Document 22: Lumber Companies Fight the Wobblies, 1912

E. G. Griggs to Edwin G. Ames, 12 April 1912, folder 4/11, Edwin G. Ames Papers, accession 3820-1,
Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries.

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[written on the stationery of the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company]
[postmarked Tacoma, Washington]
April 12, 1912

207 Walker Building, Seattle.

Dear Mr. Ames:

. . . You will perhaps be interested to know that we have had about a week of as strenuous a fight as I want to be engaged in along the lines of the I.W.W. controversy. I think that the information I secured from Grays Harbor was used to good advantage in properly fortifying ourselves against the inroads of these anarchists, and I am happy to say that we worked up enough civic interest in our community to bring influence to bear upon the Mayor and Commissioner of Public Safety to finally move this bunch of hobos on. [The Tacoma police threatened the I.W.W. leaders and forced them to leave Tacoma.]

They [the I.W.W. organizers] pursued absolutely the same tactics with our plant as they adopted elsewhere. They found, however, a more loyal crew in Tacoma than they had anticipated, and those of our crew, and we have a great many, as you know, who would be influenced by their brand of argument, were so lined up that they could not get them out.

The Greek Consul here is an excellent talker, knew the game from A to Z . . ., and I asked him to talk to about 150 of our [Greek] employees about a week ago, and what he said in the Greek language nobody will know, but he certainly got the applause of the men and I am convinced gave them good advice [not to join the I.W.W.]. None of them were at all anxious to leave the employ of this Company, they have been with us three and four years and are very good men.

Yours truly,
E. Griggs
[president of the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company]

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest