The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
Collage of Clarence Darrow at different ages Postcard from Clarence Darrow Collection

Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters


- A - | - B - | - C - | - D - | - E - | - F - | - G - | - H - | - I - | - J - | - K - | - L - | - M - | - N - | - O - | - P - | - Q - | - R - | - S - | - T - | - U - | - V - | - W - |

Jane Addams co-founded with Ellen Gates Starr, the internationally recognized social settlement Hull-House on Chicago's Near West Side in 1889. She was an outspoken peace advocate and for her work she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 becoming the first American woman so recognized.

Jane Addams to Clarence Darrow, October 20, 1932

Henre Bacher is the wife of William A. Bacher who was born in Romania in either 1897 or 1900. He immigrated to the United States and earned a dentistry degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from the New Jersey Law School. He practiced dentistry for 10 years but in 1929 became a radio producer. In 1943 he joined 20th Century-Fox and produced several movies including Wing and a Prayer (1944), Leave her to Heaven (1945), and Carnival in Costa Rica (1947). He co-wrote and produced Untamed in 1955. During World War II, he did 168 broadcasts for the U.S. Treasury Department and bond programs to support the war effort. One source indicates he died in 1967.

Henre S. Bacher to Ruby and Clarence Darrow, September 27, 1931

Harry Elmer Barnes (June 15, 1889 – August 25, 1968) was an American historian who, in his later years, was known for his historical revisionism and Holocaust denial. After receiving a PhD at Columbia University in 1918 Barnes became a professor of history at Clark University before moving to Smith College as a professor of historical sociology in 1923. In 1929 he left teaching to work as a journalist, freelance writer and occasional adjunct professor at smaller schools. In 1919/20 and between 1923 and 1937 he lectured regularly at the New School for Social Research. Through his prodigious scholarly output, Barnes was once highly regarded as a historian. However, by the 1950s, he had lost credibility and became a "professional pariah."

Harry Elmer Barnes to Clarence Darrow
Harry Elmer Barnes to Unknown
Harry Elmer Barnes to Charles Dutton

Richard Bennett (1870 - 1944) was an American actor and matinee idol. He married Mabel Adrienne Morrison and they had three daughters. Two daughters, Constance and Joan, became successful movie stars in the 1930s and 1940s. Another daughter Barbara was also an actress but for a much briefer period of time. Barbara married the popular singer Morton Downey and one of their children was the controversial television talk-show host Morton Downey, Jr.

Richard Bennett to Clarence Darrow, December 10, 1932
Maurice Berkson (1880 - 1953) was an attorney who co-founded a law firm in 1906 with Edward Sonnenschein and Isadore Blumenthal that later became Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP.

Maurice Berkson to Paul Darrow, October 14, 1941
Theodore Brentano (1854 - 1940) was an American lawyer and an Illinois state judge. In 1922, he was appointed as the first American ambassador to Hungary by President Warren G. Harding.

Theodore Brentano to Clarence Darrow, December 5, 1924
The Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago was established in 1882 as the Society for Ethical Culture of Chicago. It was part of the ethical culture movement, founded by Felix Adler in New York in 1876. This movement focused on the identification of religion with moral law and how to apply this in peoples' lives. The Society for Ethical Culture legally changed its name to the Chicago Ethical Society in 1911. Horace J. Bridges (1880 - 1955) was named Leader of the Chicago Ethical Society in 1913 and remained in that position until 1944. Bridges was also active in the Chicago Urban League. The Chicago Ethical Society changed its name to the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago in 1969.

Dr. Horace J. Bridges to Clarence Darrow, December 21, 1931
Arthur Brisbane (1864 - 1936) was an American newspaper editor, the first syndicated newspaper writer, and one of most influential editorial writers in the history of newspapers in the United States. When he wrote this letter he was editor of Hearst's New York Evening Journal . He was a very important and influential executive in the Hearst news and media empire.

Arthur Brisbane to Clarence Darrow, September 11, 1905
William Thurston Brown was a minister and socialist. According to one account Brown arrived at the Stelton Modern School in the spring of 1916 and served for about a year as its Principle. Another account says he spent three and half years there then left to promote Modern Schools around the country by lecturing and raising funds on behalf of the Modern School Association of North America.

William Thurston Brown to Clarence Darrow, August 11, 1916
William Jennings Bryan (1860 - 1925) was the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States in 1896, 1900 and 1908. Bryan served as the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson. Bryan is considered one of the most effective public speakers in the history of the United States. In the 1890s and early 1900s Clarence Darrow and Bryan were on the same side of most political and social issues and Darrow supported Bryan's presidential campaigns in 1896 and 1900. Bryan was a devout Christian and noted speaker in defense of religion. By 1921 Bryan was one of the leading critics of teaching the theory of evolution in public schools in the United States. Bryan's outspoken defense of religion and his campaign against teaching evolution in public schools greatly angered Darrow.

William Jennings Bryan to Clarence Darrow, March 29, 1902


Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858 - 1932) was an African-American author, essayist and political activist. He was born to two free African-Americans from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Chesnutt had some white ancestry but considered himself black. He has been described as America's first great Black novelist.

