Name:  J.A. "Jack" Griffith   

Age/DoB:  About 1871

County of Conviction:  Yellowstone

Judicial District:  13th

Case No.:  1458

Date of Conviction:  Dec. 7, 1918

Sentence:  8-16 years




Allegations: That on 7/8/18 in the Blue Front Saloon in Billings (and later in a nearby lodging house) said (referring to the IWW trial in Chicago) "We are going to give this cock-sucking government a good fucking." Defended by IWW attorney Geo. Vanderveer.


Case details: Bartender who talked to Griffith asked a man to take an old IWW card and make friends with Griffith and his companion. The three went to the Star boarding rooms a block away with a few beers. Griffith showed the man his IWW credentials and literature and made the same prediction about the outcome of the mass IWW trial in Chicago. A policeman came in and arrested Griffith and confiscated his suitcase. Found guilty in jury trial. Served eight months. Released Oct. 1, 1919. State supreme court reversed,  saying jury was influenced by his strong language, but that the statement did not fall within the ambit of the sedition law because it was not a statement regarding the form of government of the United States, etc. 56 Mont. 241, 184 Pac. 219 (1919) #4340.


Personal Information:  Griffith testified he had been a member of the IWW for about two years and worked as a job delegate, empowered to collect dues and pass out literature. Said he had been in Seattle and was on his way to work the harvest in North Dakota. Date and place of death unknown.


The Montana Sedition Project