Agitators, Police and Mules


Free Speech


The socialist party of St. Paul had a fight for free speech in that burg, so Sailor Joe and I went over to see the Comrades; also to help then if necessary. When we arrived at Seventh and Cedar streets, we tried to find some of the S. P. members, but ‘nothing doing. sailor Joe and I held a special meeting and it was moved and carried that the Hoboes Union would hold a street meeting. Promptly at S o’clock, I mounted a box and opened up the meeting under the auspices of the Hoboes’ Union. I spoke about ten minutes and introduced Sailor Joe from Seattle. He became hoarse after talking a few minutes and left to get a drink of water. I had just finished quoting a section of the Federal Constitution, guaranteeing free speech, when Detective James Crumley stepped up and told me that I would have to move back thirty-five feet from seventh street. I moved back and was followed by the crowd. I was trying to explain that it is necessary for laboring men to speak on street corners, because we cannot pay the expense of a hall, when a platoon of police charged on the crowd. For more than one hour the crowd surged back and forth on Cedar street, while the police were endeavoring to disperse it.

A team of mules were driven by a drayman through the street several times at the request of the police to keep the crowd moving We cannot blame the miles. They could not help themselves. Mules have to do as they are told.

Anticipating trouble the police had a reserve of a hundred patrolmen and detectives, assigned to duty at Seventh and Cedar streets, including the ambulances and the touring ears if Chief O’Connor and Chief Devlin of the Fire Department, in readiness for emergency calls.

Advocates of free speech are much incensed over the actions of the police last night. According to Chief of Police O’Connor, he is willing that street speaking shall be permitted in St. Paul as long as traffic is not interfered with that we do not roast the small business men. But we must stop calling them Cockroaches.’ I am told that the City Fathers of St. Paul made a law which reads, “If one property holder in any block objects to a street speaker, he must move onward.” If we allow that to continue, MOVING ONWARD we will be speaking to the fishes from the banks of the Mississippi River and the subject will be “Can an ordinance be passed in St. Paul which is superior to the United States Constitution?”


“You ought to be ashamed to take no interest in work,” said the woman with the severe expression. “I want some wood chopped.”

“Lady,” replied Omaha Red, “I do take an interest in work. I’m one of de champeen lecturers on de economic conditions and de failure to bring de workmen and de job together.”

“What good will that do me?”

“Lady, you just wait and listen to de lecture I’m going to give your husband for not choppin’ dat wood.”


An Arkansas widow whose husband died intestate, leaving her a small insurance benefit but a large family, appeared one day in the probate court. Here is the rest of it:

“Air you-all the jedge of reprobate?”

“I’m the judge of probate,” said his honor.

“Well, I reckon that’s what I mean,” said the widow, “You see, jedge, my husband died detested, an’ he left me several little infidels, an’ I want to be appointed their executioner.”

Who was it that said language was invented to conceal thought?


For a White Man,

MAN White, to sleep in tent and care for place; board furnished; small wages; no hoboes. Kings highway and Clayton.