Charles W. Chesnutt to Clarence Darrow, February 8, 1907
Algernon Sidney Crapsey (1847-1927) was an Episcopalian priest well-known throughout the country. His progressive social ideas clashed with the traditional views of the church. Following a lecture in which he related Jesus' life to the physical one of the common man he was brought to trial for heresy in 1906. His popularity gained him considerable local and national support but the Episcopal Church convicted him of heresy and he was defrocked. Although he did not have the approved church credentials, Dr. Crapsey continued to lecture, write, and support important social work until his death in 1927.

Algernon Sidney Crapsey to Clarence Darrow, December 30, 1924
Algernon Sidney Crapsey to Clarence Darrow, May 17, 1925


Ammirus Darrow (1818 - 1904) was Clarence Darrow's father.

Mary Elizabeth Darrow to Ammirus Darrow, October 30, ????
Catherine Darrow was Ammirus Darrow's second wife. They were married in 1898. Her maiden name was Donahue.

Mary Elizabeth Darrow to Catherine Donahue Darrow, July 6, 1904
Clarence Seward Darrow (April 18, 1857 Kinsman Township, Trumbull County, Ohio - March 13, 1938 Chicago) was one the most famous lawyers in the history of the United States. His fame came from several notable trials including his defense of Leopold and Loeb for murdering 14-year-old Bobby Franks (1924) and defending John T. Scopes who was charged with teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school (1925), in which he opposed the famous statesman William Jennings Bryan. Darrow was also known for his outspoken agnosticism, blunt and controversial comments on social issues, sarcasm, wit and as a defender of civil liberties.

Edward Everett Darrow (1846 - 1927) was Clarence Darrow's oldest sibling. Everett was a school teacher living in Chicago. The presence of Everett and his sister Mary in Chicago helped influence Clarence's decision to move there in 1888. Everett was named for Edward Everett a Unitarian abolitionist and Whig Party politician who gave a two hour speech in 1863 at Gettysburg which was eclipsed by President Lincoln's short address. Everett's son Karl Kelchner Darrow was a renowned physicist.

Clarence Darrow to Everett Darrow, January 24, 1873
Helen was married to Edward Everett Darrow, who was Clarence Darrow's oldest sibling. Helen was a graduate of the University of Chicago and was a pianist and organist.

Helen Kelchner Darrow to Ruby Darrow, November 30, 1911
Helen Kelchner Darrow to Ruby Darrow, February 12, 1912
Jennie Darrow Moore to Helen Kelchner Darrow, August 19, 1923
Karl Kelchner Darrow (1891 - 1982) was the son of Edward Everett Darrow. Edward Darrow was Clarence Darrow's oldest brother. Karl Darrow was a research physicist at Western Electric in New York City which later became Bell Laboratories. He worked at Bell Laboratories as a science writer until he retired in 1956. He also served as secretary of the American Physical Society from 1941 to 1967.

Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, May 30, 1905
Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, June 6, 1905
Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, June 13, 1905
Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, June 28, 1905
Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, September 12, 1905
Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, November 14, 1905
Karl K. Darrow to Ruby J. Splitstone, July 18, 1906
Karl K. Darrow to Ruby Darrow, November 16, 1911
Karl K. Darrow to Jennie Darrow Moore, July 18, 1951
Lillian Andersen Darrow was the wife of Paul Darrow, Clarence Darrow's son.

Ruby Darrow to Lillian Andersen Darrow, November 23, 1911
Paul Darrow, (December 10, 1883 - December 20, 1956), was the only child of Clarence Darrow. Paul's mother was Jessie Ohl, Clarence Darrow's first wife. Paul was far different in personality than his famous father. After he graduated from Dartmouth Paul decided against becoming a lawyer and getting involved in politics. Instead he chose a much more private life and went into business. Paul Darrow married Lillian Anderson whom he had met when she worked as a secretary in his father's law office. Paul and his wife moved to Estes Park, Colorado in 1908 where they had three children. While in Colorado Paul successfully managed the Greeley Gas & Fuel Company in which both he and his father had a financial involvement. Paul and his family moved back to Chicago in 1930.

Clarence Darrow to Paul Darrow
Whitney Darrow (1881 - 1970) and Charles Scribner founded the Princeton University Press. Whitney Darrow was also an editor at Charles Scribner's Sons. Whitney was related to Clarence Darrow.

Howard Vincent O'Brien to Whitney Darrow, December 7, 1931
Oscar DePriest (1871 - 1951) was born in Alabama to former slaves and became Chicago's first black alderman and the first black elected to Congress since Reconstruction. In 1917, DePriest, an alderman from Chicago's Second Ward was indicted on conspiracy charges for allegedly protecting illegal gambling and prostitution operations. Referred to as "King Oscar," by the Chicago Tribune, the charges grew out of his organization of a "colored voters club" in 1916 that demanded contributions from local gamblers in order to support upcoming elections. DePriest ran what was described as his own "Tammany Club" from a real estate office. Since vice and corruption were common in the city of Chicago, the black population resented DePriest's indictment and believed he was unfairly targeted. Clarence Darrow defended DePriest and convinced an all white jury to find him not guilty. In 1928, DePriest was elected to Congress as a member of the Republican Party.

