. F. Ekengren, Swedish Minister to the USA during 1915, active in case of Joe Hill
Orrin N Hilton

Attorney Hilton delivered a two-hour address at the funeral held for Joe Hill in Chicago where he stated:

You can now see the particulars wherein the trial was unfair, and that some influence was brought to bear upon the Supreme Court to persuade it into an attitude of hostility toward Hillstrom. I do not say that this was done by direct influence, other than the imponderable and undefined but always apparent and dominating fear of the Mormon Church, and that the views expressed by the Supreme Court are in consonance with the views of the Church.
Hilton had written to Minister Ekengren on the day that Hill was executed:
Hilton's reference to the Mormon Church in the funeral oration was a milder version of what he had written to [Swedish] Minister Ekengren on the day Hill was executed. "I wish, now, that the Hillstrom incident has reached its tragic close, to ask you, in your report to your government, to bear in mind the vicious and vile influence that has made this infamous thing possible-The Mormon Church-and to the end that your countrymen may be fully advised of the dangers that threaten to all who listen and are persuaded to come to Utah, by reason of the lying stories and allurements that may be held out to the uniformed."
Ekengren later filed a report on the trial and execution of Joe Hill:
In his report to the Swedish government, Ekengren emphasized that Joe Hill was doomed to die because he "was a member of the widely spread radical workers' association "Industrial Workers of the World," and had aided the cause of this movement as a songwriter and composer." Mormonism, "the main ruler in the state of Utah," was determined to see Hill dead, for "his membership in the Industrial Workers of the World was hated by the leaders of the Mormon Church."
The Case of Joe Hill
-by Philip S Foner
International Publishers, 1965

See also: this book review by Richard Myers:
William M. Adler,
"The Man Who Never Died, The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon"

Off topic but see also:
(found this while searching google this morning)
"Analysis: Mormon Church excommunicates woman for feminist advocacy."

1). Judge O. N. Hilton
2). W. A. F. Ekengren, Swedish Minister involved in case of Joe Hill

The Preacher and the Slave-Utah Phillips

Long-haired preachers come out every night
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right
But when asked how 'bout somethin' to eat
They will answer in voices so sweet:

You will eat bye and bye
In that glorious land up in the sky.
Work and pray and live on hay
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.

                    -Joe Hill


Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Rebel Songwriters, Shamrock American Kossacks, Protest Music, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, and History for Kossacks.

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