Hellraisers Journal: Charges Against Joe Hill's Attorney Enumerated in Petition for Disbarment

The cause I stand for, that of a fair and honest trial,
is worth more than any human life-
much more than mine.
-Joe Hill

Thursday January 6, 1916
Salt Lake City, Utah - Charges Against Judge Hilton Enumerated

The Ogden Standard of December 22nd, which announced that a disbarment complaint had been filed against Joe Hill's attorney, Judge Orrin N. Hilton, enumerated the charges filed against him:


Salt Lake, Dec. 22....
Orrin N Hilton.jpg

Charges Detailed.

In conclusion the petition for disbarment of Hilton says:

The grievance committee of the State Bar association of Utah accuses the said Orrin N. Hilton of having in all the premises failed in his duty, as prescribed by his oath of office.

1. To support the laws of the state of Utah, but, on the contrary, had falsely and maliciously imputed their origin, existence and administration to a power unacknowledged and unknown to the constitution, with the intent to bring them into disrepute and contempt in this and other states of the United States.

2. That he has failed to maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and judicial officers, in that he has denounced the courts and the judges thereof-speaking as one who had absolute knowledge in the premises to the people of this and other states-as being subservient to and controlled by a religious power foreign to the law and the constitution in the exercise of their judicial duties in the judgments pronounced in causes involving the lives and liberties of the people; and in exhibiting toward the judges and the courts a contemptuous disregard of their authority, and in imputing to them dishonorable and unlawful motives and acts, all tending to bring the administration of justice into disrepute, and tending to lessen the regard and the respect of the people for judicial tribunal.

Courts Insulted.

3. That he has employed, for the purpose of maintaining the cause confided to him, to wit, the procuring of a new trial or for the commutation of the sentence of the said Joe Hill, in violation of his oath as an attorney, and counsellor of this court, means inconsistent with the truth, and has resorted to falsehood, exaggeration and the concealment of truth in the particulars mentioned in specification B, in the communication to the board of pardons set out in the aforesaid specification and by him published in the Salt Lake Telegram on the 20th day of September, 1915, and which the questions made by him of procuring a new trial or a commutation of the sentence were pending and undetermined before the said board of pardons, whereby he imputed to the members of said board and the three justices of the supreme court as members thereof, that they were responsible for "false, wicked and cowardly aspersions upon his character," meaning the character of Hillstrom, and falsely averring that such aspersions were strongly urged by the members of the board of pardons; that said aspersions were sufficient justification for taking his life; and insolently challenging said members of the board of pardons and the said justices severally to the proofs, and inviting them to debate the subject with him anywhere in the United States.

4. The committee further avers that the record as made by himself clearly establishes the fact that the said Hilton is no longer of good moral character and is unworthy to be longer permitted to exercise the office of an attorney and counsellor of this court. Attorney Hilton will be cited by the supreme court to answer the charges made by the bar association.


[Photograph added.]


The Ogden Standard
(Ogden, Utah)
-Dec 22, 1915

Orrin N Hilton

See also:
"Hellraisers Journal: Judge Orrin N. Hilton, Attorney for Joe Hill, Facing Disbarment in Utah"
-by JayRaye

Note: In a letter to Swedish Minister W. A. F. Ekengren, written December 13, 1915, Hilton stated: "I cannot be disgraced or humiliated by being disbarred from the practice of my profession in that State..."


Funeral Oration of Orrin N. Hilton for Joe Hill, Part II


Joe Hill Funeral Program page 2, Chicago Nov 25, 1915, black border.png

No two witnesses in that trial testified to any consecutive fact. One witness testified that the taller of the two men was about the the height of Hillstrom and that he wore a cap, and other says the same thing, and insists that the taller man wore a slouch hat.

Now it most always happens when two men meet one is taller than the other, and yet on these inconsequential, detached facts Hillstrom is convicted.

