March 11, 2007

WA: Wobbly lawyer

Joe and I visited the state historical museum in Tacoma, where the World War I exhibits put me in a reflective mood. What a time that must have been: a self-righteous president taking the country to war, a attorney general bending the law, thousands of Americans' patriotism questioned. Seems strange, doesn't it?

I got to thinking about the IWW, and later I found a Northwest history archive online from the WSU libraries in Pullman. Searching for articles on the IWW, I learned the story of Edward Hofstead, a Spokane lawyer sent to jail in 1918 for the crime of being a Wobbly:

He maintained he was in a lawful occupation. Judge Witt held otherwise.

More history posts later, including maybe something about the Wobbly in my family tree, my dad's Onkel Joe.

(my son Joe and I didn't view the contemporary anarcho- syndicalism going on at the Port of Tacoma, but you can on YouTube)


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this post, and especially for the links to the materials on Edward Hofstead.

Wobblies and lawyers (and especially Wobbly lawyers) in Idaho should take note of the play this weekend, in Boise, about the trial of IWW founding member Bill Haywood. Haywood was acquitted from charges of conspiracy in the assassination of the governor of Idaho. (

I can't tell from the post whether the author of this blog is a Wobbly himself. Are you? I've been wondering whether I'm the only person listed on the active rolls at both the IWW and the Idaho Supreme Court...

Anonymous said...

There are just a few licensed attorneys who are also members of the IWW. E-mail GHQ and they can perhaps put you in touch.