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The Clarence Darrow Letters

Charles Russell to Clarence Darrow, January 18, 1906

The reference to "Gompers" is to Samuel Gompers, the president of the American Federation of Labor. Gompers was seen as too conservative by many radicals. He openly criticized socialism and the Socialist Party.

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

F.C. Faber's
Rutland Hotel

Jan. 18 1906

My Dear Judge,

The British election returns show very plainly what ought be our course in America. The crazy idea of the labor leaders that labor men must keep out of politics has done enough harm. Now let us have some sanity. The only chance we have is for labor men to go into politics. I want to see you run for Congress this fall on a labor ticket as a labor candidate. You can win and I think you might do it. If we can get one Labor Congressman that will be the wedge: the rest will follow. You are the man to break in and when you get in raise hell. I dont amount to much in a campaign, but if you will run I will give up a trip I have been planning and stay in Chicago and work for you. You know how the labor people regard you. They will follow you in spite of Gompers or anybody else because they know you are

honest and act from conviction and not for your own advantage. Write to me at Yokohama, Japan, in care of Thomas Cook & Son what you think of it.

I have learned some lessons on this trip. New Zealand is all that it has been described in respect to its advanced legislature. is wonderful what a change a little plain common sense has brought here. The capitalists have been [tamed] so far that they march in the procession, keep step and say nothing. The people need a little more democracy in spirit but their laws are admirable.

Sorry you did not join us in Switzerland. We rather hoped we might find you in St. Moritz. We had a wonderful walk: you would have enjoyed every mile of it.

I do hope you will [sway] them in the Alderman's [?] fight.

With best regards

Yours very truly

Charles E. Russell

F.C. Faber's
Rutland Hotel
New Zealand
Mr Charles E. Russell

Hon. Clarence Darrow
Ashland Block
Clark and Randolph Street
Chicago, Illinois
United States of America