Oscar De Priest to Clarence Darrow, December 21, 1931
Eugene Victor Debs (1855 - 1926) was a founder and leader of the American Railway Union (ARU), founded on June 20, 1893, it was the largest union of its time. When workers at the Pullman Company went on strike in the summer of 1894, Debs led the ARU in a sympathy strike against Pullman that resulted in nationwide disruption of rail service and delivery of mail, extensive rioting, violence and numerous deaths in clashes with federal and state military and local law enforcement. It was one of the most important labor battles in the history of the United States. Debs and other ARU members were later charged with civil contempt for violating a federal court injunction and were sentenced to prison. They were also charged with criminal conspiracy for disrupting the delivery of U.S. mail. Clarence Darrow worked with other lawyers to defend Debs and the criminal charges were dropped. They also challenged the civil contempt proceedings before the United States Supreme Court. Debs later become a socialist and was chosen to run for President five times as the socialist candidate.

Eugene Debs to Clarence Darrow, February 1, 1922
W.H. (Harry) Dehm was a lawyer in Earl Rogers' law firm and helped defend Clarence Darrow during his bribery trials.

W.H. (Harry) Dehm to Clarence Darrow, August 5, 1913.
Charles Samuel Deneen (1863 - 1940) was a Republican governor of Illinois from 1905 to 1913. He was a United States Senator from Illinois from 1925 to 1931. In 1892 Deneen was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Charles S. Deneen to Clarence Darrow, October 9, 1905.
George D. Dickson was for several years the president of the Workmen's Legal Security Company in Chicago. In that capacity he investigated accidents and filed lawsuits for workers injured on the job. Dickson had worked for Darrow before and while preparing for the Haywood trial, Darrow employed Dickson as the lead defense investigator trying to find out the real identity of Harry Orchard. The defense was unsuccessful and did not find out Orchard's real name until he revealed it on the witness stand. Darrow and Richardson did not get along and a major part of the difficulty was Darrow's investigator George Dickson. Several leaders in the Western Federation of Miners believed they had wasted thousands of dollars on Dickson and wanted him fired. Before the trial Darrow offered to withdraw from the case but the defense eventually persuaded him to remain.

Clarence Darrow to George D. Dickson, November 5, 1906
George A. Dorsey (1868 - 1931) was an important and influential anthropologist and author. He helped found the American Anthropological Association and served as its first secretary. He was an ethnographer of North American Indians and conducted investigations of the Plains Indians.

George A. Dorsey to Clarence Darrow, February 18, 1926
Theodore Dreiser (1871 - 1945) was an American novelist and journalist. In 1927, Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925) was banned in Boston on the grounds that it was obscene. Horace Liveright, an American publisher and stage producer, become involved in Dreiser's freedom of expression fight in an obscenity trial and Clarence Darrow was a witness for the defense. Darrow read a chapter from the book to the jury. An assistant editor for the publisher was convicted of "selling an obscene, indecent, and impure book." The litigation took a long time and cost both Dreiser and the Liveright firm's a lot of money.

Theodore Dreiser to Clarence Darrow, February 1, 1926
W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963) was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a respected scholar, editor, and activist. Among his many accomplishments, Du Bois founded and served as editor of The Crisis magazine.

W. E. B. Du Bois to Clarence Darrow, February 3, 1932
William James Durant (1885 - 1981) was a famous American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best remembered for an 11 volume work titled The Story of Civilization which he wrote in collaboration with his wife Ariel.

Will Durant to Clarence Darrow, May 7, 1930

The Unitarian minister and mystery writer, Charles Dutton (1888-1964), and Darrow began their friendship in 1929. Dutton had studied at Albany Law School and the Defiance Theological Seminary and had an abiding interest in questions of crime, free will and religion. His friendship with Darrow continued almost until Darrow's death in 1938, based on the letters in our collection. After meeting apparently on a train, Darrow and Dutton found that they shared views on several social topics. Dutton invited Darrow to speak to his congregation several times and the two remained in contact about mutual interests.

Clarence Darrow to Charles Dutton
Clarence Darrow via secretary L.N. to Charles Dutton
Harry Elmer Barnes to Charles Dutton
Philip Wylie to Charles Dutton
Franklin Roosevelt to Charles Dutton

Missy Le Hand on behalf of President Franklin Roosevelt


Ernest, Gifford was a Secretary of the Farmer-Labor Party of Illinois.

Ruby Darrow to Gifford Ernest, May 22, 1936
William Ewing was the first executive director of the Massachusetts Council Against the Death Penalty (MCADP).

Clarence Darrow to William Ewing, January 23, 1928


Henry Ford (1863 - 1947) was the founder of the Ford Motor Company which was incorporated on June 16, 1903.

Henry Ford to Clarence Darrow, October 20, 1926


Frederick Dozier Gardner (1869 - 1933) was born in Kentucky but later became a prominent businessman in St. Louis, Missouri with extensive experience in the coffin and hearse manufacturing business. He served as the Democratic Governor of Missouri from 1917 to 1921. Gardner was also a prominent Freemason.

