James P. Thompson Photograph Collection, circa 1910-1940  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Thompson, James P., 1873-1949
James P. Thompson Photograph Collection
circa 1910-1940 (inclusive)
83 photographs (1 box)
Collection Number
Photographs of James P. Thompson with friends and family
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

James P. Thompson (1873-1949) was a founding member and organizer of the Industrial Workers of the World. He was involved in an early free speech fight in 1909 when he was arrested in Spokane, Washington for violating an ordinance against speaking on the street that may have been imposed specifically to curb the influence of the IWW. After his arrest hundreds of people from across the country came to Spokane to be arrested for the same violation. After just three weeks there were four hundred people jailed for speaking on the street and Spokane was full of IWW members. The city government was forced to revoke the ordinance.

Thompson did a similar thing in Everett, Washington on August 22, 1916, where he defied a public assembly ban and was arrested after speaking to a crowd of shingle weavers for 20 minutes. After he was arrested and removed, James Rowan took his place and was also arrested as were a series of other speakers including Letelsia Fye of Everett whose speech consisted of reading the Declaration of Independence.

In 1917, during World War I, Thompson and the IWW took a stand against the American participation in the war. Because of that many IWW members were jailed and convicted under the Espionage Act for conspiring against the draft and encouraging desertion. Both James Thompson and James Rowan served time in the federal prison at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Individual portraits and group photos of James P. Thompson, his family & friends in various indoor & outdoor settings. Locations include Ohio, New Jersey, New York City and Washington. The collection does not contain images relating to his participation in the IWW.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Status of creator's copyrights is unknown; restrictions may exist on copying, quotation, or publication. Users are responsible for researching copyright status before use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Thompson, James P., 1873-1949--Archives
  • Thompson, James P., 1873-1949--Family--Photographs
  • Thompson, James P., 1873-1949--Friends and associates--Photographs
  • Thompson, James P., 1873-1949--Photographs
  • Geographical Names :
  • New Jersey--Photographs
  • New York (N.Y.)--Photographs
  • Ohio--Photographs
  • Washington (State)--Photographs
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)