Treason is Charge Against 16 Cincinnati Socialists, 1917.

Treason is Charge Against 16 Cincinnati Socialists by Nicholas Klein from The American Socialist. Vol. 4 No. 3. July 28, 1917.

‘Sixteen Socialists arrested at Cincinnati, O., are being held by the federal court on charges of treason. Eleven were arrested June 1. The others were taken later. Most of these are charged with distributing anti registration literature from house to house. One is charged with speaking against registration. This is the sum total of their alleged offense.

Comrade Lotta Burke under arrest

‘The prisoners are as follows: Philip Rothenbusch is 31 years old, married, has two small children, aged six and nine years, is a member of machinists union. Alfred Welker is 21 years of age, single, printer and a member of his union. Charles Thiemann is 22 years of age, single and a union man. John Hahn is 20 years old, married, has a child aged two years and is a laborer. Walter Gregory is married, has four small children, is 29 years old and a member of machinists union. Arthur Tiedke is 30 years old, married, has a child aged three years and is a member of paperhangers union. William Gruber is married, has two children aged two and three years and is a member of brewery workers union. Alexander Feldhaus aged 26 years, shipping clerk, married, has one child aged four years. Fred Schneider, single aged 9 years- Frank Reis, aged 21 years, single member Boot and Shoe Workers union. Joseph Geier, married, aged 32 years, has five small children, safe maker and member of his union. Gustav Weiss aged 21 years, single, lives at Hamilton, Ohio, charged with treason for making speech, put to $9,000 bond. William Georg, aged 57 years, married, has five children, member Brewery workers union. Lotta Burke, a member of Woman’s Label League, aged 45 years, single seamstress, in jail in default of $9,000 bail. Thomas Hammerschmitt, Socialist candidate for Mayor of Cincinnati, married, engineer, member of his 48 years, his bail now fixed at $9,000. According to rule of Federal Court here it would take $36,000 worth of real estate exclusive of mortgages to release Comrade Hammerschmitt or Miss Burke. All the comrades are citizens. All but two were born in America.’

The American Socialist, edited by J. Louis Engdahl, was the official Party newspaper of the Socialist Party of America in the years before World War One. Published in Chicago starting in 1914, the Appeal continued the semi-internal Socialist Party Official Bulletin founded in 1904 which became Party Builder in1913. The American Socialist closely followed the SP’s electoral challenges, Engdahl was often an SP candidate in Chicago as he edited the paper, and took an early and prominent anti-war position. With a circulation of around 60,000 the paper was one of the leading anti-war voices in the run up to US entry into World War One. The paper was suppressed by Federal authorities, along with much of the anti-war left, in 1917.

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