Frederick D. Gardner to Clarence Darrow, March 27, 1913


Bolton Hall was a co-founder of the American Longshoremen's Union in 1896.

Bolton Hall to Clarence Darrow, May 4, 1906
Davis Hamerstrom was the son of Frederick Nathan Hamerstrom Sr. Frederick was the brother of Ruby Darrow, the second wife of Clarence Darrow.

Davis Hamerstrom to Clarence Darrow, October 2, 1936
Fred Hamerstrom was Ruby Hammerstrom's brother. Ruby was Clarence Darrow's second wife.

Fred Hamerstrom to Clarence Darrow, November 12, 1929
Fred Hamerstrom to Clarence Darrow, October 2, 1936
Hutchins Hapgood (1869 - 1944) was an American journalist and radical author born in Chicago. Hapgood was also a biographer of Anton Johannsen who played an important role during the McNamara case and Darrow's bribery trials. Hapgood was a friend of Clarence Darrow. In the biography of Johannsen called The Spirit of Labor he mentions Darrow numerous times. His books include: The Spirit of the Ghetto , 1902; Autobiography of a Thief , 1903; The Spirit of Labor , 1907; Anarchist Woman , 1909; Types from City Streets , 1910; Enemies , 1916, co-written with his wife; Story of a Lover , 1919; Victorian in the Modern World , autobiography, 1939.

Hutchins Hapgood to Clarence Darrow, March 21, 1906
Arthur Garfield Hays (1881 - 1954) was a very successful attorney who did extensive legal work for civil liberty causes. He was newly appointed as general counsel for the fledgling ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) when he was asked to become part of the defense team during the 1925 Scopes trial. About a year later he worked as co-counsel with Clarence Darrow during the first Sweet murder trial in Detroit. Hays would also later defend Sacco and Vanzetti. Hays and Darrow became good friends after working together during the Scopes trial.

Arthur Garfield Hays to Paul Darrow, July 8, 1941
Genevieve Forbes Herrick was one of the most prominent women reporters for the Chicago Tribune during the 1920s and 1930s. She also co-authored with her husband The Life of William Jennings Bryan .

Genevieve Forbes Herrick to Clarence Darrow, April 18, 1930
Edgar Watson Howe (1853 - 1937), commonly referred to as E. W. Howe, was a newspaper and magazine editor and a novelist. He was known for his magazine, E.W. Howe's Monthly .

Edgar Watson Howe to Clarence Darrow, July 5, 1929
William Dean Howells (1837 - 1920) was a prominent author, editor, and literary critic and proponent of American realism. Howells was editor of the Atlantic Monthly from 1871 to 1881. His best known work is the novel The Rise of Silas Lapham published in 1885. Howells was elected as the president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1908.

William Dean Howells to Clarence Darrow, March 16, 1898
William Dean Howells to Clarence Darrow, November 20, 1903
William Dean Howells to Clarence Darrow, January 21, 1904
William Dean Howells to Clarence Darrow, January 27, 1904
Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 - 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He was very influential in the Arts and Crafts movement. In 1895, he founded Roycroft, a community of craft workers and artists, in East Aurora, New York. Hubbard is also remembered for writing A Message to Garcia , an inspirational essay that became an international hit. A friend of Clarence Darrow, Hubbard and his wife were killed on May 7, 1915 when the Lusitania, a British luxury ocean liner, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine killing 1,198 people.

Elbert Hubbard to Clarence Darrow, June 21, 1904
Elbert Hubbard to Clarence Darrow, June 22, 1904
Elbert Hubbard to Clarence Darrow, November 2, 1904
Elbert Hubbard to Clarence Darrow, April 25, 1905
Clarence Darrow to Elbert Hubbard, Jun 17, ????
Elbert Hubbard to Clarence Darrow, June 21, 1905 (New)



The letter writer is most likely James Kimbrough Jones although it could be his son James K. Jones Jr. James Kimbrough Jones (1839 - 1908) was born in Marshall County, Mississippi and moved to Arkansas shortly before the Civil War. During the war he served in the Confederate Army. He later served as a United States Senator from Arkansas from 1885 to 1903. He was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee in the 1896 and 1900 campaigns. After he lost his reelection bid for the senate in 1903 he resumed private practice in Washington, D.C. as an attorney for oil developers in Oklahoma until his death in 1908.

James K. Jones to Clarence Darrow, October 31, 1904
James K. Jones to Clarence Darrow, October 24, 1905
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones was born in Cork, Ireland on May 1, 1830. She became a prominent American labor supporter known for her fiery attitude, a community organizer, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and a Socialist. A U.S. Attorney once called her "the most dangerous woman in America." She died on November 30, 1930, seven months after she turned 100 years old.

Mother Jones to Clarence Darrow, May 14, 1920


Alexander Kadison was a devout agnostic although he wrote many essays and articles on the topic of religion during his lifetime.