Now, knowing that the Supreme Court of Utah had condemned that sort of testimony, and knowing that the law of Utah requires that a defendant in a criminal action shall be presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proven, and in case of a reasonable doubt whether his guilt is satisfactorily shown, he shall be entitled to an acquittal, and realizing that the train of evidence must be unbroken and established beyond a reasonable doubt, realizing that this is the law, and no man will quarrel with me about it, that where the evidence in any case is circumstantial, every fact and circumstance must be consistent with the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with any other reasonable hypothesis,- it does not do that the circumstances make equally for guilt as well as for innocence, - they must make alone for guilt and render the hypothesis of innocence irrational, illogical and absurd. That is the rule of law in a circumstantial evidence case. Now realizing that that was the law and that it has been promulgated in every court all over this land, Mr. Christianson [Soren X Christensen] and myself went to the Supreme Court full of confidence that the law of Utah meant what the legislature said it should mean, and that the Supreme Court would follow the law of the State, and that this poor friendless boy might find absolute protection and speedy relief from this unjust verdict. And so the case was presented to them with all the earnestness that we possessed, and from what the judges intimated during the arguments made in the Supreme Court, and their comments upon the evidence as we went along, there seemed to be no doubt but that the case would be reversed and a new trial granted.

Up to this point this case had created no special interest in Salt Lake City. The good citizens who heard it said, "Well, every man is innocent until the contrary appears beyond a reasonable doubt and we guess our laws will be justly administered," and passed on occupied with their own affairs. The State's attorney had given it a number and looked upon it as a part of his daily grist to be ground out in a routine way by the judicial mills. The jury thought that if they had made a mistake the judge would correct it, and the judge felt that if he was wrong, why of course the Supreme Court would say so, everybody relying upon somebody else seemed content to endanger and to take a human life in the routine way.

But with that sixth sense which we cannot name, but which we know exists, the common people, the working people, the people upon whom the crushing hand of the law bears with such force and power, they knew that something was wrong. They sensed danger. They felt that compared with the sacredness of human life that that evidence was paltry and trifling. They did not need to be lawyers to know it was insufficient. The instinct of self preservation was gone; here was a fellow man in danger. Could such evidence go unrebuked by a court and a man be condemned to death by it? Why it seemed incredible. If this could take place in the District Court, why might it not take place in the Supreme Court, and they began in the only way that men have, to beseech of the Supreme Court, and to protest against the Judicial wrong that was about to be done against Joe Hill. And so they began. The judges, too, set themselves against the people. The poor boy had protested that his attorneys did not know how to handle his case and he had discharged them from his case, and thereupon the trial judge reappointed them over again against his protest. Hillstrom knew that something, somewhere, somehow was wrong, and the boy who laughed at the idea of connecting his with the murder began now, as well he might, to be alarmed, to have a great concern for his own welfare. He saw that the presumption of innocence was an empty form; that the State's attorney, instead of seeking the proof only, was seeking one thing and but one thing, and that was conviction.

Now, the Supreme Court is aroused. Why, these common people,- they are common after election,- were really asking what the Supreme Court was going to do about the Joe Hill case, and then Joe Hillstrom ceased to be an impersonality in the eyes of the law, and the presumption of the people must seek a rebuke, and it did. When a case does not arouse personal interest in the court, the justices meet and one man is selected of the judges who writes the opinion, the rest concur, none of them feeling any personal interest in the matter, but when a case of importance arises, and there is a personal interest in it, each one seeks to voice his own opinion, with more affirmance than logic in this case.

Now the law of Utah provides this: Any man accused of crime can take the stand as a witness or not and testify in his own behalf, and if he does not testify, the rule of law is that there shall be no presumption for or against him on that account. That is the law all over the union; there is no different.

Now, here is the language of the Supreme Court through the chief justice. The only question that they had any hesitancy on was Hillstrom's refusal to tell where he got that wound. That is what done the business for him. Not that he was to be proven guilty, but he must prove his innocence, and tell where he got that bullet wound. Now remember the strict rule of law is there is no presumption against a defendant because he does not testify, no inferences against him at all; they are all for him. But listen to what the Chief Justice says: "The defendant may not avoid the natural and reasonable inferences deducible from proven facts by merely declining to take the stand or remaining silent."

