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

Clarence Darrow to Paul Darrow, September 4, 1912

Darrow's statement about speaking at "S.F. labor day" refers to a speech he gave on September 2, 1912 less than three weeks after he was acquitted in his first bribery trial. He gave the speech at a Labor Day celebration at Shellmound Park in San Francisco. Some accounts say it was the largest crowd in San Francisco history and many had to be turned away - so Darrow agreed to give another talk a few nights later. His belief that "things are now right with labor" is a reference to the anger organized labor felt when the McNamara brothers pled guilty to the bombing of the Los Angeles Times and other crimes. Labor felt betrayed because they had been led to believe all along that the McNamara brothers were innocent and many blamed Darrow. His remark that the "case is set for Oct. 21st" is about his second bribery trial.

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.

Hotel Vendome
San Jose


Dear Paul

Am taking an automobile trip through northern Cal. with Alden & Fay Lewis & we are having a good time[.] I spoke at S.F. labor day & had the biggest crowd they ever had & the reception was fine they went wild — so things are now right with labor — I believe I have more friends than ever & I am not worrying in the least. The case is set for Oct. 21st whether it will be tried again I cant tell, but

I doubt it — most people think it will not. If it is it should be a hundred to one shot that I win & if I dont it will only put them in deeper, without really hurting me. If I get through without a trial I will of course go back that way. If I have a trial probably you had better make me a will any how I will write again in a few days

Love to Lil