Clarence Darrow to Alexander Kadison, Mar 3, 1927
Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 - June 1, 1968) was an American author, activist and lecturer. When she was 19 months old, she contracted a fever that left her blind and deaf. When she was nearly seven years old her parents hired Anne Mansfield Sullivan to be her tutor. Through tremendous work and perseverance Sullivan was able to teach Keller to communicate. This allowed Keller to express an astonishing intelligence. At age 20, she entered Radcliffe College and Anne Sullivan attended with her to spell letter by letter into her hand all of her reading requirements. Four years later Helen Keller earned a Bachelor's degree magna cum laude. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn such a degree. After graduating, Helen Keller began her life's work of helping blind and deaf-blind people. She also became a political activist and strong suffragist, a pacifist, and radical Socialist.

Helen Keller to Clarence Darrow, August 8, 1931
It is possible that this is Alex Kent, Pastor at the People's Church in Washington D.C.

Alex Kent to Clarence Darrow, February 15, 1906


Philip Fox La Follette (May 8, 1897 – August 18, 1965) was an American politician. He was the 27th and 29th Governor of Wisconsin, as well as one of the founders of the Wisconsin Progressive Party.

Philip F. La Follette to Clarence Darrow, October 14, 1930
Philip F. La Follette to Clarence Darrow, October 26, 1931
Philip F. La Follette to Ruby Darrow, January 14, 1932
Robert Marion La Follette, Sr., nicknamed "Fighting Bob". La Follette (1855 - 1925), was the 20th Governor of Wisconsin serving from 1901 to 1906 and Republican Senator from Wisconsin from 1906 to 1925). In 1924 he ran for President of the United States as the nominee of his own Progressive Party in 1924 during which he carried Wisconsin and got 17% of the national popular vote. He gained a reputation as a strong proponent of Progressivism with a strong stance against railroad trusts, political bosses, World War I, and the League of Nations.

Robert M. La Follette to Clarence Darrow, April 28, 1924
Robert M. La Follette to Clarence Darrow, April 1, 1925
F.H. (Fiorello Henry) La Guardia was Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945.

F. H. La Guardia to Clarence Darrow, November 25, 1933
Lewis E. Lawes (1883 - 1947) was the warden of Sing Sing prison from 1920 to 1941. Lawes was against capital punishment and an outspoken proponent of prison reform. In 1925, Lawes and Clarence Darrow became founding members of the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment.

Lewis E. Lawes to Clarence Darrow, January 18, 1931
Nathan F. Leopold, Jr. (1904 - 1971) became infamous for participating with Richard Loeb in the kidnapping and murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks in May 1924. Clarence Darrow and his co-counsel saved Leopold and Loeb from being executed by convincing the judge they were too young for the death penalty. Both were sentenced to life plus 99 years. Loeb was murdered in prison in 1936. Leopold was paroled on March 13, 1958 and soon moved to Puerto Rico.

Clarence Darrow to Nathan Leopold, September 22, 1924
Clarence Darrow to Nathan Leopold, October 3, 1928
Ruby Darrow to Nathan Leopold, October 3, 1928
Clarence Darrow to Nathan Leopold, March 9, ????
James Hamilton Lewis (1863 - 1939) was a politician who represented the state of Washington from 1897 to 1899 in the U.S. House of Representatives and Illinois from 1913 to 1919 and 1931 to 1939 in the U.S. Senate as a member of the Democratic Party. Lewis was the first Senator to hold the title of Whip in the United States Senate. Lewis was also the corporation counsel for Chicago from 1905 to 1907. Clarence Darrow worked as co-counsel with Lewis and other attorneys in the case Blair v. City of Chicago , 201 U.S. 400 (1906).

James Hamilton Lewis to Clarence Darrow, February 10, 1918
Sinclair Lewis (1885 - 1951) was an American novelist and playwright. In 1930, he became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Lewis was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

Sinclair Lewis to Clarence Darrow, April 5, 1926
Sinclair Lewis to Clarence Darrow, April 7, 1926
Clarence Darrow to Sinclair Lewis, April 15, 1926
Sinclair Lewis to Clarence Darrow, April 17, 1926
Sinclair Lewis to Clarence Darrow, May 10, 1926
Anita Loos (1888 - 1981) was an American author, novelist and Hollywood screenwriter. Her most famous work was her novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes .

Anita Loos to Clarence Darrow, June 6, 1926
Jessie Darrow Lyon is one of Paul Darrow's three daughters.

Ruby Darrow to Jessie Darrow Lyon, October 16, 1929


Harold Fowler McCormick Sr. (1872 - 1941) was the president of the International Harvester Company. McCormick was the youngest son of Cyrus McCormick the inventor and manufacturer of the McCormick Reaper. Clarence Darrow worked with two other lawyers including George A. Cooke, former Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, while representing Harold McCormick in divorce proceedings with his wife Edith Rockefeller McCormick who was the daughter of John D. Rockefeller. The couple divorced on December 28, 1921.

Harold McCormick to Clarence Darrow, December 13, 1924
John Tinney McCutcheon (1870 - 1949) was a newspaper political cartoonist. He worked at the Chicago Tribune from 1903 to 1946 and is sometimes referred to as Dean of American Cartoonists.

