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, January 1, 1913

Darrow's remark about the "Indianapolis matter" refers to the investigation of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers (IABSIW) whose headquarters were in Indianapolis. This investigation of a nationwide dynamite campaign waged by the IABSIW was the direct result of the investigation of the Los Angeles Times building bombing. In February of 1912, a federal grand jury in Indianapolis indicted 54 union men, of which 51 were members of the IABSIW. The indicted men included President Ryan, Secretary J.J. McNamara, Olav Tvietmoe, Ortie McManigal, and other top officials and local officers of the IABSIW. Of those indicted, 45 actually went to trial. They were charged with conspiracy and with transporting dynamite and nitroglycerin aboard passenger trains. The trial, which began on October 1, 1912, came to be known as the Dynamite Conspiracy trial and was considered the largest criminal conspiracy trial in American history up to that time. The prosecution won a significant victory. Out of the 40 defendants whose cases were decided by a jury, 39 were convicted. Those convicted included all but two of the IABSIW's leaders and local leaders.

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

Jan. 1 1913

Dear Paul;

I/thought I would start off the year by sending you a few lines. So far as accounts are concerned you do not need to send any. I like to keep posted in a general way about how things are going but that is enough. You had better keep what money you have where we could get it quickly if we wanted although I dont expect to use any more now. The case will begin the 20 and I dont feel the least uneasiness as you say what ever happens we win. The Indianapolis matter looks tough but it will help move things along and after while they will go fast. They are figuring that the eastern cases will help them in mine but I dont think there is much in it. I am not much i in favor of extending things there any more than you need to. I doubt whether Evans would pay interest for a long while to come,and no one else can go in there I will keep you posted as any thing happens Love to Lill.