Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30, 1905 as described by James Hawley at the trial of William Haywood

As I have mentioned previously, I just completed my third or so cover to cover read of Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas. Amazing how much information in packed into those 875 pages (including the notes and index). As I have been reading through, additional items have been highlighted and a few more excerpts and bits of information will continue to appear on this blog when the time seems right. This one seemed appropriate for December 30th.

"Rising now and placing his gnarled hands on the table before him, Hawley wisely forswore any 'flights of oratory.' For one thing, it wasn't his style. And for another, he wasn't feeling up to it. 'The Haywood case has been a very wearing one,' he wrote a friend that week, 'and I have been doing three men's work constantly, and as old age is beginning to tell somewhat on me and as my stomach will not permit stimulents (sic) in the same old way, I feel a little ragged.'"

"But he managed, in eighty-five degree heat, to stemwind for two hours in his down-home 'Honest Jim' manner. 'Gentlemen,' he began, 'I want to say that we are not here to ask for anything except exact justice. We are not here to ask for conviction at your hands of anyone whom we do not fully believe to be guilty.' He and Senator Borah wanted to help the jury 'arrive at a just verdict' in a case 'that we doubt has parallel in the country, a case which has been and is being watched by the entire civilized world.'"

"One of Hawley's great strengths as a courtroom advocate had always been his ability to establish rapport with farmers, miners, and merchants on an Idaho jury. Propped against the prosecution table, as if against a Main Street hitching post, he chatted with them, much as a neighbor does to neighbor. Coming to the terrible events of December 30, 1905, he evoked a small town at Christmastime."
--Big Trouble by J. Anthony Lukas.

"The days pass and the Christmas season comes with all its thoughtsof peace and good willthe season when men live with their families, when people of the Christian faith rejoice, and if there is ever a time when all thought of fear should be laid aside then is the time. That is the season when love for mankind should rule, and exist if at all. That is the season when men should most feel safe from harm."

"Just as the old year was fadingjust as the new year was about to make its appearancewhen all seems safe and peaceful, Orchard lays his bomb in front of Steunenberg's gate, and that night as the governor hastens home through the dusk to his family, in mind the happy thoughts of the loving greeting in store for him...he is sent to face his God without a moment's warning and within sight of his wife and children."
--James Hawley, July 19, 1907.

(Hawley presented the first of four closing arguments at the Haywood trial. The others were presented by Edmund Richardson, Clarence Darrow and William Borah).

Found on
James Hawley (from Idaho Public Television)

James H. Hawley (from the Clarence Darrow Digital Collection)

Remembering Steunenberg (from our friend Hans Schantz).

Hans also did a nice review of Big Trouble: the Steunenberg Assassination (May 2010).

Morris Hill Cemetery, Boise, Idaho

Today in History

This Day in Crime History

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