John T. McCutcheon to Clarence Darrow, Unknown
John T. McCutcheon to Clarence Darrow, October 27, 1905
Ernest McGaffey, a lawyer and poet, was a friend of Edgar Lee Masters during the 1890s and associated with Masters and Clarence Darrow in the practice of law. McGaffey was also a sportsman and his book Poems of Gun and Rod was well received by Theodore Roosevelt.

Ernest McGaffey to Clarence Darrow, August 21, 1923
Irene Castle (1893 - 1969) was born Irene Foote in New Rochelle, New York. She and her first husband Vernon were a famous ballroom dancing team in the early 20th century. Vernon was killed in a plane crash in Texas while training American pilots for W.W.I. In November 1923, she married her third husband, Major Frederic McLaughlin the owner of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team. Irene designed the famous Blackhawk hockey jersey with unique black, red, and white stripes and with the head of Chief Blackhawk on the logo.

Irene C. McLaughlin to Clarence Darrow, May 28, 1929
Irene C. McLaughlin to Clarence Darrow, August 9, 1934
H. L. Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes Trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also gained him attention.

H. L. Mencken to Clarence Darrow, May 9, 1924 (New)
H. L. Mencken to Clarence Darrow, May 15, 1924
H. L. Mencken to Clarence Darrow, March 20, 1926
H. L. Mencken to Clarence Darrow, April 17, 1926
John Mitchell (1870 - 1919) became the President of United Mine Workers of America in 1898 at age of 28 a position he would hold until to 1908. He asked Clarence Darrow to represent the miners before the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission which was formed after the Anthracite Coal Strike of 1902.

John Mitchell to Clarence Darrow, May 5, 1905
John Howard Moore (1862 - 1916) was married to Clarence Darrow's sister Jennie. He was a high school teacher who was also a prolific writer of some renown on evolutionary biology and ethics. His most important books were The Universal Kinship (1906) and The New Ethics (1907). Moore committed suicide in 1916. Clarence Darrow was very fond of Moore and delivered a eulogy at his funeral that was later published in The Athena .

Clarence Darrow to J. Howard Moore

J. Howard Moore to Henry Salt

Samuel Moore was an African-American prisoner in the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta when he wrote these letters to Clarence Darrow's wife Ruby in 1939 and 1940. In October 1891, Moore, age 17, was convicted of first degree murder in Washington D.C. and sentenced to death for killing a white man. Moore claimed he killed the victim in self defense during a fight while Moore was serving a one year sentence in the District of Columbia jail. Before the execution date, the trial judge and the United States Attorney who prosecuted the case asked the President to commute Moore's sentence to life because he was 'at the time a mere youth and very ignorant' and Washington D.C. did not recognize degrees of murder. If it had Moore would likely have been convicted of second degree murder instead of first degree because the prosecutor did not believe "'Moore intended to kill Jandorf when he dealt the blow. He simply struck him and didn't care much about the consequences.'"

President Harrison commuted Moore's sentence to life in prison. Moore was denied parole numerous times and his cause was championed by Eugene Debs who for a time was in the same federal prison. Moore got out of prison in 1927 but was sent back to prison at some point. Moore most likely wrote to Mrs. Darrow because he knew of Clarence Darrow's sympathy for African-Americans. Moore may have actually known Darrow during the time he got of prison because in one of his letters he asks Ruby if she has anything to help substantiate a promise that Attorney General Sargent made to Ruby and Clarence Darrow in regard to Moore's parole. In another letter he asks Ruby to contact Eleanor Roosevelt on his behalf.

In September 1942, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Moore's pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus asking to be dismissed from custody in Moore v. King , 130 F.2d 857, 858 (8th Cir. 1942). The court recommended Moore apply for Executive clemency. The court stated, "Petitioner is an aged negro who has served more than half a century in prison. He wants to die a free man." At the time of his petition Moore was in the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield Missouri.

Samuel Moore to Ruby Darrow, June 3, 1939
Charles H. Moyer, William "Big Bill" Haywood, and George Pettibone were three high ranking members of the Western Federation of Miners who were charged with ordering the assassination of former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg who was killed with a bomb on December 30, 1905. Clarence Darrow helped defend them.

Clarence Darrow to Moyer, Haywood & Pettibone, November 5, 1906


George Jean Nathan (1882 - 1958) was a drama critic and editor. With H.L. Mencken he co-edited the magazine The Smart Set and in 1924 he and Mencken co-founded The American Mercury magazine.

George Jean Nathan to Clarence Darrow, May 12, 1924



William Allan Pinkerton (1846 - 1923) was the son and oldest child of Allan Pinkerton the founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. William along with his brother Robert took over the Pinkerton Detective agency after their father's health declined.

W. A. Pinkerton to Clarence Darrow, February 2, 1907
Theodore Francis Powys (1875 - 1953) was a British writer. Among his work are the novels: Mr. Weston's Good Wine , Unclay , and Kindness in a Corner . He was deeply religious although his religious views were considered very unconventional and were influenced by the Bible but also by mysticism, quietism, and pantheism. Powys rarely left his home or traveled in a car and claimed to love monotony.