Now the law says that no inferences shall be deduced. The Chief Justice says that they shall be deduced, and that he cannot avoid the natural and reasonable inferences. And this is followed by the concurring opinion of Justice McCarthy, and he says because Joe would not tell where he was wounded, he says this: "The fact that the appellant herein was not required to take the stand and testify in his own behalf, as pointed out by the Chief Justice, cannot affect the inferences that naturally spring from the uncontroverted facts and circumstances."

And still harping upon the silence of Joe Hill, the boy who would not tell where he was wounded, the third justice, Mr. Frick says this: "His refusal to inform the officers of the place and the circumstances under which the alleged quarrel over a woman took place was so unusual as to justify the jury In finding that the explanation given of his wound was false."

Now, my friends, would you want to be condemned in a capital case upon inferences and fancied resemblances of this sort? Even you can now see the particulars wherein the trial was unfair, and that some influence, some preponderating influence was brought to bear upon that Supreme Court to persuade it to take an attitude of hostility toward Hillstrom. I do not say that this was done by direct influence other than the imponderable and undefined but always present and always dominating fear of the Mormon Church, and that the views expressed by the Supreme Court are in consonance with the views of the Church.

Well, the judgment was affirmed and he was ordered executed. There was one hope left, and that was to go before the Board of Pardons. It might be possible that the judges had pronounced the strict letter of the law, and yet the Board of Pardons, might, through its consideration of extenuating circumstances, lean to the merciful side and prevent the execution upon purely circumstantial and inconclusive evidence; that as judges they might be bound by the letter of the law, but as men sitting as a Board of pardons they might be controlled by the spirit of the law; and then we went before the Board of Pardons with Joe's case, and what do you suppose we found?

The same men, as a Board of Pardons, that had set upon his case as Supreme Judges, with the addition of the Governor. There sat the attorney general with whom I had argued the case in the court below, here with the Supreme Court Justices, and over in the middle sat Spry. Now, I said to them as we started in, "Now, gentlemen, you are here, the same men, it is true, but probably because there may be some things that appeal to the humanities, as men, that you are at liberty to consider, that you could not consider as judges. Take the case of Frank down here in Georgia, gentlemen. You remember he was convicted in the nisi prius court. The judgment was affirmed in the Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court affirmed the judgment, and yet no lawyer would quarrel with it that no man on any one of those tribunals but what, if they sat as a Board of Pardons today, would say Leo Frank was probably innocent, because they believed the negro convict killed the girl, and not Frank. Now, if we are here, gentlemen, in that capacity, if you as men now"—Joe was sitting there before them—"As men now and as companions of this condemned man are here willing to look this case over from the broad standpoint of humanities, there are some things I want to discuss with you. You are no longer Chief Justice Straub; you are Citizen Straub now. You are no longer Associate Justice McCarthy; you are Citizen McCarthy now. You are no longer Associate Justice Frick; you are Citizen Frick, to be moved by those humanities that you could not bear as judges."

Now that was pretty plain, wasn't it? "Now, if that is the case, and that is the way you look at those things, I want to discuss with you, sir, Citizen Straub, I want to discuss with you the opinion of Chief Justice Straub when he delivered this opinion." Well, he was furious in a minute, and in less than five minutes from that time I had them all on their feet, and I said, "Why, I cannot talk to you three men at once. I will take you one at a time." And so from two until six o'clock I insisted that the law was thus and so, and they said, "Why, that is only your opinion, sir". I said, "That may be, but my opinion is infinitely better than yours because the law is behind me and it is not with you."

