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

Ruby Darrow to Jennie Darrow Moore, November 25, 1911

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

# 803 North Bonnie Brae ----

November 25 ---

Dear Jennie---- -

By this time you are probably receiving "The San Francisco Bulletin" that I have ordered sent to you for next six months -- by way of giving you regular vibrations from here --- for the Bulletin has a couple of very fair reporters here sending up daily accounts of proceedings, ------------ I think of you oftener than I take time to say so, -- I keep so busy doing nothing that counts that I don''t have time for anything else, as usual --- I trip down the steps after breakfast to pick a pink posey and first thing I know it's time to tear around to make myself look fit to set down to the dinner-table ---- and some days when Clarence can't get home to dinner I stay out working in the wilds til dark, or rather til moonlight, and long after --- for the moonlight is so strong that often we can see the colors of the flowers clearly --- I have "pegged" pinks the last two days, and as near as can estimate think I have poked into the soft soil at least 500 slips -- tho' you'd never believe it to glance at the rather small border around the walk of our garden --- and I'm sure I've poked down several hundred nasturtium seeds, too, --- and I water and work worse than any hay-seed you ever knew ---- I'm becoming quite French-heeled farmer-lady all right --- The other day while my hair was drying in the climate I climbed a tree in red slippers and brought down a basket-full of purple pear-shaped figs --- and right now we have several bunches of bananas on the fruit-dish the came from our own little old corner of South America back of the kitchen, and there are two more bunches of them blossoming and becoming bananas that the bees sing and swarm around in the subshine-- and outside this window as I write I am looking at a lot of oranges ripening like mid-summer, and next to it is a tangerine tree full of fruit, and next to that a grape-fruit tree (A breakfast-fruit tree, that is -) We are so accustomed to these delicasies advance of the season in our steam-heated flat that these trees are creating a home-like atmosphere for us, ----


We have a gardener now and then, and together we have prepared the outdoors ready for the rainy season, due any old time; and still it may delay coming til December or January, they say ------ Also, I have hurried with that work, wanting to fee conscience-free to begin attending the trial at least part of the time, when the day for the "opening address to the jury" finally dawns, if ever! So far, the daily bulletins report a new juror accepted or excused, or a day spent in haggling over whether to make a move forward or backward, -- Those papers that are friendly to the defense usually tell how Darrow defies and denounces the Judge and jurymen helter-skelter -- and those that are friend;y to the prosecution tell how Judge Bordwell has again rebuked and silenced and denied Darrow's daring, etc, etc, ------- Last week the Judge personally handed D-- a pair of tickets to "admit two to Concert by Ellis Club at Auditorium --" --- to show how unbiased and unprejudiced he is, of course ---- whereby, we, to conceal how biased and prejudiced we are faced the music and list-ed to him caroling in the chorus

""Ho-up Ho-up Ho-up-up ho o-o-o-!" and "Away -a-way A-w ay- y- 'tis morn--"

I whispered to D-- that it seemed strange that a man who can't speak above a muffled murmur in a court-room could howl so in a crowd --- but the next morning a knowing friend explained that singers always dole out their notes with a soft pedal when not "performing" ---- Perhaps he is saving his pipes for the swan-song- "Ho-up up-"

A man with a lofty mind that soars to that elevated atmosphere -- ought not to be brought down, of course, to such sordid sessions and such waste of breath over a lot o' labor-lubbers that probably don't know one false note from another anyhow, but just have a low, vulgar taste for loud, boisterous sounds from dynamite, don't you know. It must be a nawful bore for a man with a mind like U-- p -u p p-u-p pup u pup u pup -- to have to listen to monotone, staccato cross-examinations all about "the cause" and inartistic vice-culture like that-- And yet -- perhaps


fellow feeling prevails -- ? ---- : The judge seeking to save his throat--

--- Jim Mc Namara seeking to save his neck --- ! ----

Maybe I'd better not try to use my head for anything but fastening willow -- plumes onto it -- oh -------

You can't really expect very good Irish wit from a Swede head that wears French heels, I s'pose ----

Maybe I'll work all right on a ranch ------ I hear hints of a tract up in Brett Harte's old haunts that D-- has his hand on -- or a finger in -- by grace of a law-suit won - and his penchant to pick up a plantation in place of a pelf as his part of the plunder, as it were ---- You'd better cast your bread upon the waters of Lake Michigan and come "sink or swim" with us on the "Stanislaus." To be sure it's only talk so far, but it may wind up with taxes ------- But anyhow maybe a ranch will be a better gamble than a mud mine or an imaginary wheat-field ---- especially while it remains a dream-land. Speaking of gambling : ---- An old fried of D--'s from Chicago (Wm. Catlin --- maybe you know him--) drifted in with a get-rich-quick scheme that's bran new to us wile and woolly ones, which I figure about like this: ---- Rats multiply much faster than cats --- so let rats multiply. Then add a given number of rats to the cats -- or -- let cats subtract rats -- Result is the same:-- More cats plus more rats. Divide cats and from a number of them deduct hides, and carry remainders to rats. Let rats continue multiplying, cats take results, and rats remainders -- and ---- the final answer is: -- Catskins from Catlin's to wrap our baby-buntings in. The inventor of this is the inventor of perpetual motion, of course ------ Anyhow, it's the only wild cat scheme that I never knew Clarence to resist, so it may be a winner.

Much love to you both from us both and write sometimes to

Yours always affectionately

Ruben ----

Mrs. J. H. Moore

#6260 Jackson Park

Chicago —


922 Higgins Building
Los Angeles, CAL.