Theodore Francis Powys to Clarence Darrow, November 2, 1929


Edmund F. Richardson was a Denver lawyer and Clarence Darrow's co-counsel in the William Haywood murder trial.

Edmond F. Richardson to Clarence Darrow, November 1, 1906
Clarence Darrow to Edmond F. Richardson, November 5, 1906
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945) was born in New York and attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School. On St. Patrick's Day, 1905, he married Eleanor Roosevelt. Stricken with polio in 1921 at the age of 39, Roosevelt struggled to continue his political career. He was elected Governor of New York in 1928 and was elected President of the United States in November 1932, to the first of four terms.

Franklin D. Roosevelt to Clarence Darrow
Franklin Roosevelt to Charles Dutton

Missy Le Hand on behalf of President Franklin Roosevelt

Walter A. Rosenfield was mayor of Rock Island, Illinois from 1923 to 1927.

W. A. Rosenfield to Clarence Darrow, September 17, 1924
Charles Edward Russell (1860 - 1941) was an American journalist, author, and activist. Born in Davenport, Iowa, he was the son of the abolitionist editor of the Davenport Gazette . He moved to Minneapolis in 1881 to write for the Minneapolis Journal which would later become part of the Star Tribune . During the next twenty years he worked for the Detroit Tribune , the New York World , the New York Herald and the Chicago Examiner . Russell became one of the most prolific and controversial of the muckraking journalists. He was also a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 and a member of the Socialist Party prior to World War I. Later he served on Clarence Darrow''s National Recovery Administration Review Board.

Charles Russell to Clarence Darrow, January 18, 1906


Henry Stephens Salt (1851 - 1939) was an English writer and social reformer. He is particularly known for his advocacy of animal rights. Salt and Moore never met in person but they corresponded for years until Moore's death in 1916. Salt wrote in his autobiography, The Company I Have Kept that "I have long thought that Moore's chief book, The Universal Kinship , the gist of which is clearly expressed in the title, is the best ever written in the humanitarian cause." Salt dedicated his 1923 book, The Story of My Cousins to Moore.

John Scopes (1900 - 1970) was the defendant in the 1925 anti-evolution trial in Tennessee. Scopes became friends with Clarence Darrow during the trial. Scopes wrote about his admiration for Darrow in his 1967 autobiography, Center of the Storm: Memoirs of John T. Scopes .

John Thomas Scopes to Clarence Darrow, February 14, 1927
John Thomas Scopes to Clarence Darrow, November 15, 1927
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. (September 20, 1878 — November 25, 1968) was an American writer, muckraker, political activist and the 1934 Democratic Party nominee for Governor of California who wrote nearly 100 books and other works in several genres. Sinclair's work was well known and popular in the first half of the 20th century, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943.

Upton Sinclair to Clarence Darrow, September 23, 1905
Paul O. Stensland was the president of the Milwaukee Avenue State Bank in Chicago when he and a cashier allegedly embezzled $1,300,000 and fled the country in July 1906 leading to the collapse of the bank. Stensland fled to Europe, then Morocco where he was tracked down and arrested in September 1906. In late September 1906 Stensland confessed to embezzling $400,000 and was sentenced to serve from one to ten years in the penitentiary. He was paroled in 1910.

Paul O. Stensland to Clarence Darrow, March 10, 1918
David Curtiss "D. C." Stephenson (1891 - 1966) was the Grand Dragon of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan and 22 other northern states. As leader of the Klan, Stephenson had become very politically and financially powerful. On the evening of March 15, 1925 in Indianapolis, Stephenson had some of his henchmen kidnap Madge Oberholtzer, a 28-year-old schoolteacher, whom Stephenson had occasionally dated during the preceding two months. Oberholtzer was made to drink whiskey and forced onto a train to Chicago, where in a private train car she was brutally raped and bitten all over her body by a drunk and demented Stephenson. She was held captive in a hotel for nearly two days during which time she attempted suicide twice, once with a gun and once by ingesting bichloride of mercury. When Oberholtzer became very ill her kidnappers decided to drive her back to Indianapolis. At one point Oberholtzer threatened Stephenson with arrest, at which he allegedly laughed and told her, "I am the law." Oberholtzer was eventually taken to her home and she sought medical attention. But her condition worsened and on March 28 she described the crime she suffered at the hands of Stephenson. She died on April 14 from infection and kidney failure due to mercury poisoning. Stephenson was arrested, tried and on November 16, 1925 he was convicted of murder in the second degree and sentenced to life imprisonment. The kidnapping and murder of Oberholtzer was so shocking it helped end the rise of the KKK in Indiana.