Well, the hearing was concluded at six o'clock. There wasn't a chance in the world. They were bound to consider only that preconceived opinion as judges. Finally the Governor said, "Say, Hilton, can't you make that fellow talk over there?" "Well," I said, "What do you want him to say"? "Well, I want him to give an explanation of where he received the wound". See? Still trying to make him prove himself innocent, I said, "He don't have to do it; that isn't the law. The people should prove him guilty, and I stand by that principle of law. I don't care, Joe can talk if he wants to, but I am not going to ask him to, because he is right and you are wrong, and you know it, and I say to you here and now, there is not a text book that was ever written but what contains that elemental doctrine, and you know it as lawyers, and you are not honest with yourselves or with him." I said,"Joe"—took him to one side, I said, "Do you want to say anything"? "Well," he said, "I don't mind; I would just as soon say a word or two." So we came back and they all in chorus said, "Did you get him to say he would say something?" I said, "Possibly, you may ask him". So the Governor said, "If you will talk and tell us this story here and now we will pardon you right here, if we find out that it is true." Joe was sitting there in his chair in his prison suit with his shirt turned down showing his naked breast, handsome and resolute, and he rose to his feet and he said, rather brokenly,

Gentlemen, I would not go across the street for your commutation. You say that you will pardon me. Why, a pardon presupposes that I have done something to be forgiven for. I am innocent of this affair, and all I want is a fair and an honest trial before a jury of twelve unprejudiced men, and I will show my innocence, and that you are going to give me.

And then he stated this wonderful sentence. You will find it on your program.

Gentlemen, the cause I stand for, that of a fair and honest trial, is worth more than any human life—much more than mine,

and he sat down.

They asked me to go into his cell the next day, which was Sunday, and see if I could not persuade him, and Spry said, "If you talk and tell us the circumstances I will commute his sentence at the eleventh hour, and I went up there and I saw Joe again, and I told him, I said, "Do you want to say anything more?" And he said, "What is the use? No." I told him, "Joe, the wound, you see, they want to find out where you obtained that, and unless you feel like talking about it, it is time and energy misspent."

So an appeal was made to the Swedish minister. We stated to them before the Board of Pardons if this man was judicially murdered there would be international complications arise because he was not a naturalized subject. And so I went on to Washington and interviewed the Swedish minister, a very kindly, intelligent man, who immediately got into communication with his Government and did all he could, and through him an appeal, was made to that kindly figure that stands out today as the representative of an honorable peace, to a distressed and blood stained world, and yet whose broad humanity is such that he could and would reach up a protecting hand to the poor friendless Swedish boy sitting in the shadow of the curtain behind which lurked a dishonorable death, Woodrow Wilson. To those of you, my friends, who have come from foreign lands, and to those of you who have just received the full rights of American citizenship, President Wilson had said: "You were drawn across the ocean by some beckoning finger of hope, by some belief, by some vision or a new kind of justice, by expectation of a better kind of life. You dreamed dreams of this Country, and I hoped you brought those dreams with you. A man enriches the Country to which he brings dreams, and you have brought them and have enriched America in so doing. A man does not go out and seek the thing that is not in him. A man does not hope for the thing that he does not believe in, and if some of us have forgotten what America believed in, you at any rate imported in your own hearts a renewal of that belief. Each of you, I am sure, brought a dream, a glorious shining dream, a dream worth more than gold or silver, and that is the reason why I welcome you here."

Those are President Wilson's words, and, my friends, that was why this man, speaking as he did, that was why this mighty man stretched his hands to poor Joe Hill, this dreamer of dreams, this singer of songs, this player of music, who sought to lighten the dreary gray and unrelieved blackness of the lives of his fellow workmen, and he sang in a crude yet heartfelt way his verses of a better and a brighter day, such as he, the president, had in his mind when in words so fitly spoken they seemed to stand out like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

But before the President could act, the relentless and unswervable power and hate that had sent its influence through the land, as I told you, and lead man and women in the dead of night to a fearful death in the mountain fastnesses at the mountain meadow massacre, -this power still survives, and through the land the life [lie?] was sent through every avenue that Joe Hill was a criminal, and they said that he had a criminal record,- hunting for anything that might blacken his memory. And so they denied a commutation, and at the same time the Salt Lake City papers stated where Joe had been a criminal; that he was a criminal in Southern California in connection with the McNamara Case; that he lead a revolution into Mexico; when the facts are that he never was arrested but once in his life, and that was for violating a City ordinance down in San Pedro, and who is a men that never took a drop of intoxicating liquor, never even used tobacco in his life, and when I heard it—I had gone home to Denver—I saw in the papers that they had been trying to slander him in that way. I had an open letter sent to all of them and printed in the Salt Lake papers;

To the Board of Pardons of the State of Utah,

Salt Lake City, Utah.

Assuming that your reasons for denying clemency to Joseph Hillstrom are correctly set forth in the public press this morning, and for the purpose of showing that they are not founded on either the law of facts in the case, but are intended to and do pollute and deceive the public, I respectfully make the offer to publicly discuss the facts at any time in any city in the United States

— I was willing to go to Salt Lake to see them—

with any member of your Board or all of them, such discussion to be before the date assigned for his execution.

I make this request to afford an opportunity to refute, as I believe I can, among other things, the false, wicked and cowardly aspiration on his character, that Hillstrom had heretofore committed any crime, that he has now or ever has had any criminal record, now for the first time so strongly urged by you as a sufficient justification for taking his life. This matter, as you must realize, is one now of national if not international importance, and has excited intense interest from New York to San Francisco, and I would be, as the attorney for this condemned man, of meaner stuff than men are made of if I did not in the brief time of life now allotted him challenge you and each of you to the proofs. I am only anxious and determined that if Hillstrom is judicially murdered the people of this Country, the great jury to whom we must all go at last, shall fully understand just where rests the full measure of responsibility for the deep damnation of his taking off.

Any communication will reach me addressed to this City.

Do you suppose I ever heard from that? Oh no; I could not smoke them out. And from that time till this they have been as silent as the grave.

Then the President sent his representative, and he returned with the message that he could find nothing against this young man, and again the President said these words, with an effected hesitation, but with great earnestness, "I beseech you to spare his life until a further investigation can be had." But could that effect the cross brutality of a man like Spry? No. He and his kind had driven fathers and mothers and children to their deaths in the mountain meadow massacre. Not that Hillstrom was guilty, but Spry was the instrument of that dominating, relentless power, and in open defiance of Federal Authority, and so he said this to President Wilson by wire: "The convict"—see, he calls him a convict. No man Is a convict until he has served a term in the penitentiary. He did not say Hillstrom, or the man in the case at bar, he didn't say that. He says, "The convict was thereupon, Mr. President, resentenced to be shot. Your interference is elevating the case to an undue importance. Your suggestion that this convict has not had justice is not justified." And so they denied any further commutation and made preparations for the execution.

Now in Utah instead of hanging or instead of the chair they shoot them. They have the privilege of electing between being hung and shot, and they have four or five fellows in Salt Lake who have acted as public executioners, and they have a large black screen and there are port holes out of that black screen, and five rifles are provided, and one of them is empty, so that any man of the five can say that he held the empty rifle, see? and they stand or set the man in a chair, or stand him up, as the case may be, and they bind a piece of white paper over his heart, and at the word, "Fire" these men behind the screen, too vile and cowardly to let their miserable identity be known, they fire, and then they are taken away in a close automobile so nobody knows who they are. And when I was in Salt Lake City two years ago, they executed a young fellow by the name of Reilly, and the marksmen were either so drunken or blundering that they could not find the mark, and they did not hit him in a vital spot, and he rolled upon the ground screaming in his agony for thirty minutes before death came to his relief. They could not shoot him but once. They could not do, as the Mexican humane law is, somebody step up and give the shot of mercy, and there he rolled screaming for thirty minutes before the end came. And that is the humanity of Salt Lake City in this enlightened age.