Stephenson and Clarence Darrow corresponded by letter between 1928 and 1931 while Stephenson was incarcerated at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana. Stephenson wrote to ask Darrow to work on his appeal. It was reported that on July 7, 1931 Darrow had joined Stephenson's defense. In 1932 the Supreme Court of Indiana affirmed Stephenson's murder conviction. Stephenson was paroled on March 23, 1950, but violated parole by disappearing around September of that year. Stephenson moved to Robbinsdale, Minnesota where he was arrested on November 11, 1950. He was held in the Hennepin County jail for about a year while he fought extradition to Indiana. The Supreme Court of Minnesota ruled against Stephenson in November of 1951 and he was sent back to Indiana and sentenced to serve another 10 years in prison. On December 21, 1956, Stephenson was given a Christmas clemency, along with dozens of other prisoners, but with the condition that he leave Indiana and never return. In 1961 he was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Missouri. Some sources state the charges were dropped, other sources state he was fined and still others state that he was sent to prison but was paroled in November of 1961.

D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, November 2, 1928
Clarence Darrow to D. C. Stephenson, November 10, 1928
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, November 13, 1928
Clarence Darrow to D. C. Stephenson, December 1, 1928
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, April 18, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, April 20, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, April 26, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, May 11, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, May 20, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, May 28, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, June 4, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, June 10, 1930
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, June 17, 1930
Clarence Darrow to D. C. Stephenson, March 1, 1931
Clarence Darrow to D. C. Stephenson, April 14, 1931
D. C. Stephenson to Clarence Darrow, April 19, 1931
Clarence Darrow to D. C. Stephenson, May 13, 1931
Clarence Darrow to D. C. Stephenson, July 21, 1931
Clarence Darrow to D. C. Stephenson, August 25, 1931


Charlotte Rose Teller, later Hirsch (March 3, 1876 — December 30, 1953), also using the pen name John Brangwyn, was an American writer and socialist active in New York City. She graduated in 1899 from the University of Chicago (BA). Her book The Cage was published in 1907. Mark Twain had offered to endorse it "in the form of a letter to the actress Maude Adams". Mary Haskell introduced Teller and Kahlil Gibran to each other in January 1908.

Charlotte Teller to Clarence Darrow, June 15, 1905



George Sylvester Viereck (December 31, 1884 – March 18, 1962) was a German-American poet, writer, and pro-German propagandist.

Clarence Darrow to George Sylvester Viereck, October 25, 1925


William English Walling (1877 - 1936) was a co-founder and first board chairman of the NAACP.

William English Walling to Clarence Darrow, April 11, 1910
William Allen White (1868 - 1944) was a very well-known newspaper editor and author. In 1895 White purchased the Emporia Gazette reportedly for $3,000 although some sources put the price at $5,000. The newspaper is still operated by the White family. White gained national prominence and political influence in the Republican Party with an editorial titled, What's the Matter With Kansas? published on August 16, 1896. White wrote the editorial in haste while still agitated over an impromptu debate he had on a street corner with some local populists while he was waiting to board a train. The debate involved the presidential campaign between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. The editorial sharply criticized populist political policies for ruining the economy of Kansas. Mark Hanna, Republican national chairman, had the editorial reprinted in papers across the country. White became a confidant of President Theodore Roosevelt and in 1912 helped form the Progressive Party. The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas is named in his honor.

W. A. White to Clarence Darrow, December 31, 1904
W. A. White to Clarence Darrow, September 30, 1905
W. A. White to Clarence Darrow, August 2, 1926
W. A. White to Clarence Darrow, April 19, 1927
Brand Whitlock (1869-1934) was a lawyer, politician, municipal reformer, diplomat, writer and newspaper reporter. Born in Ohio he later moved to Illinois and for a time worked for the governor of Illinois John P. Altgeld who was Clarence Darrow's mentor. Clarence Darrow first met Brand Whitlock when they had both gone to see Lieutenant-Governor of Illinois, Joe Gill, to ask him to spare the life of Patrick Prendergast who was facing execution for the 1893 assassination of Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison Sr. According to Whitlock Governor Altgeld was out of state leaving Gill in charge. Through this chance encounter, Whitlock and Darrow became friends and exchanged letters. Whitlock moved to Toledo Ohio in 1897. Between 1905 and 1911 he was elected mayor of Toledo four times as an Independent. In 1913 Whitlock was appointed minister to Belgium by President Wilson. Whitlock's work helping Belgium during the war made him a legendary figure in that country.

Brand Whitlock to Clarence Darrow, February 11, 1903
Brand Whitlock to Clarence Darrow, July 17, 1919
Brand Whitlock to Clarence Darrow, November 19, 1923
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924) was the 28th President of the United States serving from 1913 to 1921. A devout Presbyterian he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910 and as Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913.

Woodrow Wilson to Clarence Darrow, August 9, 1917
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 - 1959) was a famous American architect. He married his second wife, Maude "Miriam" Noel, in November 1923, but her morphine addiction led to marital problems, and in 1924, before getting divorced from Miriam, Wright took up with Olga (Olgivanna) Lazovich Hinzenburg, who was recently divorced. Accounts differ about who instigated charges, but Wright was charged with violating the Mann Act. Some accounts say Wright's former housekeeper was behind the charges and other accounts credit Olga's former husband. Wright and Olga were arrested in October 1926 while staying at a cottage near Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota. Reportedly Clarence Darrow worked to get the charges dropped. Olga became Wright's third and last wife.

Frank Lloyd Wright to Clarence Darrow, September 18, 1923