They were paying them twenty five dollars a shot, but after that execution they struck for higher wages. I don't think that they were identified with any parent organization. I don't think they are affiliated with any organization, but, however, they wanted more money, and they— it is remarkable what incursions organized labor is making all over the land - - but they raised the price to forty dollars, and these executioners were paid forty dollars, as I understand it.

So that on this fateful morning, it would seem almost as if the sun ought not to rise above the gray hills, for there before the curtain sits this young man, not yet reached life's zenith. They had tried, you saw the reports, they had tried to break his spirit by giving him whiskey, but he said, no, and he only took a little grape juice, and there he sat, and when the sheriff raised his hand and he looked at Hillstrom with his eyes bandaged and his hands bound, and when the sheriff said "Aim!" Joe Hillstrom's intrepid spirit bounded out to meet it, and Joe says, "Fire!", and then the shots rang out and when Joe Hillstrom's head fell forward on his breast and he sank limp into his chair, I say to you, men and women, that justice and labor shrieked at the awfulness of this tragedy.

And before the natural warmth had left his body this Governor, this first man in the State, not content with insulting the President, looked at it and said, as your Chairman has said to you, "I am going to drive the Industrial Workers of the World out of the State, and if the police don't do it, I will." He would outgeneral Lee, John Lee, He would lead these unpaid working men from the mines and from the smelters away out into the North and into the mountain meadow, and there let them perish as did their forefathers years ago at the hands of John Lee.

Today, these industrial workers of the world are down in the depths of these mines out there, with their lives in their hands every moment, or before the fume belching furnaces in the smelters, protected only by handkerchiefs, the men must breathe those poisonous gases until they can piece out the hours of their lives, and so earn the pittance that is paid them a day. It is true that the tax paid by the Industrial Workers of the World in Utah is that that pays the unearned salary of the unworking Governor of Utah.

But hate still continues its libel of the dead. A suit of clothes, Joe wanted to be buried in a black suit of clothes, and they bring one to him and it does not fit him, he is so emaciated, and there in that suit of clothes that have sewed a piece of cloth upon which the word Morrison is written, and they take it to Mrs. Morrison and they say, "Is this your husband's handwriting?" "No", she says, "I cannot say. it is my husband's handwriting", but you see it serves a new purpose for this judicial assassination, and they telegraph it all over the Country. Think of the depth of infamy to which men may go to give color to their unjust Judgment. First he is pictured as a dynamiter and criminal. Searching the land through they are disappointed not to find a single blot on his name. Then as he lies before them in the stillness of death they search the very garments that he has asked to be buried in, and the name of the maker is found in them, and straightway they take him from the class of dynamiters and try to make him out a sneak thief, and try to show that he has stolen the very clothes he asks to be buried in.

It makes the hear sick to contemplate the fiendishness of men like Spry. He defies and insults the Federal Government, because it is one of the foundation stones of Mormon belief that the Mormon State of Utah is for them alone, and that the Federal Government is an oppressor secretly to be defied and regarded as an intruder; that the line must always be drawn between the self styled saints on the one side and the gentiles on the other.

But while they have—don't misunderstand me—some very wise and just laws on their statute books, when you test them by the real every day application, it is guided and governed entirely by what Mormon leaders may decree as to the expediency of the moment.

Now just a word more and I will close. I often went in and talked with Joe in the last hours of his life; whenever I was in the City; I visited him in the jail very many times and in the penitentiary many times. I studied the man and I felt that if there was anything in the way of consciousness of guilt he would tell me of it before the Supreme end came. They always do. I never knew it to fail in my life. There are two men they will always be honest with if they are guilty, and that is the doctor and that is the lawyer. I looked to see if any such consciousness of guilt would display itself by any furtive look, and expression, some uneasy apprehension, some element of fear, but nothing of the kind. He was always clear eyed, fearless and unafraid. He said to me one day, he said,

Judge, duty is the principle thing. There is always some sweetness sooner or later in doing that, but without it the best things will turn to ashes and to dust.

And I want to repeat that: Duty is the principle thing. There is always some sweetness sooner or later in doing that, but without it, the best things will turn to ashes and to dust.

If you can find a midnight assassin with such an exposition of the principles of right doing, then I confess that the entire fabric of our nature is false and untrue.

Joe Hill had an obsession, an obsession to duty. He was not learned, and his years were too few to give him experience, but he knew, men and women, that great wrongs stalked unchecked through the land, and that the working man bore the blunt of it all. He had no quarrel with society as it is organized. He did not wish to seize the scheme of things into his own hands and remold it to make for his individual desires; not at all; but his protest always was against those who seize and misapply the privileges that should be distributed with even handed justice to the rich and to the poor alike. He could not write upon the principles of sociology, but he could and did know that power and greed were using these practices to oppress and grind down scores of his fellow men, the small merchant, the small shop keeper, the small man who stood nearest to the great forces of labor, and that unworking and unearned greed would never willingly lessen its grip upon mankind. Joe knew all of that. Joe lived it, and in this way he protested against it. He lived a wholesome, clean life. He wrote his earnest, if crude, verses as embodying his thoughts, and he had sublime faith that justice and integrity must triumph, and a heart of loving tenderness towards all of God's oppressed and unhappy children, a boundless charity, even towards his slanderers. And this is the life story of this man who lies before us today, whose clam dead face looks back at us today wreathed in the unfading calm of immortality, a memory for us all, and an inspiration to better thoughts and a more steadfast course.

And so, men and women, we delight today to drop a tear upon this coffin and a flower into this grave. I think there is one thought that comes to us all on an occasion of this kind, and that is that our beloved dead do not ever wholly die; that the twilight lingers after the setting of the sun; that we have the strange power of summoning back the dear departed ones, in vesting them anew with all the old tender ties and recollections, until their memory is never shadowy, but becomes a real satisfying and abiding presence in the soul; that from away and beyond the stars they seem to come floating down again to us, an earnest and delightful prophecy of the resurrection in the great hereafter.

It is said that on the rugged and inhospitable coast of Wales, where the inhabitants eke out a precarious livelihood by fishing, that there are huge chasms and fissures in the rocks made by the waves in their ceaseless beatings for centuries, and that these waves make strange music, confined within these granite walls as the tide ebbs and flows. In the gray of the morning when these wild, wierd notes sound out, the wives, mothers, and sweethearts of these fisherman hasten from their bed, betake themselves to the rocky beach, and there with songs and loving acclamations welcome home their loved ones, these toilers of the sea, and help them with their nets and burdens up the rocky way. So it will be, men and women, with and with Joe Hill. As you read his inspiring poems, and as your hearts beat in unison with him, when you sing his sweet song, so ever in tenderest memory he will come to us again a sweet, gentle, musical echo of the ripple of that eternal tide upon the shore of time.

And so we say, rest softly, kind mother earth, over this poor mutilated form, and to you, soldier poet, martyr and hero, with the flush of this magnificent oncoming industrial freedom upon your brow, all hail and all hail!

O. K.
O. N. Hilton.

[Image and emphasis added.]


Funeral Oration by Judge O. N. Hilton, In Memoriam of Joe Hill at the West Side Auditorium,
Chicago, Illinois, Thursday, November 25th, 1915

Note: For this text of Hilton's speech, we can thank Governor William Spry who sent one of his spies to Chicago to attend the funeral and make a record of the speech. The initials "O. K." are most likely the initials of the governor's spy.

For name of Soren X Christensen

Joe Hill Funeral Program pages 1-4, Chicago Nov 25, 1915

See also:
For Part I of Hilton's Funeral Oration for FW Joe Hill:


We Will Sing One Song

Then we'll sing one song of the One Big Union Grand,
The hope of the toiler and slave,
It's coming fast; it is sweeping sea and land,
To the terror of the grafter and the knave.

Organize! Oh, toilers, come organize your might;
Then we'll sing one song of the workers' commonwealth,
Full of beauty, full of love and health.

-Joe Hill

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